Until February 21, 2008, this film had never been shown theatrically anywhere in America because of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle's murder trial, except for special screenings such as the ones in Washington, D.C. at the American Film Institute theater at the Kennedy Center on 18 March 1981, in Los Angeles CA at the Fairfax Theatre 10 April 1981 and at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley CA on 22 August 1993. See more »
In 2005, Laughsmith Entertainment copyrighted an 56-minute version of this film, with a new musical score compiled by Rodney Sauer and Susan Hall and performed by The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. See more »
Roscoe swims to Japan
"Leap Year", starring Roscoe Arbuckle, was never released ... as it was about to be shipped to distributors when the scandal broke that destroyed Arbuckle's career. Tragically, the film was banned in Britain and several other nations during the furore over Arbuckle's alleged crimes. (He was eventually acquitted on all charges, yet the ban remained in place.) This film has a large production budget, some splendid location shots, and a witty script. "Leap Year" is excellent proof that Arbuckle was a major film star before his career came crashing down.
In "Leap Year", Roscoe is a wealthy Californian who just can't help attracting gorgeous women, even though he has a "steady girl". Considering Arbuckle's unromantic physique, we have to wonder how much of this female interest is directed towards his bank balance. There's one surprising shot in this movie, in which a man (not Arbuckle) enters a house through the bathroom window. He is clearly shown stepping onto the toilet seat, and using the toilet as a step to reach the floor. Film historians usually cite "The Crowd" (1928) as the first Hollywood movie to show a toilet, but "Leap Year" got there sooner.
One funny sequence, in which Roscoe tries to swim to Japan with his clothes on, shows Arbuckle's agility in the water. He was a very graceful man, despite his bulk. I give "Leap Year" 7 points.
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