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Cast overview:
Bobby Ray ...
Molly Malone


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Comedy | Short




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Stork Mad (N/A, 1926) **1/2
7 December 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

O.K. Silent comedy short included with the edition I've just acquired of Howard Hawks' A GIRL IN EVERY PORT (1928): there are no credits other than that for obscure lead actor Bobby Ray, whose characterization isn't sufficiently developed (at least judging by this one film) to make the star stand out from other more popular comics of the time.

The film itself is stretched out to 25 minutes but it includes a fair smattering of nice gags: the title is a reference to a couple's wish to have a baby and, soon after, a child is dumped on their doorstep; of course, they're overjoyed but, come nightfall and the baby's cries for food, they're at a loss at what to do! The heroine orders her servile husband to handle the task but he's a fiasco at every turn: first, Ray cooks a steak for it(!), then heats a milk bottle (which obviously explodes and later substitutes the container with an empty whiskey bottle) and, after managing to conveniently find a cow to procure fresh milk, expects it to do the job by itself…which, in a vaguely surreal sequence, the cow eventually does!

That's the first reel; the second has Ray receiving a letter informing him that his mother's not well: the couple speed to the train station but forget all about the child. Ray causes havoc at the baggage stand of the station (since he believes the baby to be locked inside theirs but all the luggage happens to look alike!), after which he rushes back home (a sequence which includes an incredible stunt where he flies off a bike and into a moving car). The hero's agitated state causes him to be chased by the Police where, however, the infant is nowhere to be found – thus forcing him to substitute it with a monkey(!) to make his story believable to the cop. But just as he's about to be booked, cries are heard coming from underneath a table where the baby had been (covered by the cloth) all this time…

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