The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
25 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Hollywood "Joy Powder" classic
Schlockmeister17 July 2000
I first came across this little gem while watching "Night Flight" on the USA Network in the very early 1980s. I was astounded and thought this must surely be a clever parody of silent movies, I mean the drug use was just so, BLATANT. I have never seen anything like it since and I am thankful that I was recording the show that night so I can convince myself that it was NOT just a dream and that there really was such a movie. A wonderful, silent comedy that will have you bug-eyed with amazement as well as laughing uproariously. Not Cheech & Chong crude, but weird in a spooky 1916 way, maybe the good old days werent as "innocent" as we are led to believe. if you get a chance (although I dont know who would DARE show this on TV anymore...) SEE IT! Behold, Bemuse and Bewilder!
16 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
citizenjklm6 June 2006
I haven't seen this film since the '70s midnight movies craze. This short blew by, but was incredibly funny.

Detective Coke Ennyday's clock (set on Sleep as we first see him with his head down on his desk) has four settings: Eat-Drink-Sleep & Dope.

When the hands shift to Dope, Ennyday pulls out of Flour Canister, opens it to reveal contents of white powder, grabs a handful and blows it for comedic effect about his face and the room.

As I recall the depiction of opium dens is somewhat ominous (probably quite scary for 1916 movie audiences). There is an air of anti-Chinese sentiment in the film (also playing upon 1916 fears?)

And yes, Ennyday has a television transmitter that he uses to communicate. Odd to see from a 1916 film, but actually pretty accurate in its design to some of the earliest TV Tuners.

Thank you, IMDb, for helping me to track down the title to this film. I need to seek it out for another viewing.
13 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Yes, they knew what drugs were...
Silent_Era14 January 2006
What an amazing piece of history! Most people don't know that, yes, cocaine was in extremely wide recreational use in the years between 1900-1925. In fact it was something of an epidemic in the latter years of that period. The facts that hospitals were swamped with cocaine addicts and that as much as a 1/5 of some city populations were registered as addicted are lost to common historical knowledge.

However this film, made by Tod Browning (the infamous creator of "Freaks"), has absolutely nothing negative to say about cocaine: Cocaine is funny, cocaine is fun, and cocaine lets you do superhuman things.

Fairbanks, who was a coke addict in real life, stars in this film. It's funny simply for the fact that it's an unapologetic pro-drug comedy, though if you don't find that kind of thing funny, you won't find this movie interesting at all. In fact it seems like the movie was made on drugs, the titles go by so quickly that you'd have to be a member of Mensa just to read them without pausing. The plot is nonexistent, it's just a series of cheap drug gags, in the vein of Cheech & Chong had they lived in 1915.
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Weird, and They Knew It
Cineanalyst31 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Douglas Fairbanks successfully starred in modern comedies before embarking on his better-remembered career of historical swashbucklers in the 1920s. "The Mystery of the Leaping Fish", however, isn't like his other comedies. It's his only two-reel short film, as he otherwise made feature-length productions of five reels or more. It's most outrageously different, however, for its humorous portrayal of drug use. In it, Fairbanks plays a detective with a drug habit, or rather a life of drugs—a Sherlock Holmes parody; throughout the picture, he pokes himself with syringes he carries in a bandolier, when not snorting cocaine by the handful, drinking concocted cocktails, or eating gobs of opium. It gives a completely new meaning to Fairbanks's usual exuberance. Appropriately, his character's name is Coke Ennyday. Ironically, this drug-fiend detective foils a plot by smugglers to import drugs.

