Revenuers have been chasing a gang of bootleggers for years. They're hot on the trail near a gas station operated by Harry, a seemingly slow witted fellow with a cheery and spunky ...
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The king is a juvenile dolt who tries the patience of the shrewish queen. While she's in the throne room awaiting him, he's outside playing with guns, drilling his soldiers, and dallying ... See full summary »
James W. Horne,
Revenuers have been chasing a gang of bootleggers for years. They're hot on the trail near a gas station operated by Harry, a seemingly slow witted fellow with a cheery and spunky girlfriend. A shootout between treasury agents and the gang - they transport the hooch in manikins seated in a touring car - takes place in front of Harry's filling station. While Harry's gal stays outside, Harry carries the liquor-filled dummies into the station. Will there be a reward for the heroics of Harry and his honey? Written by
By this time the Langdon unit at Roach was finding a good mixture of low comedy with room for Langdon's unique comic style. THE BIG KICK gives him ample opportunities to slow down the action for set Langdon moments without bringing the short to a stand still. Harry runs a gas station but seems more interested in sleeping the day away. His girl arrives to rouse him but even then Harry's daily ritual of nodding off standing up continues unabated. Only Langdon could get away with washing up and drying off without using water or a towel and make it look fascinating. Since his girl has been attending to all of the customers Harry finally joins her just as a rattletrap Model T with the world's loudest engine pulls up. Making jokes at the expense of sound was already a staple of the Roach lot but here Langdon takes it to it's extremes. The engine is so loud that nothing else can be heard on the soundtrack, even though Harry and the driver seem to be having a long, extended conversation. At one point Harry even turns to his girlfriend, who is standing quietly by, and he hushes her so he can hear better.
The other main set piece has Harry donning a disguise in order to apprehend some local bootleggers. Considering they don't even know who he is to begin with the disguise is unnecessary but it does give him ample time to flinch and react as a growing gas balloon inflates inside his topcoat. When a gun battle breaks out between the crooks and the cops bullets spray the getaway car and booze begins seeping out in powerful sprays that Harry tries stopping with his hands and eventually with his mouth. Our hero doesn't even get to play hero as his girl helps apprehend the bad guys while Harry deals with a group of headless mannequins in his inebriated state.
Harry's relationship with the world around him makes this a most telling metaphor in this very entertaining short.
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