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A southern country doctor is called on by a visiting circus man to cure his sick elephant. After the doctor heals the grateful beast, the elephant becomes so attached to him that it starts to follow him everywhere. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was originally developed as a Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy vehicle, but was re-scripted after Stan Laurel, whose contract with Hal Roach had run out, declined to re-sign with the producer. Hardy's contract was still in force, and the team believed that if they waited until it expired, they could re-sign as a team and be in a stronger bargaining position. Ultimately that is what happened. See more »
[Observing the elephant Zenobia stampeding through a city street]
That's the biggest rabbit I ever saw.
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For those looking for the magic of Laurel and Hardy, "Zenobia" offers an alternative that occurred because of Laurel's contract negotiations. Made the same year as "Gone With The Wind", Zenobia takes place in a time before the Civil War, where a small Southern plantation town at peace, is disrupted when the excitable traveling promoter (Harry Langdon), seeks aid for his ailing partner. A beloved country doctor (Oliver Hardy) is surprised and resists, but is coerced into treating a fully grown elephant for a terrible condition. Proving that a good deed never goes unpunished for Hardy, the patient, attempting to say 'thanks', relentlessly follows the good doctor and there is no place to hide, not even a formal social gathering. With the town in an uproar and his wife (Billie Burke) embarrassed at the spectacle, Dr Tibbetts is the focus of laughter, ridicule and a lawsuit. Twelve year old Philip Hurlic turns in a memorable performance that needs to be seen in the context of today.
Langdon is little known by most and seems very much like Buster Keaton, but just a bit more shy. Although, Langdon is not as appreciated for his works as Stan and Ollie, his touching performance in "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp!" when he meets Joan Crawford, the girl of his dreams, face to face for the first time is something to behold. If you can look past Laurel's absence in this rare partnership, Zenobia will have you laughing at a moment in time when fate put two funny men and an elephant on a collision course. On such paths they prove there is just no dignified way to get around a loving elephant.
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