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Fiddlesticks (I) (1927)

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Harry will do anything to be a musician, but it takes a junk collector to discover his hidden talents.



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Title: Fiddlesticks (1927)

Fiddlesticks (1927) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast overview:
Harry Hogan
Vernon Dent ...
Prof. Von Tempo / Junk Dealer


Is there a place in the world for Harry Hogan. On the day his parents and burly brothers kick him out of the house for never earning money - and whiling away his time taking music lessons, his teacher, Professor Von Tempo, gives Harry a music diploma to get rid of him. Harry's so bad that Von Tempo's neighbors complain during his lessons. Armed with the diploma, Harry sets out to seek his fortune. He spends the night in a flea-bag hotel, figures out how to get his bass fiddle out of the room without paying for the lodging, and looks for a gig. On his first day, he joins Von Tempo's street band and he meets Penrod the rag picker. Which encounter will prove fateful? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

junk | musician | See All (2) »


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

27 November 1927 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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29 December 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

At Christmas, what better to watch than Harry Langdon? This is a delightful Mack Sennett short film of 20 minutes starring Langdon. There are many hilarious scenes and even more hilariously witty titles. The story and titles were by Frank Capra, who was later to become such a famous director. Harry plays a goonish and hapless young man who wants to learn how to play the bass fiddle, and is taking lessons from 'Professor von Tempo'. But he cannot play a note and drives everyone crazy with his screeching on the strings. Meanwhile, he is taking up space at home and his father and brothers throw him out of the house because he is not bringing any money in. His mother looks downcast at the floor and allows him to go, her expression sad but resigned, a typical silent film mother. Harry was much funnier than Charlie Chaplin in my opinion. Both of them were 'the Little Fellow', scorned by ordinary people, hobbling along as vagabonds and looking lost. Langdon had the advantage of possessing a genuine baby face, and he could look like a hopeless simpleton without even trying. He is thus deeply endearing, but we know he is always going to get himself into a mess. Professor von Tempo in this film thrusts a music diploma into Langdon's hands in order to get rid of him, because the neighbours have threatened to beat him up if the racket continues. So Langdon wanders out into the street, fully qualified but wholly inept. Many comic incidents arise where he tries to play in the street but people throw rubbish at him from their windows. A 'rag and bone man' (i.e. itinerant junk collector with a cart) sees this and realizes that some of the junk being thrown out of the windows is worth collecting. So he engages Langdon to play for him while he collects the junk and puts it into his cart. Langdon, with his share, thus comes into a lot of money and returns home in a smart suit with cash in hand, much to the astonishment of his family. He has been doing well at music! This film is so funny it will make you forget all your woes. It also provides a possible recipe of survival for the world's starving musicians. (Just joking, but then so is Langdon.)

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