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Ham - a Sailor
Richard Coleman ...
Shorty - Ham's Shipmate
Harry Hoffman ...
Fong Quah - Pirate Leader
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Short | Comedy

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25 December 1914 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Join the Navy and See the Snakes
7 February 2009 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

By the middle of the 1920s, Lloyd Hamilton was one of the most accomplished screen comedians working. Chaplin said he admired him. Charley Chase (who had directed Ham in a few pictures about 1920) said that when he needed to think of a gag, he would ask himself what Hamilton would do.

But first he had to be bad, and here, working in a short subject for future great director Marshall Neilan, he is bad. Oh, the pure slapstick events, the falls and so forth are executed competently, but there is little sense of any character in this comedy about a sailor who drinks too much.

The gags are relevant to the situation: his mates torment him with snakes -- making him think he has the D.T.s, but mostly it is fast and furious in the Keystone mold, without any of Keystone's fine editing.

Worthwhile for completists and for people who like to wonder how he got from things like this to masterpieces like MOVE ON and THE MOVIES.


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