A timid man is the butt of practical jokes in a boarding house. He likes the proprietors' daughter Nancy, and she encourages him to stick up for himself, but he can't find the will or the strength. Then, he reads about a scientific breakthrough: a doctor has found a way to inject the personality of a bulldog into timid humans. He volunteers for a treatment, and soon he's storming toward the boarding house to put his tormentors in their place. Will he succeed or will something in the nature of things keep him living a dog's life? Written by
I never thought I'd live to see the day where Harry Langdon would turn in a hilarious short for the Hal Roach studio. In the film Harry plays a wimp living in a boarding house full of mean people picking on him from the time he gets up until he goes to sleep. Harry is selected to take part in a scientific experiment where a doctor takes timid mean and turn them into brave beasts. Of course, Harry goes back to the boarding house for revenge. THE SHRIMP is without a doubt the best I've seen from Langdon's Roach days but I'd probably go a tad bit further and say it ranks right up there with the best work of his career. In the previous Langdon-Roach films you often had to sit through one long, drawn out joke that simply wasn't funny. It was as if Langdon would just let the camera role and he'd do whatever he wanted even if it wasn't funny and if it didn't add anything to the film. The director here doesn't let any of this stuff happen and instead he just keeps the action going and at a very fast pace. Langdon does a terrific job playing the victim here but where he really shines are during the scenes where he must be tough and take on his previous bullies. His toughness starts off by pushing around Thelma Todd who was constantly torturing him. You'd think it would be a little off beat seeing him push around a woman but it's actually pretty funny. Things pick up when he gets to the men and begins to boss them around. Both halves of the film are extremely funny and this is without question one Langdon film you could recommend to anyone.
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