The frothy experiences of a vain little flapper. Her father induces an actor friend to become a gentlemanly cave man and the film becomes another variation of the 'Taming of the Shrew' ... See full summary »
Robert G. Vignola
Johnny Ramirez rises from bouncer to partner in Charlie Roark's border town casino. Charlie's wife Marie loves Johnny, but Johnny loves society woman Dale. Marie kills her husband, making ... See full summary »
Naive Ezekial Cobb, brought up by his missionary father in China returns to America to seek a wife. Corrupt politicians enlist him to run for mayor as a dummy candidate with no chance of ... See full summary »
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Coburn both starred and produced the original play, which opened in New York on 19 October 1918 and ran for 353 performances. See more »
There was no cast list per se. Some actors were credited by intertitles when they first appeared. Syd Chaplin was credited above the title and his full character name was supplied in an intertitle. See more »
Syd Chaplin (as "Old Bill" Busby) and Jack Ackroyd (as Little "Alfie") are World War I servicemen; while being bombarded, in a foxhole, Mr. Chaplin tells Mr. Ackroyd, "If you knows of a better 'ole - go to it." This exchange gives the film its peculiar title. The characters are based on the (by now) obscure British cartoon comic "Old Bill", by Bruce Bairnsfather. Seeing the familiar characters brought to the screen might have made the opening scenes delightful, but they no longer entertain. Veterans (of film) Edgar Kennedy (as Austin) and Harold Goodwin (as Bert Chester) help make the early going bearable.
Ackroyd's stabbing of Chaplin as he sleeps under a bale of hay begins some intermittently good scenes. Chaplin's chair lifting ability amazes, and the Chaplin/Ackroyd team becomes funnier as the comedy progresses; they are most delightful as "two-men-in-a-horse".
The production levels offered by Warner Brothers are quite high; "The Better 'Ole" was the second film to make use of the studio's synchronized music and sound effects "Vitaphone" process. With a certain British sibling named "Charlie" experiencing a "Gold Rush" at the box office, it's easy to understand Warner's effort.
***** The Better 'Ole (10/7/26) Charles Reisner ~ Syd Chaplin, Jack Ackroyd, Edgar Kennedy, Harold Goodwin
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