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The Strong Man (1926)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 511 users  
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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)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
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
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Storyline

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 <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Country:

Release Date:

19 September 1926 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atleta à Força  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

corny is commendable
6 March 2001 | by (Minneapolis, Minnesota) – See all my reviews

"Corny"is a word that seems to have gone out of use. Never a sterling compliment, corny meant something homespun & sentimental manufactured to manipulate our nostalgia for "the good old days". Probably the reason the word is now extinct is that people under forty don't seem to have any "good old days" to look back on. That is an issue not to be dealt with here. Rather, let us recall the corny glory that was Harry Langdon in The Strong Man. Sexless & guiless, he can muster nothing more intimidating than petulance. A true child of comedy, his white face is rather more round than Stan Laurel's but just as vacant. That face is an inconstant tabla rasa, on which external events can impress fear, joy, and love for a moment. The storyline fits Langdon like a glove; it is Evil versus Good, with Harry the Good triumphant at the end more by slapstick grace than any wit or daring on his part. You have to have a corny mindset to enjoy this movie; to wit, there are bad & bullying people in the world who deserve an antic comeuppance & extinction. If you can hold that naive thought while watching this beautiful comedy you may find yourself, as I have, actually crying through the laughter at the loving watchcare the God of comedy gives great clowns like Langdon in their most threatening pickles. The most wondrous moment of the film occurs during the rally at the end, when with barbells, cannon, and a huge fire curtain, Langdon subdues an insolent, drunken crowd. Langdon begins walking over the curtain,which is covering the writhing crowd beneath it, and suddenly dozens of hands pop through the curtain, twisting like serpents in Dante's Inferno. It is a hilarious visual gag and an apt summary of the consequences of the crowd's evil hubris. This silent gem cannot be ignored by anyone who loves cornball pantomime -- a genre apparently as dead as our ideals. Woe is us!


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