The second Vitaphone feature, with music and sound effects, after Don Juan. 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 »
Fair silent comedy that does not play well to a modern audience -- probably because it is not slapstick enough to be funny today and because the drama appears more of an afterthought to what could have been a pure comedy. The first half of the movie drags but the second half is bearable.
Film opens with our hero, Syd Chaplin, and his pal in the trenches where they are chastised by bully Corporal Austin (Edgar Kennedy) for singing after having survived a shelling. IMDb credits list Ed Kennedy as Corporal Quint but the actual film credit is quite clear. Film shift to the town of Boucaret where we encounter the traitor Major Russett who is in league with Gaspard, the owner of the Rooster Inn. Long and not particularly interesting sequence where Syd gets breakfast.
Cabaret night is mildly funny as Syd picks up thirteen chairs and a piano to clear the stage. Town transitions from British to German control. Syd and pal get left behind in horse costume. Probably best scenes are where Syd serves German General lunch and then sits on the body of an unconscious German soldier whose legs he arranges to look like his own. Syd and pal manage to fool German guards and eventually break free to help British Intelligence Officer save the British troops that come back into Boucaret. Syd is promoted to Sergeant thus giving him the opportunity to pay back Edgar Kennedy.
In many of these old silent war movies, even if the plot is threadbare, the shots of old war equipment or tactics might be of interest today. This is not one of those movies. Nor was Syd as good as his half-brother Charlie.
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