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Henry B. Walthall,
In his day, Larry Semon was nearly as famous as "the big three"--Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd. Despite great success, Semon quickly lost favor with the public and soon died at only age 39--a sad ending to an amazing career! This short came out the same year as his WIZARD OF OZ---the film that many think helped to destroy Semon's career. It was a completely different film in that is was short, almost non-stop action and pratfalls--something NOT evident in his long and seemingly pointless WIZARD movie. This was exactly the type film the public loved, but this short seems to have gotten lost and forgotten--probably just a case of being overshadowed by the "big" picture he also released that year. It's a shame really because in the 18 minutes of this film, there are more laughs than in over 80 minutes of his version of THE WIZARD OF OZ.
The plot of this film really isn't that important. Instead, the sight gags and chase scenes are paramount--with some of the most impressive chase footage you'll ever see. All the near-misses with the speeding train were amazing and the scene where the car gets smashed by the truck are absolutely priceless. While this film ISN'T as sophisticated or polished like some of Keaton's and Lloyd's shorts, it can easily keep up with them due to the high volume of laughs and sheer energy. It's all a sad case of 'what might have been', as Semon was dead only three years later from a combination of TB and the effects of a nervous breakdown.
FYI--Larry's girlfriend in the film is his real-life wife, Dorothy Dwan--who starred in many of his films.
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