James and Lucile Gleason in early-sound comedy short
An Al Christie production distributed by Paramount (billed as "A Christie Talking Play"), this was directed by William Watson (later director of many shorts at Educational, and previously director of many silents) and stars the husband and wife team of Lucile and James Gleason (they had a son, Russell, who was also very active in show business). James plays a drunk throughout the short--at first, he is at a club with his friends tying one on. He remembers that he has to meet his wife to see a play called FLORIDA. Lucile is waiting at home for him to return. James drinks so much that he winds up IN Florida, and vanishes for a week! In the meantime, James' brother played by John Litel comes to help Lucile. When James eventually gets home, Litel gets him to put on a ring that (he thinks) makes him invisible, and John and Lucile act as if James isn't there, talking about him in such a way as to get the message about his drinking across. Although somewhat creaky and from the early sound days, this short is quite funny...IF you like extended drunk routines a la Foster Brooks or Jack Norton. It starts off with an odd glee-club vocal (!!!) during the credit sequence and seems more dated than many silents (where can I get an art-deco clock like the one shown in close-up to begin one scene!). The teaming of the two Gleasons with John Litel, best known for his dramatic roles, works very well, and I can safely recommend this obscure short to any fan of early-sound comedy shorts.
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