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some funny moments,...and pretty lame ones as well
This is definitely a "lesser known" comedy short from the 1920s. The only reason I saw it was because it was on a DVD by Kino Films featuring non-Laurel and Hardy shorts featuring Ollie. They are interesting and historically important, but also generally average to below average for the style film. Compared to shorts by Chaplin, Keaton, Arbuckle and Lloyd, they are definitely a step below them in quality and humor. Also, the accompanying music was pretty poor by the standards of other silent DVDs. I ended up turning OFF the sound due to the inappropriateness of the music to set the proper mood. But, despite this, they are still worth seeing.
This film is about a stage show and at times it can be pretty funny, while at others it's very contrived and dumb. You just have to suspend disbelief, otherwise you'll drive yourself crazy trying to understand and accept the impossible events. For example, in the theater, an obnoxious family has a picnic up in the balcony. They take out a giant pail labeled "Jam" (who brings giant buckets of jam to the theater AND who puts jam into a giant pail anyway). When this obvious prop falls on someone down below, it just is pretty dumb. Then, later a chicken runs around projectile vomiting on everyone (???). This same chicken then finds a pail of nitroglycerin sitting around the theater (huh,...Nitroglycerine in a theater??). It eats in and then projectile vomits onto things that in turn blow up. Talk about contrived!! However, if you ignore these really lousy bits, there are great scenes as well. The final minutes of the film are an obligatory chase sequence and WOW was it done well. It's incredibly choreographed, fast and has some amazing crashes. It's worth seeing the movie just for the last 8-10 minutes alone! So, if you find this short, try watching it if you want to see something different. If you are new to silent shorts, though, try something higher quality first!
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