A man has everything: dozens of servants, a palace, vast woods, gardens, a lake, mechanical toys, private entertainment troupes of musicians and dancers. He has it all - but love. When ... See full summary »
A young New Yorker is the bane of his Christian parent's existence because of his constant carousing and partying at all hours. As such, his father decides to send the young man to live at ranch of his uncle in Piute Pass in the wild west to get him away from the New York temptations that lead to this unwanted behavior. Before he even gets to the ranch, the young man gets into one misadventure after another using his New York sensibilities in Piute Pass. His primary misadventure involves a sweet young ingénue, the two who fall for each other at first sight. Her father is being held captive by "Tiger Lip" Tompkins, who owns half the county and bullies the rest with his band called the Masked Angels. The ransom is her womanly favors to him. The young man tries to help free the father so that the young man and the ingénue can live happily ever after together, which does not sit well with Tiger Lip and the Masked Angels.Written by
Anyone who wants to know why Harold Lloyd was so popular during the 1920s should take a look at this film: it's one of the most satisfying short comedies he ever made. An Eastern Westerner is consistently clever and amusing, well-paced and packed with gags from the opening scene to the final fade-out. What's more, Harold himself is charming, displaying just the right blend of self-assurance, exuberance and humility. I must confess I find Harold a little hard to take in some of his early comedies -- sometimes he's so aggressive he borders on obnoxiousness -- but here he's an appealing figure throughout, ever more sympathetic as the story rolls along.
An Eastern Westerner offers exactly what the title promises, a displaced dude forced to deal with life in the wild & woolly West. There's a girl (of course) and a bully (ditto), and it all culminates in a chase. Harold follows in the footsteps of Douglas Fairbanks, who played a boyish character in a similar situation in a 1917 feature appropriately titled Wild and Woolly. But although Harold is a fish out of water in this instance he's no bonehead, and it's refreshing to see that, like Doug before him, he quickly adapts to the difficulties he faces, uses his brains, and manages to come out on top. At the same time, he has a sense of humor and isn't arrogant. When his attempts to impress leading lady Mildred Davis backfire and she laughs at him, Harold is big enough to join in and laugh at himself, and we like him for it. This likability wasn't always present in Lloyd's earlier films, where gags were all-important and his behavior was sometimes callous. In An Eastern Westerner Harold has graduated from clown to hero.
Beyond its value as a laugh-provoker this movie should also be of interest to fans of early Westerns, for the filmmakers evidently took care with production details to a degree that is surprising in a two-reel comedy. This really looks like a Western! The town of Piute Pass (where, we're told, "it's considered bad form to shoot the same man twice in the same day") is as dusty and rough-looking as the town of Hell's Hinges, and the bully of Piute Pass could appear in a William S. Hart epic without having to change costume. Sequences in the saloon involving fighting, card-playing and dancing could be excerpted and passed off as clips from serious Westerns of the era. While these production details are gratifying, this engaging comedy is already well worth seeing as a fine example of what made Harold Lloyd a top star.
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