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His New Mamma (1924)

The aging father of a farm lad thinks the boy is after dad's fiancée, so he banishes the lad. The young man heads to California where he drives a cab. Through a fare, he meets a lovely ... See full summary »

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Mack Sennett (story), Jack Wagner
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Cast

Cast overview:
Harry Langdon ... The Farmer Boy
Madeline Hurlock ... The Farmer Boy's New Mamma
Andy Clyde ... The Farmer Boy's Father
Tiny Ward Tiny Ward ... Mamma's Chauffeur
Alice Day ... The Heiress
Jack Cooper Jack Cooper ... The Heiress's Guardian
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Storyline

The aging father of a farm lad thinks the boy is after dad's fiancée, so he banishes the lad. The young man heads to California where he drives a cab. Through a fare, he meets a lovely lassie. His work takes him to the beach, where he sees dad's fiancée with another man. He calls home and learns she's deserted his father after cleaning him out. The lad and his lassie follow the woman and try to prevent her from marrying yet another rich man. She's abetted by her chauffeur. Will our farm boy and his sweetie stop injustice from happening again? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

lost film | See All (1) »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Taxi Scab See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Mack Sennett Comedies See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
Funny mix of slow Langdon and typical Sennett style
23 September 2009 | by hte-trasmeSee all my reviews

I watched the fifteen-minute partial reconstruction of this short, available on the "Harry Langdon Collection: Lost and Found" DVD set. If you have access to the full twenty-minute-or-so version, contact a film archive as soon as you can.

This short was made earlier on in Langdon's career with Mack Sennett's studios, before the formula that characterized his best films was really found. Though it is not perfection, it is fortunately very funny. Unlike in the two Langdon films i have seen from earlier than this, "Picking Peaches" and "Smile Please," Harry is pretty much playing his fully-fledged character, though the direction and film-making style has not adopted to and is very much of typical Sennett slapstick.

Harry himself is wonderful, and his "little boy" characterization his fully here, eagerly awaiting Santa's coming at Christmas morning while his father completely distrusts him, and running innocently into the arms of his youthful, gold-digging "mamma" when he runs into her gold-digging in California. One suspects he may have been cast out of character before only because he was given scripts mean for other or generic comedians.

While this childlike, bewildered style isn't really best suited to the fast, wild Sennett style, it doesn't conflict with it so much that it jars. We go from a wonderful, funny, understated sequence sequence of Harry menaced at night by a floating balloon in a hat, to a fast, rough-and-tumble sequence with Harry chased through the snow by his father (Andy Clyde in a huge false beard), in which they both seem to be wearing real nightshirts in real snow.

Of course, Sennett didn't miss too many opportunities, it seems, to include his famous Bathing Beauties in a film, and here, in a odd little meta-film touch, they play the Sennett Bathing Beauties, taking Harry's cab to the beach so they can appear in a Sennett film (and treating Harry rather badly -- not paying their fare and stealing his tires!). The plot around here isn't so tightly constructed of course, but it still engages in the humor of the uncomfortable situation revolving around Harry at the center to some degree, which would be exploited to such good effect in later movies.

If the direction would slow down enough to let Harry put his funny little character moments through (like his stunned checking of the back of his car for more passengers once his fares haven't payed), the film would be even better, but it's undeniably funny and enjoyable all the same.


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