"The Mystery of the Leaping Fish" has acquired a decent cult status for a silent film from the 1910s, and I consider it one of Fairbanks's most enjoyable comedies. Yet, Fairbanks, reportedly, disliked it so much that he didn't want it distributed. According to Jeffrey Vance ("Douglas Fairbanks"), the film was made twice: first by Christy Cabanne, who was fired and whose footage was entirely discarded, and then by John Emerson with the assistance of Tod Browning—this second filming is what was released and what we see today. Besides Fairbanks, credit here needs to go to Browning's very original scenario, in addition to Emerson's direction and Anita Loos's title card writing. In the end and within the movie, the film we just saw turns out to be a scenario pitch by Fairbanks, and it's such a weird idea that it's rejected. I like it.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Absolutely Wacky!
crs30827 July 2006
Great for a laugh, this film is totally bizarre! Perhaps the single strangest silent comedy I've ever seen, it's very enjoyable, and leaves a viewer with the question, "where on earth did they get this stuff?!" Like a version of Popeye who is powered by drugs in the place of spinach, Douglas Fairbanks' "Coke Ennyday" is the manifestation of absurdity. His wild inventions and disguises add even more flavor to this already ludicrous comedy. The film's wacky style is reminiscent of "Alice in Wonderland," and the sheer preposterousness of its goings-on are enough to bewilder the brain while delighting the heart. I would recommend this film to anyone who is willing to give it a chance. Hilarious and bizarre!
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The early days of drug humor
selfhelpradio15 September 2000
This very strange comedy from 1916 features a not-quite-yet-a-star Douglas Fairbanks (Senior) as Coke Ennyday, a bumbling private detective who spends most of his time injecting, snorting, or otherwise ingesting opium & cocaine products. ("Coke Ennyday" - get it?)

There's neat-o effects like backwards film to show Ennyday leaping out of water or onto rafters, as well as some minor slapstick, but the film's not all that funny, just weird. A recurring image is Ennyday looking a bit down, hand propping up his drooping face, the other reaching into his rope where a a belt of syringes is strapped around his chest. He'll take a syringe, inject himself, & then his face will beam with happiness.

Was drug humor like this popular in the 1910s? Did people really have that sort of knowledge about what cocaine could do? I don't really know, but for the modern audience - I saw this last night & the crowd ate it up - its utter strangeness & the farce that drug use is returned to is sure to please.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
THE MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH (John Emerson and, uncredited, Christy Cabanne, 1916) ***
Bunuel19766 January 2009
I know allusions to drug addiction in cinema date as far back as the Silent era, but surely none were as blatant as this bizarre Sherlock Holmes parody! From a story by future horror exponent Tod Browning and starring Douglas Fairbanks (as removed from his typical characterization as can be imagined), it deals with the exploits of master detective Coke Ennyday(!) who's constantly lifting himself up – via the intake of drugs – from apparently chronic moroseness. He contrives nevertheless to accept the titular case, centering around a seaside ring of smugglers (whose leader is literally depicted as being covered in money); aiding the hero in thwarting their nefarious plans is Bessie Love, who shows to be perfectly capable of standing up to any man. While the detection in itself is nothing special, the sheer amorality on display lends the whole a decidedly grotesque quality – which, with the star's perpetual drowsy/euphoric countenance, undeniably heightens the film's comic quotient; the sheer fact that it's all eventually revealed as merely a story being pitched to the studio by Fairbanks, but which is unsurprisingly rejected, clearly makes this a case of 'having your cake and eating it'!
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Detective movie parody
psteier7 February 2000
One of the funniest movies ever (in my unhumble opinion) and must be seen to be believed. Modern "scientific" detective Douglas Fairbanks gets on the case of an opium smuggling gang and rescues the kidnapped girl from the gang's Chinese hideout.

Contains what may be the first television shown in a movie.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Love this movie - and the music
comz2u8 October 2006
I've had a copy of this film for years - got it as a gift from someone about 14 years ago on a 'compliation' video. Always pulled this one out for sharing because people are amazed when they see it - it's outrageous. Even had a friend who went as "Coke Ennyday" for a Halloween party one year! I find the film ridiculously funny and some of the stunts are hilarious.

The film is a detective parady, a farce and, to me, a social commentary, a insider's wink at friends on the madness of the drug use that was presumably going on all over - before all the regulations. Just fun, fun, fun. That in itself is what is so amazing about it. It will alter any conservative romanticism about the good ole 'daze'! No one has commented on the rich and hilarious background track of music (I've got one on mine) filled with early American music all about drugs. The songs and the music are fabulous.

To me, this is a film made by friends for friends.

