As Harold Lloyd moved from one- and two-reelers into three-reelers and features, his boss, Hal Roach, kept on the eye for other talent for his short subjects -- he would have another hit the next year with the Our Gang series -- and someone to refill Lloyd's niche of a nice young man who does crazy things. He would make a try with Glenn Tryon and eventually succeed with Charley Chase, but first he tried Eddie Boland, a good comic who did as he was told and whose starring series lasted only a couple of years.
Looking at this one, you can't really see why he didn't pan out. He plays someone who falls into a household where everyone is pulp-fiction crazy, so he falls in with a practical joke of turning burglar and gets into a number of amusing situations. And by the end of 1922, he was back in the ranks of supporting comics.
The plot is not as tightly woven as Chase would manage in his two-reelers, the titles not as snappy as they would become when H.M. Walker hit his stride, but it's very good for 1921 and still amusing today. Perhaps it's that small distinction, the difference between almost perfect and actually perfect that Chase frequently managed. Maybe it's the fact that the clothes and sets look like they came off a Keystone from six years earlier.
Whatever it is, although by the time Roach shut down Boland's unit, he knew what he wanted and Eddie Boland, as good a supporting comic as he was, wasn't it.
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