Not particularly entertaining and a bit offensive to boot
James Parrott is also known as "Paul Parrott" and those in the know may remember him as the director of many of Laurel and Hardy's best films (such as the Oscar-winning MUSIC BOX as well as HELPMATES and PARDON US). However, before directing Stan and Ollie, his brother Charley Chase, the Little Rascals and others, he was a silent comedian himself--having appeared in well over a hundred films!
Sadly, although Parrott was an accomplished comic, this film is far from his best and is rather lame compared to other similar films of the era. Part of this is because the film isn't all that funny and I was not thrilled to see the old cliché of the "scared black man" used for laughs. Back then, seeing a black man acting like a fool when he thinks he saw a ghost was a big laugh-getting but today it is justifiably seen as insensitive (plus not all that funny). An additional problem is that the film was converted to film as the wrong speed. Silent films were hand-cranked at a rate ranging from about 16-22 frames per second but sound films are always played at 24 fps--and without compensating for this difference, silent films usually look very fast. Well, in this case they overcompensated and the characters move like they are acting in molasses. It's just too slow. Finally, there is a huge chunk of the film missing--a common problem with films made on old fashioned nitrate stock (which degrades quickly over time).
The final verdict is that this is one of the more forgettable silent comedies and is only of interest to nuts like me who adore ALL silent comedies. Just don't expect gold with this one! For a better Parrott film, try POST NO BILLS--also on volume 2 of "The American Slapstick" DVD set.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?