I haven't pulled this one out for years but will go on the hunt for it and watch it again - I absolutely love Douglas Fairbanks. I'm looking forward to getting The Thief Of Bagdad which is one of my favorites.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hopped Up
tedg26 June 2008
Usually when you delve into films this old and minor, its a slog through the ordinary. But every once in a while, you encounter something pretty radical.

This is a story of an ersatz Sherlock Holmes played by Douglas Fairbanks (senior), and is framed by him as himself trying to sell the script.

Within the story proper, we have two components. One is a spoof of Sherlock as a dope fiend, someone who literally cannot go more than 60 seconds without an injection. The second component is a reduced mystery involving drug smuggling and ending with the detective "Coke Ennyday" getting the girl. Both of these use the same comic devices involving the effects of cocaine, then legal.

Its a bit tiresome after a while, but the thing continues to surprise with secondary comic effects that are quite clever. In fact, I enjoyed this more than the last twenty contemporary comedies I have seen. But then I am a particularly receptive audience because I take the detective form so seriously.

The talent here is Tod Browning, from the era of "Intolerance." It shows.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Something happened
larcher-26 August 1999
Something happened when Hollywood got respectable; it got less fun. This is a silly bit of nonsense that had a brief revival as camp 25 or 30 years ago. It merely plays off the fact that, according to his creator, Sherlock Holmes was a cocaine addict. Later films that touched on this subject (most notably The Seven Percent Solution) generally had to treat it as Watson did--the disease of a great man. I certainly don't advocate drug abuse, but zany Holmes the cokehead is far more congenial than dutiful sober Holmes surrendering his mystery to the dull schematics of that officious intermeddler, Dr. Freud.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Douglas Fairbanks Classic
tscarface21 June 2005
I haven't seen this unique silent movie for many years but remember it well as I was completely taken by surprise one night when I was channel surfing. I don't remember what channel or even what year I first viewed the short classic. I thought maybe that I was dreaming because there is nobody that I have asked about the movie that has ever seen it or even heard of it. I have been working on a project near some ancient fish ponds on the Big Island of Hawaii recently and these ponds are loaded with these incredible leaping fish. They are a treat to watch and very entertaining. These mysterious leaping fish reminded me of the movie title and now I would love to have a copy of this short silent. It is truly a Douglas Fairbanks Classic. Anyone know where a copy might be available? TD
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An Unique Silent Masterpiece.
FerdinandVonGalitzien11 February 2007
Even for a German aristocrat there are some bizarre films that just can't be understood. This happens each time in the Schloss is shown "The Mystery Of The Leaping Fish", a film directed by Herr John Emerson and produced by D. W. Griffith's "Triangle" society.

Probably the habits of its principal male character, a bizarre detective who's name is Coke Ennyday ( played by a young and funny Herr Douglas Fairbanks ) are not very common among the aristocratic class ( or at least in such huge proportions… ) and the costumes that he wears are too eccentric for the Teutonic bourgeoisie more accustomed to elegant dress and discreet cocktail suits. Not to mention that the gadgets that Herr Ennyday uses are too modern for the 10's… Anyway, whatever it is, each time this German count watches this bizarre, inventive, bold, amazing film full of puns written by Dame Anita Loos and assisted by Herr Tod Browning, the miracle happens and this German count… laughs in a stentorian voice!.

"The Mystery Of The Leaping Fish" is rarity, a film that even today astonishes the audience with its superb political incorrectness, a surreal, indescribable and unclassifiable film; that is to say, an unique silent masterpiece.

And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must sniff snuff.

Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien
6 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Coke Adds Life
wes-connors6 April 2008
Douglas Fairbanks (as Coke Ennyday) is the world's greatest scientific detective. A comic "Sherlock Holmes", Mr. Fairbanks regulates his day with a special spinner-type clock - with hands for "Sleep," "Eat," "Dope," and "Drink." Obviously, given the name "Coke Ennyday", doping is his preferred activity, and cocaine his drug of choice. Police Chief Tom Wilson (as I.M. Keene) implores Fairbanks to investigate suspected opium smuggler A.D. Sears. Along the way, he meets fish-blower Bessie Love (her real name). Alma Rubens and Charles Stevens lend their support. All this, and written by D.W. Griffith and Tod Browning! Due to its subject matter, "The Mystery of the Leaping Fish" has been elevated far above its worth. It is, nevertheless, fun. As the dope fiendish detective, Douglas Fairbanks hits the spot.

