One of the few surviving Raymond Griffith Triangle Komedies
In 1917, Mack Sennett and his Keystone comedy company were at the peak of their popularity. They were the undisputed leader when it came to comedy short films. However, Triangle was about to have financial problems due to mismanagement. Triangle requested that Sennett resume producing one-reel comedies, but Sennett was making so much money with his two-reelers that he refused. Triangle set up their own comedy unit for one-reelers, and Sennett lent is name (and occasionally a few performers) to the unit.
Comedian Raymond Griffith had worked for Sennett for over a year, but he had only appeared in a handful of films. Sennett felt that Griffith's character was too ordinary and not "comic" enough. Griffith jumped at the chance to play in the Triangle Komedies, although he was only the lead player some of the time. Most of these films are lost forever, but this one still exists.
Griffith is a traveling salesman who has a cure for foot calluses. Amazingly, it also works on hunchbacks. When he shows up in a western frontier town, the dance-hall proprietor takes an instant dislike to him. There are lots of fights, a bear who drinks alcohol, a dance-hall girl, and a few gags thrown in. This film is not a classic, but it will make you chuckle a few times.
At this point in his career, Griffith had not developed the silk-hat character that he portrayed in many films in the 1920s. By the 1920s, he had developed into the best supporting actor on the Goldwyn and later Paramount lot. He also began supplementing his acting chores with writing gags for comedy shorts at the Sennett studio, as well as for big-name actors like Douglas MacLean.
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