hilarious 1920 vehicle for Lloyd Hamilton's physical comedy
With over 200 credits, Lloyd Hamilton was a prolific comic actor. This one comes after his "Ham and Bud" shorts of the teens, and before his series of shorts at Educational beginning in the mid-20s. The premise is simple: everything goes wrong for Ham, everything he touches breaks, yet he manages to keep that wonderful smile and skip in his walk. The film begins with him driving home in the middle of the night, smashing through a barn, and blowing up his car...and it ends with him crossing the street to embrace his lady love, and falling into a manhole! Everything in between is just as bad. There are a number of clever sequences, my favorite being one where a manic fish grabs a small dog and pulls it across a pond--Ham saves the dog, but the fish keeps on sliding across dry land, wreaking havoc! My copy is taken from a Pathescope reissue and hence does not have original credits, but it's interesting to see here on the IMDb credits that Charley Chase directed. I also watched Hamilton's next short, MOONSHINE,after watching THE SIMP, but it's nowhere near as good , with a bunch of moonshiners warring against revenue agents, and more attention given to the details of the outlandish hillbilly moonshiners than to Ham's comic sequences. However, THE SIMP is worth checking out if you ever get the chance. For me, any Lloyd Hamilton film is worth seeing (well, HIS DARKER SELF might be worth watching once ONLY for novelty value...). The Simp's running time is 12'41".
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