Before Larry Semon's movies became repetitive, increasingly bloated efforts that starred him and only him, he turned out some very nice slapstick with a large crew of comedians who got some good screen time and gags, and featuring some very good cinematography. This is one of those efforts, featuring a loving little zoom shot, a slammed-door farce sequence using cuts -- a technique I have not noticed before but which works very well -- and graceful composition, as well as the sort of work that seems to improve as it gets older -- a chiaroscuro that comes out in multi-generational prints.
I'm not exactly sure what is going on here, except it involves Semon as a detective trying to deal with some roughnecks, but there is some lovely by play with Oliver Hardy, who even does some tie-less twiddling, eight years before he was teamed up with Stan Laurel.
You can see some of the rot setting in, the bigger explosions, the near-collisions undercranked to produce greater speed. But for the moment, it is still working.
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