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Prize Puppies (1930)

 -  Comedy | Short  -  3 August 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 8 users  
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Needy Ham Hamilton is mistaken for a dog show judge and he takes advantage of the situation for material gain.


(as Alf Goulding)


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Complete credited cast:
Lloyd Hamilton ...
Dog Show Judge
Stella Adams ...
William T. Hayes ...
Ring Steward (as Will Hays)
Harry Fenwick ...
Committee Chairman


Needy Ham Hamilton is mistaken for a dog show judge and he takes advantage of the situation for material gain.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dog | See All (1) »


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

3 August 1930 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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User Reviews

Prize comedy
24 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've just been getting into watching the comedies of the well-regarded but little-seen comedian Lloyd Hamilton, and I found this one very funny, if a bit scattershot.

In 1930, a year when it was fashionable to try to impress audiences merely with the new ability to put sound on film, this "Lloyd Hamilton Talking Comedy" opens with a lengthy sequence that includes no dialogue but is still deeply sound based. It's an ingenious sequence of gags in which Lloyd, a poor boarding house resident, invents a series of very clever ways of making himself a meal and simultaneously quieting members of what seems like an incredible crowd of terrible musicians who live in the rooms surrounding him. It's the highlight of the film and really shows off Hamilton as the great gag idea man that he seems to have been. I suspect this scene may also have had an influence on Buster Keaton's celebrated later short "Grand Slam Opera."

When dialogue comes in we get a terrible pun ("You've owed me rent for a week back!" "I didn't know you had a weak back."), but the real laughs come from Hamilton's reedy voice and delivery, which fit his established character very well. I got a big kick out of how, after being kicked down the stairs, he haughtily declaims, "You have hurt my feelings!" After a nice bit where Ham employs a bum to help him move his trunk surreptitiously and this gets him chased by the police, we move into the second half of the film, which gives it is title. This might as well be a totally separate two-reeler, if also a good one. Ham is mistaken for a dog show judge, and the only connecting thread is that he is still hard up for money (he stuffs the dog treats in his hat to embarrassing consequences, and is happy to get the key to the city because he can sleep there tonight).

This section revolves less around visual comedy and becomes an-on target if perfunctory satire of the kind of people who compete hard in over-the-top dog shows -- and especially their reactions when Ham judges the dogs based on their length or which girl he thinks is pretty! The final shots feature a visual gag that's a funny sight but again totally disconnected. Watching this is like watching an extremely funny and creative comic mind spin out in lots of different directions at once -- which is not a bad thing.

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