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Courtship of Miles Sandwich (1923)

 -  Comedy | Short  -  24 June 1923 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 23 users  
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When Papa tells son Malcolm the story of the first Thanksgiving, Malcolm imagines the tale with his father in the role of "John Alldone" and his mother as "Prisilly."

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Title: Courtship of Miles Sandwich (1923)

Courtship of Miles Sandwich (1923) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Papa / John Alldone
Marie Mosquini ...
Mama / Prisilly
James Finlayson ...
Miles Sandwich
Noah Young ...
Chief Whattadamatta
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Storyline

When Papa tells son Malcolm the story of the first Thanksgiving, Malcolm imagines the tale with his father in the role of "John Alldone" and his mother as "Prisilly."

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Comedy | Short

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24 June 1923 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Connections

Spoofs The Courtship of Myles Standish (1923) See more »

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Not a total baste
10 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a later sample from the series of two-reelers that the comedian Snub Pollard starred in for Hal Roach Studios. It's also one of the strangest and often most nonsensical comedy shorts I've seen. We begin with Snub as a father trying to carve a rubbery turkey for Thanksgiving and in the process doing some very funny bits of physical business and also so some funny character work, managing to look surprisingly threatening -- for Snub Pollard.

His son asks to know "Why is Thanksgiving?" and then we are sprung into the storytelling-framework that makes up most of the film. Snub traded so much of his look -- the gait, the face and expressions, and the moustache -- that the rest of him could be dressed up as a pilgrim and we don't bat an eye. Now, the pilgrim sequences, mainly revolving around Snub competing over a pilgrim girl with frequent Roach supporting player James Finlayson (who, standing next to Pollard, much be given a smaller than usual false moustache), contains some great characteristic goofy visual/mechanical gags that both Snub Pollard and director Charley Chase were adept at (see Snub ogling Indians through a spyglass -- he girlfriend shoves her powder-puff in the telescope, so he thinks he's blind, and after a little pantomime, smashes that bottle he's got in his clothes).

There's a certain amount of laughs to be gotten out of things like pulling flowers out of the snow as Snub does here, but one wonders why most of this is set in Pilgrim times -- since the anachronistic jokes often revolve around things like automobiles, typewriters, and in one extended case, skiing. It works in a certain unashamedly absurd way (after all, it is Snub's story to his kid), but for much) of it there seems to be no story leading anywhere. The kind of cartoonish and gag-heavy humor that Snub was a specialist in sometimes had trouble stretching to two-reelers and was starting to go out of fashion a bit.

The filming here, amid endless drifts of real snow, is quite nice and there are a bunch of good trick shots. There are a bunch of undeniable laughs to be had in this short, but not all of the nonsense business really works and its often puzzling as to where people are coming from and why. This is good for a few laughs and probably one of your go-to shorts if you want a Thanksgiving comedy as there are not so many, but not the best work of most of the people involved.


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