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The Luck o' the Foolish (1924)

Harry and Marcie are on a train headed for a new job. There's comedy in the berths and during Harry's morning shave, then a thief steals the money Harry needed for his new job, so he has to... See full summary »

Director:

Harry Edwards
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Cast

Cast overview:
Harry Langdon ... Mr. Newlywed
Marceline Day ... Mrs. Newlywed
Frank J. Coleman Frank J. Coleman ... Derrick Wells - the Heavy
Madeline Hurlock ... Adeline McClusky - the Flirt
Eli Stanton Eli Stanton ... Dangerous Dan McGrew
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Storyline

Harry and Marcie are on a train headed for a new job. There's comedy in the berths and during Harry's morning shave, then a thief steals the money Harry needed for his new job, so he has to go back to being a beat cop and Marcie works as a seamstress. One evening, she delivers a dress to a party; a Lothario asks the hostess to get Marcie to stay. Outside the same house, Harry the cop is investigating strange noises. Thieves, bombs, a wallet, a swimming pool, and misunderstandings figure in the luck of our foolish but winsome pair. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Watch Out 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Alice Day is listed in the role of Langdon's wife in the scenario, examination of surviving stills confirms that the role was played by Marceline Day. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Golden Age of Comedy (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lock o' the viewer
24 September 2009 | by hte-trasmeSee all my reviews

Like many early two-reel comedies, this earlier Harry Langdon short for Mack Sennett, plays out like two one-reel comedies attached at the hip, with only a thread of plot to connect them. The first reel takes place on a train, and is relatively generic, but the second half, in which Langdon has gone back to his old job as a policeman, is excellent and brimming with great performance moments from Langdon himself.

The train reel's comedy is mainly rooted in basic upper-berth and lower-berth confusion and bits of slapstick (dropping water on other passengers, &c.) that is solid material but not especially suited to its star. There are two mains sequences here, that are pretty wonderful, one of which involves Harry's slow realization that he is traveling right next to a hardened criminal. The scene in which he shaves with a straight razor on a moving train stands far out, as the comedy comes from Harry's nonchalance and naivete by the side of the obvious real-world danger of the sharp blade.

I don't know if it's better material or less material that allows Harry Langdon to develop his character, but the second reel, where after his wallet was stolen me must go back to work for the police force, is all solid Langdon and comedy. He's delightfully like a little boy pretending to be a policemen, following their steps, saluting his colleagues across the street, greeting passers-by who aren't looking at him and more. Chewing tobacco falls into his sandwich -- plenty of comedians may have used that gag, but only Harry could take many slow bites of the sandwich in a shot that gets continually funnier, then build on the material by crawling across the street in his nausea, curling up for safety by heading right into danger.

In other comedies the tobacco and sandwich joke would be over now, but Harry Langdon vomits it up into a water fountain just off-screen, and almost surprisingly it works perfectly. A lot of the comedy comes from discomfort too: Harry glimpses taking back his recovered wallet and assumes she is whoring herself for money. It's a very risqué joke that's played for a sympathetic laugh from the pure, devastated Harry instead of dirty laughs, and it's great.

Good material is almost just a bonus when Harry Langdon is allowed to bring his grace to what is there (he can win by threatening villains with a bomb everyone knows he could never throw). The first half of this film has some stretches where Harry doesn't have the opportunity to put his stamp on some general material, but the parts of it where he does, and the second half, make it well worth-while.


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