The Pride of Pikeville (1927)
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** (out of 4)
Ben Turpin plays a Europeon ladies man who finds himself in America. On a train he gets the attention of a young woman (Thelma Hill) desperately trying to get a husband. When she's caught flirting with him, her gun totting father (Andy Clyde) demands that the two get married. THE PRIDE OF PIKSVILLE is yet another two-reeler from Mack Sennet that should have been cut in half. As I go through his shorts from this era it's pretty clear that a lot of them simply don't feature enough laughs to carry a 20-minute running time. I suspect that if you took the jokes that did work and put them into a 10-minute film then it would be a lot more entertaining in the end. There are a few funny moments scattered around but the majority of them deal with shots of the cross-eyed Turpin looking serious or trying to give women sexy looks. There are a couple funny moments during a sequence where some bad guys are trying to get on the train but everything else is pretty much a miss. Turpin gives the type of performance you'd expect to see from him. I always enjoy watching him but there's no question that he doesn't always get the best material. Clyde has a few nice moments but not enough to help save the film.
The film begins on a train. An international ladies man (Turpin) is traveling in the US when he comes to the attention of a rather unattractive lady and her gun-toting father (Andy Clyde). Not surprisingly, the dad tries to force Ben to marry her and Ben tries everything he can do to get away from them. All this could have been quite funny but there just weren't that many gags. While Turpin could make a good film, this one is only watchable and nothing more.