**** The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (6/11/16) John Emerson ~ Douglas Fairbanks, Bessie Love, Allan Sears
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Douglas Fairbanks is Coke Enyday, a drug fueled scientific detective
prettycleverfilmgal31 May 2012
Thanks to the generosity and hospitality of an awesome Toronto film fan, I had the opportunity to see The Mystery of the Leaping Fish last weekend. I've seen this silent short before, but it's been awhile and I had forgotten how truly weird and oddball it is. I think a lot of silent film fans probably skipped this one, or never quite caught it. I also think a lot of viewers, even seasoned silent film viewers, will be surprised at how very subversive this little gem is.

The Mystery of the Leaping Fish stars Douglas Fairbanks as Coke Ennyday, the "scientific detective." Old Coke divides his time between, as the movie so delightfully informs us, "Sleeps" "Eats," "Dope," and "Drink." Despite the fact that he's coked out his gourd, he stumbles across an opium smuggling ring. The Chinese or Japanese or some kind of hybrid Chapanese are smuggling opium via "Leaping Fishes" amusements, i.e. inflatable fish rafts for rent by the seashore. For some inexplicable reason, a Gent Rolling in Wealth (A. D. Sears) is blackmailing the Gang Leader (William Lowery) to force the Little Fish Blower (Bessie Love) – yeah, you read that right – to marry him. Zaniness ensures, Coke Ennyday helps the Police Chief I.M. Keene (Tom Wilson) bust the smugglers, the Little Fish Blower doesn't have to blow any more fish, do any more blow, or marry anybody, and all is right with the world.

The plot isn't the wildest part. Aside from starring silent powerhouse Fairbanks, the scenario was written by Tod Browning. And an uncredited D.W. Griffith. And intertitled by Anita Loos. Basically, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish is the Traveling Wilburys of movies, with about the same results. Much like that pop super-group, the final product doesn't measure up to the collected talent pool. In fact, the whole thing is just very… odd. Dare I say it seems like the product of some coke fueled lost weekend? The sort of thing that seemed like a good idea at the time? None of which is to say you should not watch The Mystery of the Leaping Fish. You should watch it. One, Fairbanks, though he doesn't look quite himself in this flick, is always Fairbanks. To see him do "coked up" is to see some of his patented amazing physicality. But mostly you should watch it to be boggled by the daringness of the subject matter and boldness of the satire. I mean, The Little Fish Blower? How very outre. Most viewers who sit down to watch a silent film made in 1916 probably aren't quite prepared to see a lead actor wearing a bandolier of hypos and taking handfuls of white powder from a bucket labeled "cocaine" and rubbing it all over his face. It takes a lot to shock a modern cinema goer, but there are some, if not shocking, at lease very surprising things here.

Often, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish is described as a pro-drug farce. I wouldn't say that, but mostly because the narrative is too muddled to be pro or con anything. Coke Ennyday and the police seem to be a-OK with Coke's coke use, but they take a less approving approach to the opium smugglers. Yet Coke dips into the opium as well. While the filmmakers have a firm grasp on the effects of cocaine, opium doesn't typically get ya all jazzed up. Or, um, so I've been told. If there was some point being made here, I'm not at all sure what it was.

All in all, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish is deeply weird. See it for the sight gags (check out Coke's checkered car!) and Fairbanks at his absolute nuttiest. Also see it for strangely discombobulating experience of seeing it and puzzling over it.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Have no fear. Coke Ennyday, the scientific detective will protect you"
ackstasis29 January 2011
Sherlock Holmes was written as a flawed individual, a mind so brilliant that, when deprived of stimulation, it turns to artificial stimulants – namely, opium. 'The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916),' a clear parody of Holmes, takes this vice to the extreme. Coke Ennyday (Douglas Fairbanks) sits in his laboratory, puffing on a pipe and regularly pumping himself with a cocaine syringe he keeps on a holster around his chest. His wall-mounted clock has no need for hours or minutes, but instead divides its time between the activities "Eats," "Sleep," "Dope," and "Drinks." On this occasion, the great detective is consulted by the Secret Service Chief (Tom Wilson), who is admitted to the lab only after observation through a primitive surveillance camera, described as a "scientific periscope." (I seem to recall that Louis Feuillade's serial 'Judex (1916)' also featured a similar gadget).

