See my review of THE SMART WAY for more on dialect comedian Willie Howard. This 1937 Educational Pictures comedy short (my copy taken from an Astor Pictures reissue)features Howard in his usual "Professor Pierre Ginsberg" (the last name pronounced and spelled in variant ways) persona, running a French language school. A few minutes are killed showing his "lessons" and his ignorant, boorish students, when the plot takes a twist and he finds a missing item and returns it to its owner, which kills some more time until he winds up getting arrested after being confused with another Frenchman (this mistaken identity plot appears in a few Howard shorts). He then spends some time in jail, eventually gets out, and the short ends in a clever manner where he finds a wallet full of cash...and does not touch it, after the trouble he got into the last time he did a good deed. I won't give away what happens to the man who DOES pick up the wallet. Like many 30's comedy shorts, this seems to have a few unrelated sequences stitched together to fill the 17-18 minute running time. There are a number of funny sequences, and I'm probably being overly critical expecting too much unity in a short that is probably just a combination of shorter vaudeville routines. When I first saw the Willie Howard shorts in the 1980's, I wasn't too impressed with them, but watching them again I find them pleasant and engaging.
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