A serial killer in London is murdering young women he meets through the personal columns of newspapers. He announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. After ... See full summary »
An elderly barber shop owner wins a sweepstake and uses the winnings to elaborately remodel his run-down shop. For in-house entertainment he hires his musician friends as the jazz orchestra and the four shoeshiners are skilled tap dancers.
Claude Hopkins & Orchestra,
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 »
Although the character of Old Bill and his pal Alf had its origins in the comic strips of Great Britain in doing a bit of research I was surprised to learn that the play on which this film was based was produced by the American actor Charles Coburn. It ran 353 performances and it starred Coburn on Broadway as well during the 1918-19 season. But it came to the screen as a vehicle for Sydney Chaplin, older brother of Charlie Chaplin and a fair comic himself.
Curiously enough one of Charlie's successes was a service comedy set in World War II Shoulder Arms. But in this case the comedy is set in the British army with the British born Sydney Chaplin.
Whatever else Old Bill is, he's a survivor. He and partner Alf played by John Ackroyd are the Willie and Joe of the British Expeditionary Force. The situations these two find themselves could easily be adapted to World War II era service comedies that conceivably would have starred folks like Bob Hope or Danny Kaye.
Briefly put the plot has Old Bill and Alf foiling a major German offensive almost singlehandedly. A remarkable achievement for a pair that make gold bricking an art form.
I'd check out The Better 'Ole to see what a funny guy Charlie's brother could be.
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