'The Mystery of the Leaping Fish' is an odd little spoof. It was released two years after cocaine was effectively outlawed in the United States by the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914. Our hero's mission, though this becomes a little unclear in the convoluted middle-act, is to bust an opium-smuggling operation. He does this, but not before he's tasted enough of the stuff to satisfy his appetite. Drug addiction is lightly passed over as an amusing quirk. Whenever he feels down, Coke Ennyday injects himself with cocaine, and immediately perks up, proceeding to laugh and dance across the room (indeed, he essentially bounces through the entire final act). Drugs are even depicted as a useful weapon of sorts: when faced with one formidable foe, Ennyday simply injects his opponent, who promptly jumps to the ceiling. In scenes like this, reversed footage is used to amusing effect, as in G.W. Bitzer's 'The Impossible Convicts (1906).'
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fairbanks in a burlesque short written by Browning
Cristi_Ciopron21 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed THE MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH, with who else than Douglas Fairbanks as Coke Ennyday, a burlesque comedy distinguished concomitantly by inner merits—i.e., as a funny burlesque, sprite and nonsensical—and by the cast (--the said Fairbanks--) and screenwriter—Tod Browning.

Coke Ennyday, a detective described as a drug—addicted himself, uncovers a band of opium smugglers, the Leaping Fish being a place on the beach, where Coke goes to track down the smugglers; the _absurdism of this short burlesque requires a certain degree of sophistication. This kind of freedom was later suppressed or molded by the mainstream audiences' requirements.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Truly Bizarre
JoeytheBrit26 June 2009
I never knew a 90-year-old film like this - humorously advocating the use of cocaine and opium in a spoof of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes - existed, and watching it is a little like stepping into some parallel universe; one where America's golden action man Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is an inanely grinning dope fiend, bouncing around on the balls of his feet with a big grin on his face, completely out of his head for the film's entire running time.

He plays a detective who eats, sleeps, drinks and takes dope when he isn't solving crime. When we're introduced to him he's sitting at a desk with a huge tub of cocaine on it and repeatedly injecting into his arm. He's asked by the chief of police to investigate a suspicious character who is rolling in money and, in no time at all, nabs the bad guys and wins the winsome Bessie Love, who we first meet blowing up a fish. It's that kind of movie, and while it won't have you laughing out loud too often it will surely leave you questioning whether you're really seeing what you're seeing.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Side-splitting FUNNY !
teraplanez21 March 2005
I saw this movie several times in the mid-70's at our local "LOOSE RADIO LATE SHOW" at mid-night showings in a local theater. They always showed it with "REEFER MADNESS" for some reason. ( go figure )It is and always will be one of the most memorable and funny movies I have ever seen. I never knew Coke was played by Douglas Fairbanks! He must have been VERY young as I think this movie was made in 1915 or something like that. When you see "Coke" do his little hot-foot jig after a much welcomed injection, hence the name, "Coke Ennyday", I guarantee laughter will be had by all. I also wanted to say, I saw a video by the Rolling Stones called UNDERCOVER I think, and they have a clip of Coke Ennyday doing his jig and it is in PERFECT time with the song! I LOVED IT!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cult Laugh
happytrigger-64-39051720 January 2018
This short written by Tod Browning in his early days is a true cult comedy so dumb you really laugh at Douglas Fairbanks speedy fights. When I showed it to so many friends since the 80's, everybody enjoyed. What a pity the french Cinémathèque won't show it at the Tod Browning retrospective next month, it would have been my favorite show for this unforgettable "junk".
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Thud! - that would be my jaw hitting the floor.
beckydi25 October 2004
The sheer thud of my jaw dropping and hitting the floorboards while watching this silent film is enough to recommend it. Innocent times? I don't think so. More naive than anything else.

