Papa is taking his daughter Mabel to an automobile race. Mabel is in love with Teddy Tetzlaff, but Papa prefers Earl Cooper, and he schemes to try to prevent Tetzlaff from winning the race. As the race begins, Papa and Mabel are watching it together with conflicting loyalties and strong emotions.Written by
The main titles and the inter-titles both misspell race car driver Teddy Tetzlaff's name as "Tetzlaft". His name is shown spelled correctly when his racing car is seen with the name painted on it. See more »
The Keystone short comedy "The Speed Kings" served mostly as a pretext for showing extended footage of racing cars with their real-life drivers. Since automobiles and movies were both still rather new, this was probably fun and exciting to watch at the time. And it is still enjoyable to see extensive footage of Teddy Tetzlaff and Earl Cooper, plus a glimpse of Barney Oldfield.
It also features Mabel Normand as a fan watching a big race, and 'Fatty' Arbuckle in a small part, but in the actual story, that's about it. The plot is thin, and there is not much actual comedy, just a couple of worthwhile gags.
Because of the footage of some of the top racers of the day, it's certainly of historical interest, and that's really the main reason to watch it. But you could certainly do far worse with your free time than spending it watching Mabel Normand plus some rather interesting historical footage.
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