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The Dumb-Bell (1922)

 -  Comedy | Short  -  16 July 1922 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 21 users  
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The owners of a movie studio are having problems with a temperamental director, and they promise an actor on one of his pictures that he can have the job if he can find a way to make the director leave the picture.

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(as Charles Parrott)
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The Dumb-Bell (1922) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
The New Director (as Harry 'Snub' Pollard)
Marie Mosquini ...
Mary - the Leading Lady
Charles Stevenson ...
Julius Goldsmith - Film producer
William Gillespie ...
Abe Silverstein - Film producer
Noah Young ...
Disgruntled director
George Rowe ...
Cameraman
Sammy Brooks ...
Short actor playing doctor
Wallace Howe ...
Actor playing doctor
...
Actor wearing top hat
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William B. Davidson
Lincoln Stedman
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Storyline

The owners of a movie studio are having problems with a temperamental director, and they promise an actor on one of his pictures that he can have the job if he can find a way to make the director leave the picture.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

16 July 1922 (USA)  »

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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Not dumb to watch it
3 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Snub Pollard was one of those silent comedians whose trademark was his appearance. He was useful in his films as much for his skill as a comedian as for his distinctive mousy appearance and big, droopy moustache. So it's odd to see him starting this film dressed up in a dressing down and nightcap with a white moustache, playing a sick old man whose six doctors won't let him eat much of anything. This proceeds, though, into a funny series of gags that are typically absurd, deadpan, and Rube Goldberg-like for Pollard as he sneaks himself food that he has cleverly disguised around his house.

The twist is when a director storms onto the set and fires Snub; he returns to his typical appearance and we learn that he has essentially been playing an actor in a Sub Pollard film, and we move into a little plot in which he fakes having fired the director so he can get a director's job himself (apparently the film he was working on earlier has been dropped) and becomes a little too temperamental as a director for his new bosses.

This is a great little one-reel that's funny in the usual Snub Pollard kind of way, as well as in the in-the-know kind of way that its inventive and memorable reflexive gimmick suggests. The "turn" where we learn that the film we've been watching is a film within a film is a very nice comic surprise. Comedian Charley Chase was the director, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of his own frustrations with the arts of direction didn't creep through into the gags.


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