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The Strong Man (1926)

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A meek Belgian soldier (Harry Langdon) fighting in World War I receives penpal letters and a photo from "Mary Brown", an American girl he has never met. He becomes infatuated with her by ... See full summary »



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Title: The Strong Man (1926)

The Strong Man (1926) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Credited cast:
Harry Langdon ...
Paul Bergot
Priscilla Bonner ...
Mary Brown
Gertrude Astor ...
'Lily' of Broadway
William V. Mong ...
'Holy Joe'
Robert McKim ...
'Mike' McDevitt
Arthur Thalasso ...
'Zandow the Great'
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Douglas Haig


A meek Belgian soldier (Harry Langdon) fighting in World War I receives penpal letters and a photo from "Mary Brown", an American girl he has never met. He becomes infatuated with her by long distance. After the war, the young Belgian journeys to America as assistant to a theatrical "strong man", Zandow the Great (Arthur Thalasso). While in America, he searches for Mary Brown... and he finds her, just as word comes that Zandow is incapacitated and the little nebbish must go on stage in his place. Written by Dan Navarro <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

19 September 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Strong Man  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Referenced in All the World's a Stooge (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

Very good.
12 July 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The film begins in WWI and Harry is a Belgian soldier who has an American pen pal. After the war, he comes to America as a sideshow strong man's assistant. However, he thinks it will be easy to find a girl named "Mary Smith"--which it naturally isn't. Eventually, he and the act arrive in a small town where Mary happens to live, but she is avoiding meeting Harry and it looks bad for our intrepid hero.

Years ago, I saw a compilation film about silent comedians (WHEN COMEDY WAS KING) and the film said there were "three truly great comedians of this age--Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Harry Langdon". Well, I knew this wasn't true, since Arbuckle (before the scandal) was much more famous and during most of the twenties, the most successful (and possibly best) comedian was Harold Lloyd. I truly think the film made this assertion because back in 1960 when it was made, Lloyd's films were not available--being owned by Lloyd and were locked in his safe.

As for Langdon, I've not seen tons of his films, though most are no longer in existence today. However, I've seen enough to know he wasn't one of the greats--perhaps a near-great. This film is supposed to be one of his best films and at no point did it approach the great work of Lloyd, Keaton or Chaplin. In fact, I much prefer Langdon's short films more than his full-length ones because the pacing is much better. In THE STRONG MAN, the film is 75 minutes long, but could easily had 10 minutes snipped off without harming the film at all. Plus, there are a few really good gags, but only a few. Now this doesn't mean that I must have a silent comedy that is constantly funny (after all, the other three greats I mentioned did make some wonderful character-driven full-length films). However, poor pacing undid the film and with this slight trimming, it would have probably earned a 9.

A very good comedy, just not one of the great ones.

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