NO CHILDREN is absolutely one of the funniest short films I have ever seen. One of the last silent screen shorts, it has a goof ball storyline so absurd that the fact the family depicted carry it out, is a revelation in comedy creation. Apparently one of a series that may or may not still exist, and from a comic strip, NO CHILDREN runs about 20 minutes and has about three zillion jokes crammed and milked from every single thing on screen. Here is the basic premise: A family with two young boys, one 8 and one 4 cannot get a room at a any hotel they go to because of the NO CHILDREN policy. So the parents pretend they are in show business and their kids are ventriloquist dummies. The two children act it out along with Mum and Dad to complete calamity in every room and hallway, with frozen poses anytime anyone comes past or looks like quizzing them. Chases galore and running about from room to room, in cellars, down a laundry chute with the kids freezing or leaning or lying about when anyone comes near. What adds to the sheer hilarity is the costume of the younger boy. He really is about 4 years old and wears the biggest hoop hemmed coat that almost makes him look like an umbrella. His little legs and baby shoes rush about with him tipping into cupboards and around hallways, and most hilariously shows a nappy with a huge baby pin every time he stops, freezes and stands on his head. It is one of the funniest ideas for a short film and produced with utter roof raising laughter in mind. A restoration from the Library of Congress film fund, NO CHILDREN might be available on DVD as a heritage shorts program. If you ever see it advertised grab the kids and see it.
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