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In this film, Snub Pollard plays a hobo who is sleeping out in the
woods. Unknown to him, an escaped convict is loose and through some
strange turns, Snub finds himself wearing not only the convict's
clothes but a ball and chain! Now police are after poor Snub, though he
manages to make his ways to town--where some cute gags occur as he
tries to hide the ball and chain.
A bit later, he and the convict stumble upon the hideout where a little boy is being held prisoner. Wanting to do the right thing (and get the reward), they take the child home--or at least that's what they try to do. The gang returns and it's up to Snub to save the day.
While the print quality of this short is exceptional, it unfortunately isn't all that funny. There are a few laughs here and there but Snub just isn't in his element here and the film is a second-rate comedy.
Snub Pollard is quite good in this gag-filled comedy as a hapless bum
who has gotten himself attached -- quite literally -- to a ball and
chain and a grateful escaped convict. Although not particularly
sophisticated -- as you would expect from a Weiss Brother release --
there are lots of gags and pratfalls skillfully exhibited. Alas, comedy
had been moving for ten years away from simple exhibition of clowning
and Snub had never moved with it -- in many ways, he had moved away
from his co-starring days with Harold Lloyd and while he was capable of
miming emotions, there was little exhibited in the way of any endearing
or enduring character.
With the coming of sound, Pollard's career, which had begun with an Australian pantomime troop, would end in a few incongruous comedy sidekick parts in westerns and bit parts. But here we are in a last hurrah for the unadorned silent clown and while the films are not as good as they had been at Roach, the gags are. Enjoy this for that if you can.
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