In 'Kelly the Second', Patsy Kelly meets an Irish lorry-driver who rejoices in the name Cecil Callahan, and she trains him to become a prizefighter. This is a Hal Roach feature, so its production budget is at the bottom of the barrel. You might expect all parties concerned to set their sights on appropriately modest goals. Hell, no! Patsy trains Cecil to be the heavyweight champion of the *world*, and before the end of the film he gets a crack at the championship. But we know in advance that we're not going to see a realistic depiction of a heavyweight title bout on screen, because this movie's budget won't stretch that far.
Cecil is played by Guinn Williams, a fine character actor whose immense size typecast him as hulking thugs of less intellect than the hero. I'll admit that my interest in Guinn (real name Gwynn) Williams isn't entirely objective: my own name, Gwynplaine, is occasionally mistaken (usually by Americans) for a female name: I wish that Guinn Williams - a huge, macho actor - were better known, so that the gender of my own name would be a bit less cryptic to some people. Personal motives aside, Guinn Williams was a talented and versatile actor (within his physical range) who never got the lead roles he deserved. Williams spent most of his career playing the roles turned down by Nat Pendleton.
There are funny performances in 'Kelly the Second' by Edward Brophy and Billy Gilbert. Pert Kelton is vulgar (as usual), but brunette Rosina Lawrence is winsome and pleasant. Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom (whose acting talents were underrated) is effective and funny as a rival pugilist. Charley Chase was already well into his dipso decline at this point; Hal Roach seems to have stuck him into this film simply because Chase was available and under contract. I'll rate 'Kelly the Second' 3 points out of 10.
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