The widow Wilson and her daughter Mary have just learned that old Mr. Middleton, who held the mortgage on their home, has passed away. They are now visited by Middleton's lawyer, Cribbs, ... See full summary »
During World War II an American travels to Britain to sell an old house near London that belongs to his family. But he mets Susan Trimble who lives in the house and who is strictly against ... See full summary »
The widow Wilson and her daughter Mary have just learned that old Mr. Middleton, who held the mortgage on their home, has passed away. They are now visited by Middleton's lawyer, Cribbs, who informs them that Middleton's son and heir Edward plans to foreclose and take possession of their home. When Mary goes to plead with Edward, she soon discovers that it is really the unscrupulous Cribbs who wants to drive them out of their home. When Mary and Edward become engaged to be married, it looks as if all is well. But the calculating Cribbs has a new plan, which begins with luring young Edward into a lifestyle of drinking and dissipation. Written by
This is a solid, if often silly, parody feature that spoofs the conventional melodrama genre. Most of it is played in a style that is far from subtle, and not all of it works smoothly, but it has a decent cast and some other good features. The broad parody works well most of the time, almost poking fun at itself as it pokes fun at melodrama conventions.
The story has the familiar setup of a helpless widow and her daughter who find themselves at the mercy of an unscrupulous villain, played by Alan Mowbray, and who seek help from a virtuous but naive young heir. Mowbray does a pretty good job of parodying melodrama villains, and Buster Keaton has some very good moments, although his role is smaller. Keaton's timing and his appreciation of gag possibilities are still there. Some of the other performances are a little plain, but at least some of the time that may have been by design.
There are some slower stretches, but there are also some sequences that are pretty amusing. It builds up to a suitably tangled finale that has some good moments, although it is unfortunately marred by one inappropriate gag. Overall, it's uneven, but at least worth seeing for those who have an interest in its era and genre.
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