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Say Ah-h! (1928)

Charley has to find an ostrich egg in a hurry for a disgruntled visitor, but he doesn't count on the introduction of some surreal plot twists and turns that foil his every attempt.

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Cast

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The Ostrich Farm Handy Man (as Charley Bowers)
J. Gordon Russell
Jean Douglas
Eddie Dunn
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(as Raymond Turner)
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Storyline

Only the second half of this film is known to exist. A disgruntled man at a country kitchen REALLY wants an ostrich egg, and there are numerous problems in satisfying his wishes with Charley Bowers in charge of procuring the egg. One egg is rock hard from feeding the ostrich cement. Another turns out to be a melon. In the meantime, Charley puts whatever he can find into the feed grinder to make ostrich food, including a pillow, a broom, a hoe, some clothes, and a feather duster. He feeds it to the ostrich, who promptly lays an egg. The egg, however, hatches another ostrich, one constructed of the items Charley fed into the feeder! In a brilliant display of stop motion, this full-sized surrealist ostrich walks, dances, operates a phonograph, and eats everything in sight, including a large metal stove! In the end, it lays its own eggs, which hatch into miniature versions of the faux ostrich, that dance just like their mother. Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@yahoo.com>

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ostrich egg | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

19 February 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Say Ah, Ed  »

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1.33 : 1
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Unfortunately, only half of this film is known to survive. See more »

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User Reviews

A Wacky & Hilarious Fragment
22 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

The footage that remains of Charley Bowers in "Say Ah-h!" is wacky and hilarious. It features one of his most nonsensical plots and some of his most imaginative visual effects. Even in its fragmented form, it's a very good and very resourceful comedy.

Based on the usual length of his other features of around the same time, there is probably about ten minutes or so that is missing. Some of the surviving footage is also badly deteriorated, but it is so much fun to watch that it is more than worth seeing just as it is. The footage that survives is, fortunately, the last part of the movie, and given that Bowers often used the first reel or so primarily to set up the appearance of his best gags and camera effects, what is left is probably the best part.

The surviving portion opens with Bowers trying to steal an egg from an ostrich, and it quickly gets even more manic from there. The real ostriches are fun to watch, and the animated "ostrich" is even more fun - a really wacky idea, and carried out with a lot of energy and creativity. The "eating" effects are very amusing, and their entertainment value is probably matched only by the painstaking work that must have been required to make them work so well. Bowers himself must have enjoyed the effect, because he adapted it again later on for the wonderfully weird sound feature "It's A Bird".

It's too bad, of course, that the whole feature can no longer be seen. But it's very fortunate that so much of it still remains. There's nothing else quite like these Charley Bowers comedies, and this one is one of the most interesting and entertaining of them.


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