Billy is a hobo who hangs around the train station. He creates disruption in the ticket office, at the lunch counter, and in the lives of some of the customers.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Billy West ...
The Hobo
...
Harold (as Babe Hardy)
Leo White ...
Mr. Fox
...
(as Budd Ross)
Virginia Clark ...
Dolly
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Naughton ...
Brakeman
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Storyline

A tramp who has been hiding underneath a railroad car wakes up while the train is stopped, and follows a pretty girl into the train station. When he flirts with her, the girl's boyfriend becomes angry and provokes a series of confrontations with the tramp. When things calm down, the tramp winds up working at the station's lunch counter, where he soon runs into some new predicaments. Written by Snow Leopard

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Plot Keywords:

tramp | train | car | pancake | food fight | See All (7) »

Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

1 November 1917 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Station Master  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Babe Hardy's gag of eating a long link of sausages in one sitting have obvious stops and starts throughout. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Hobo is no Tramp
3 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some have said that Billy West's films as a suspiciously Little Tramp-like character are more enjoyable if the viewer doesn't compare them to Chaplin's films. I find that very hard to do, and I think that the fact that West spends the entire short trying to look and act as much like Chaplin's character as he can invites a certain amount of comparison -- to say the least.

West has the look down, certainly, and he does a good job of aping Chaplin's mannerisms, but his performance just doesn't have the subtlety, and it's broad similarity to Chaplin's only makes its shortcomings more noticeable.

The film itself has some funny moments -- at the lunch counter, in the confusion of cars -- but is mainly a jumble of gags that seem to have no rhyme or reason behind them and, as a consequence, fall flat. Nobody really knows why the Hobo ends up chaotically running the train station breakfast counter. On a small level, nobody knows why he throws milk over his shoulder into a customer's face or why he takes so long preparing for his own meal after he wakes up. These sequences don't work because there's no logic or character behind the comedy. Likewise the broad slapstick that can work when it is motivated is just empty kicking and food-throwing here.

The young Oliver Hardy has a role here and does a good job, though his main task is to eat copious amounts. This is meant to be funny also but quickly grows old.

You're probably not a theatre owner in 1917 who wants to fool audiences into thinking they are really seeing Charlie Chaplin; it's probably more worthwhile to watch the real thing. This is mainly of interest as an early Hardy performance and to see how Chaplin's act was ripped off wholesale at this time.


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