I do not advocate drug use (just wanted to make that clear) but this should be viewed by anyone interested in film. Then watch 'Reefer Madness.' What a difference in American social opinion! While old Sherlock is snuffing up cocaine and injecting himself silly while still managing to solve a case, the teenagers have a couple of joints and end up doing stupid things like murder, suicide, attempted rape, hit and run...

'The Mystery of the Leaping fish' is funny because it's shocking - the flippancy with which drug use is treated is breath taking. It should not be taken seriously, obviously, but it is an interesting piece in terms of social/cultural context.

Who knew?!
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
More mediocrity than mystery
Horst_In_Translation2 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"The Mystery of the Leaping Fish" is an American 25-minute live action short film from 1916, which means not only that this is over a century old already, but that it is of course a black-and-white silent movie. We are not getting one of the biggest stars here, Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, maybe Arbuckle and Griffith too, but instead the main character is played by Douglas Fairbanks, a big star in his own right too and Bessie Love, an early Oscar nominee. Other than that, the film offers story-wise what most films had to offer back then: a little romance story line, lots of movement-based comedy if you want to call it that in the sense of slapstick and an antagonist too. Also being in costume and hiding from somebody looking for the character is also used in here on one occasions, nothing too frequent I believe during that time. But the car comedy is (driving in circles here) and police, frequently in a way to show how incompetent they are, in films were pretty common back then as well. Anyway, this is of course all about the comedy and (despite the title) never a mystery movie. But sadly, the comedy is not particularly good or funny. Especially the shenanigans of Fairbanks' character are far from as memorable as the costume may suggest. In addition, the story was so over the top too that it was difficult to understand what was going on most of the time and the film really could have done with considerably more intertitles. The comedy here is mostly scene-focused, which means there is one comedic approach to most individual scenes, but it does not work on a bigger scale of things and the linksbetween scenes feel very vague most of the time. This description fits many silent films from back in the day and it may be among the biggest problems as well for films from back then. This just takes the flow out of the plot and story, and consequently the entire movie as well. So unless you are a really huge silent film fan and Fairbanks film, you may wanna skip this one. It never felt convincing or memorable and I suggest you go for something else instead.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A fun little parody of Holmes'...or at least one of his bad habits
Vigilante-40710 February 1999
This is one of those weird little silent movies that you occasionally stumble upon...the kind you watch often with your jaw agape.

Coke Ennyday (portrayed by Douglas Fairbanks of all people) has a drug habit worse than Cheech and Chong. He is constantly shooting up from a bandolier of syringes...and goes wild after finding a tin full of opium. It's so exaggerated that it is funny...if you look at it in the eyes of those relatively innocent times and not the more troubled era we currently live in.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The day is saved thanks to COCAINE!!!
MartinHafer14 December 2006
This is an absolutely peculiar comedy short. While I have seen and enjoyed a few Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. comedy shorts (such as THE NUT), this one left me feeling pretty perplexed! That's because the film is so incredibly dark and inappropriate, with its humor based on cocaine abuse! The main character is named 'Coke Ennyday' and he is a detective much like Sherlock Holmes--but with a HUGE capacity for drugs that even Sherlock could never match. He injects coke and throws clouds of coke in the air with reckless abandon. All this is supposed to be funny, but I actually found it both disturbing and an interesting historical curio, as back in the days this was made, coke was more commonly accepted and people joked about it! The short has a lot of energy and dares to be different, but isn't all that funny. But, if you are int he mood for something WEIRD, this is for you!!
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Dope Anyone?
Michael_Elliott27 February 2008
Mystery of the Flying Fish, The (1916)

** (out of 4)

Extremely bizarre spoof of Sherlock Holmes written by Tod Browning and an uncredited D.W. Griffith with Douglas Fairbanks in the lead. Detective Coke Ennyday (Fairbanks) spends all his time drinking booze, snorting cocaine and smoking pot but he gets a chance at a comeback when the flying fish shows up. Can you imagine a comedy where the hero spends all day snorting cocaine? I guess this short goes to show that Browning was a bit twisted even before getting into the director's chair but outside all the drugs this film is pretty much dead on arrival. There aren't any laughs and the drug jokes don't go over too well. Certainly worth watching once but that's about it.
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed