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Saturday Afternoon (1926)

Passed | | Comedy, Short | 31 January 1926 (USA)
Harry and his friend have planned to go out for an afternoon of fun. But first, Harry must figure out how to slip away from his domineering wife with some money to spend. Once he finally ... See full summary »

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(story and scenario), (story and scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Harry Higgins
Alice Ward ...
Mrs. Harry Higgins
...
Steve Smith
...
Pearl
Peggy Montgomery ...
Ruby
Leo Willis ...
Rival Boyfriend
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Storyline

Harry and his friend have planned to go out for an afternoon of fun. But first, Harry must figure out how to slip away from his domineering wife with some money to spend. Once he finally does get away, he finds that his troubles are only beginning. Written by Snow Leopard

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Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Passed
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31 January 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tarde de sábado  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Steve Smith picks up a magazine and flips through it. In the next shot, it has disappeared. See more »

Quotes

[first title card]
Title Card: In 1864 when Lincoln declared all men free and equal, did he, or did he not, include husbands?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Calendar: Episode dated 16 April 1962 (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
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6 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Saturday Afternoon" is one of Harry Langdon's best-known short subjects, and with good reason. It is one of his funniest and best films. The plot -- such as it is -- is an old staple: a hen-pecked husband sneaks away for a night out with a his pal and a couple of other girls. It's a solid and well-used comedy plot, but the difference here is Harry Langdon himself. His slow, ineffectual, befuddled, innocent character has somehow floundered his way into a marriage with a woman who feels that he of all people must be ruled with an iron fist, and he is only thrust into cheating on her because he can't say "no" to the exhortations of the chummy Vernon Dent and the cute eyelash-fluttering of the girl.

It's a very adult problem to be thrust onto such a helpless, childlike character. Harry doesn't want to cheat, but he can't do anything about it. In a wonderful bit of comic business, he can't bring himself to blow the new girlfriend kiss goodbye: he slyly pushes the kiss at her underhand and ashamedly wipes off his hand as if to chastise it. The film is a three-reel comedy, ten minutes longer than the two-reelers Harry Langdon had previously been starring in for Mack Sennett, with no more plot. Perhaps it was even designed to be a two-reeler. This works beautifully, since it gives him as much time as he needs to inject the slow reactions and bewildered glimpses and half-actions where so much of his comedy lives.

He's at his best here, and the show is really Harry Langdon's curious magic and ability to spin comedy out of almost nothing. His little half- smiles, his look while handling the money he has hidden under the rug, childlike attempts to enter the fight at the end. I think his comedy makes us recognize something fundamentally innocent and confused in ourselves that makes us feel like the whole world is too much for us, yet at the same time, by allowing us to understand what Harry does not (such as the fact that the women he good-heartedly brings to his friend to cheer him after he thinks the date has been blown are in fact whores) he forces his to realize with a little bit of sadness that we are not that innocent anymore. His comedy is just as capable of making us audibly say "Awwww" as it is making us laugh, often at once.

Here Harry wants to refuse to cheat on his wife, he wants to tell his wife whose boss and take some power back in his relationship, he wants to fight back against the two violent men at the end of the film, but he just can't affect his surroundings that much, and sometimes we all feel like that.

The film is perfectly directed by frequent Langdon director Harry Edwards; it moves at a quick pace and never stalls while at the same time making time for and presenting to best effect Harry Langdon's still, reactive comedy. Vernon Dent, a frequent foil to Langdon, plays one of the roles here where he becomes almost a comedy partner in his very effective pairing with Harry. The gags spaced out in a way that gives maximum effect too, and Harry gets his own version of a Lloyd or Keaton style stunt at the end. Here the comedy is not in Harry's big reactions to the danger of sitting perched between two moving cars, but in his slowness to take it in.

This is a hilarious film, and a perfect example of the comedy of one of the most unique an talented humorists that I know ever to have existed.


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