Pa Droppington sneaks out of the house to go to the theatre. Amid comic capers he is smitten by a dancer. Meanwhile his son is telling Ma that he's in love with a dancer! She is not happy ... See full summary »
Fontaine La Rue,
In 1830, a train known as the Iron Mule is loaded with passengers, and starts off on its trip. Along the way, the train faces numerous obstacles and delays. The engineer is prepared for ... See full summary »
A man is offered a great job, but with two drawbacks: it's on the other side of the country, and he has to be there by a certain date--and he's broke. He sets out anyway, and along the way ... See full summary »
This Al St. John short was directed by his uncle, Roscoe Arbuckle, anonymously, after his acquittal for the manslaughter of Virginia Rappe caused him to be banned from performing. Yes, I know. It doesn't make sense.
The plot is so simple that the movie can be followed despite having Czech titles: St. John plays a bicycle messenger who is supposed to deliver a letter -- well, his stage act was as a trick bicyclist. Along the way he gets mixed up with some spies who want to steal the letter and some lions. It ends up with a nicely done bit of thrill comedy as he perches high atop a flagpole while one of the spies chops at its base with an axe.
The movie lacks much in the way of structure, being little but a series of gag in a straightforward time sequence, without much in the way of subtext to connect them -- fairly primitive for this period and within a year or two Arbuckle would be writing and directing far more sophisticated comedies with lots of subtext -- the hilarious CURSES! or the elaborately doubled vision of THE MOVIES. Perhaps in the aftermath of the trials, Roscoe had fallen back on producing 'em fast and cheap to pay off his lawyers and to start rebuilding his life. If so, he worked to his and St. John's strengths. It's very funny.
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