Harry Shelby has been kept in knee pants for years by his overprotective parents, but the day finally comes when Harry is given his first pair of long pants. Almost immediately, he is ...
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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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Low-life Harry falls in love with sweet Betty who inspires him to improve himself so he can marry her. He enters a $25,000 cross-country hiking contest. After many adventures he wins, pays ... See full summary »
Harry Shelby has been kept in knee pants for years by his overprotective parents, but the day finally comes when Harry is given his first pair of long pants. Almost immediately, he is expected to marry his childhood sweetheart Priscilla... but instead, Harry's first heady whiff of manhood has got him panting after Bebe, a "fast" woman from the big city. Mistakenly thinking that Bebe fancies him too, Harry risks everything to help her out when she lands in jail, only to end up in hot water himself. Through it all, sweet Priscilla waits for her man to come to his senses. Written by
Dan Navarro <email@example.com>
Director Frank Capra's final film with Harry Langdon. In his autobiography, Capra stated that after critics called Langdon "another Chaplin [Charles Chaplin]", Langdon tried to tell Capra how to do his job. After Capra confronted Langdon privately and dressed him down for his egotistical behavior, Langdon had him fired from his staff. See more »
It's debatable whether Frank Capra could have prolonged Harry Langdon's career much further beyond this strange effort had they not split acrimoniously. For my money, there's about thirty minutes of material stretched to twice that length here, and it looks like they were attempting to inject a little shock value to liven things up. It might have worked back in 1926, but there's nothing shocking today in that scene in which Harry unsuccessfully attempts to murder his bride-to-be, just something... creepy. It makes you realise what an effective horror character that pancake-white baby-faced man-child would have made if he had chosen a different genre...
The story is as daft as they come, but there's nothing wrong with that
most comedies from the silent era have fairly nonsensical plots, and
it shows an awareness of the vaguely unsettling aspect of Harry's character in that murder sub-plot. But what it lacks are any real laughs to speak of. Combine this with a deadly tendency to stretch scenes by repeating the same moves over and over - particularly in that attempted murder scene, and when Harry attempts various tricks to lure what he believes to be a policeman (but which is actually a ventriloquist's dummy) away from the case in which he has hidden the woman he idolises.
Langdon had a few neat tricks, and his hesitant, childlike shyness is initially endearing, but all too soon the appeal wears thin and his material is exposed as the threadbare stuff that it really is.
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