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The Paperhangers' Revenge (1918)

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Short | Comedy

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Ham and Bud Without the Ham
8 April 2016 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Ham and Bud were Kalem's comedy duo -- assuming, of course, that you can have comedy without anything funny happening, which apparently you can. After Kalem collapsed and they broke up the pair, Lloyd Hamilton became one of the most accomplished comedy performers of the 1920s and Bud Duncan continued working for twenty years for no discernible reason. This short subject is an exhibit for the second half of that statement.

The issue I have with Duncan is that his comedy character here, as at Kalem, does nasty things for no reason. All good comedy is transgressive, but not all transgressions are funny. When they make us look at something in a different way, we laugh. When Bud Duncan does something mean, it's because he's a malevolent little man.

Kewpie Morgan is Duncan's partner in paper hanging in this one and he seems to do pretty much as he is told, not helping nor hindering the action in particular. It is Bud Duncan who continues in his traditional course of random and ill-natured violence against strangers and acquaintances. As is traditional in his films, at the end, the other actors attack him, but never manage to kill him, leaving him alive to perform his acts of malevolence in the following movie.

This short subject can be found -- although I recommend skipping it -- on the FOUND AT MOSTLY LOST DVD from Undercrank productions. Some of the other short subjects are excellent, but this one should have not been found.


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