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important to watch for fans of slapstick, but this is really a sad effort otherwise
This isn't a terrible comedy short, but it just looks like it was made too late and with too little energy. Chester Conklin and Mack Swain were both successful silent film comedians who often played supporting parts in the films of many more notable comedians, such as Charlie Chaplin, Billy Bevan, Ben Turpin, and others. While Conklin did star in a reasonable number or shorts as well, they were not nearly as successful as first-tier comedians' films. Now, in the beginning of the sound era, the two guys are given a chance to co-star in a film--a unique opportunity indeed. The problem, though, is that the style of the film is almost 100% silent slapstick and doesn't really translate all that well to sound. In fact, because the stars are both now older, their pacing seems slow and uninspired. Sure, there are a few good laughs here and there, but I can't help but thinking the film would be better without sound! Plus, the final chase scene seems like a tribute to past Keystone chase scenes--not a real bona-fide chase scene--because the chase is so short, uninspiring and has the contrived addition of dynamite! I really wish the guys had been given better material and we'll never know if they could have made it as sound comedians, as Swain died only five years later and Conklin appeared in only bit roles through the rest of his career.
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