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I agree with Michael_Elliot's review. "The Country Gentlemen" isn't a
particularly good short because it isn't particularly funny...a serious
problem when it's supposed to be a comedy. And, I can see why Jack Born
and Elmer Lawrence never went on to be famous film comedians.
When the film begins, the pair very awkwardly sing "Sleepytime Gal"...a modestly interesting ditty. But they don't know what to do with their hands and the song comes off poorly. Worse yet, when they talk and do comedy I never laughed once...and can only assume the duo were much, much better on stage than they were in front of the camera. A historical curio but not among one of the better Vitaphone shorts.
The Country Gentlemen (1929)
** (out of 4)
Jack Born and Elmer Lawrence get their names above the title in this Vitaphone short that has then doing two musical numbers and a comedy routine. This team actually ended up doing three shorts for Vitaphone so I'm guessing someone out there must have really enjoyed the act but I'm not one of them. I can't judge everything the two did in their careers by just this one short but there's no question that I don't see why they got to make others and especially considering some of the good acts I've seen that only made one film. The first song is "Sleepy Time Girl" and I guess their idea of funny was making various hand gestures while they sang the song. "Silver Threads Among the Gold" and "Down Home Rag" are also performed with a lot less hand motion. The comedy skip in between the musical numbers features another man coming out to ask questions and this is where most of the comedy goes bad. There's just nothing funny about the material and their shell shocked joke from WWI is just downright silly and doesn't work. With that said, there's still something rather unique about the two men that keep this thing mildly entertaining but thankfully it only lasts 7-minutes.
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