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The Better 'Ole (1926)

The adventures of Old Bill and his friends Bert and Alf in the trenches of the first World War.


Charles Reisner (as Charles 'Chuck' Reisner)


Bruce Bairnsfather (by), Arthur Eliot (by) | 3 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Syd Chaplin ... Pvt. William 'Old Bill' Busby
Harold Goodwin ... Bert Chester - British Secret Service
Jack Ackroyd Jack Ackroyd ... Alfie - 'Little Alf'
Edgar Kennedy ... Cpl. Austin (as Ed. Kennedy)
Charles K. Gerrard ... Maj. Russett (as Charles Gerrard)


The adventures of Old Bill and his friends Bert and Alf in the trenches of the first World War.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | War | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 October 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Guerra é um Buraco See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,246,106, 31 December 1927
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Mono (music and effects)| Silent


Black and White (tinted and toned)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sydney Chaplin's biggest box office success. See more »


Pvt. William 'Old Bill' Busby: Don't talk to me with a cigarette in your mouth. From now on you go my way and I'll go yours!
Alfie 'Little Alf': BAH! Aw, go to 'ell! I ain't as dumb as I look.
Pvt. William 'Old Bill' Busby: You couldn't be.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There was no cast list per se. Some actors were credited by intertitles when they first appeared. Syd Chaplin was credited above the title and his full character name was supplied in an intertitle. See more »

Alternate Versions

The print of the film in the Turner library, and released on DVD through Warner Archive includes the original 1926 Vitaphone music score, with some sound effects and singing. At one point, whispers a word to which is also faintly heard. See more »


Version of Carry On (1919) See more »

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User Reviews

The Other Chaplin
28 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Better 'Ole, The (1926)

** (out of 4)

Due to his legendary younger brother people have forgotten the work of Syd Chaplin. Forgotten is that this guy form the comedy genre and pretty much formed his younger brother Charles. This film here is yet another forgotten one but is slightly remembered for being Warner's second feature film to have the Vitaphone sound. The film, based on newspaper cartoon characters, features Syd as 'Old Bill', a legendary figure fighting in WW1 who constantly finds himself battling an uphill fight. This is a rather strange comedy because the film remains highly entertaining even though there's not a single laugh to be found it in. All of the jokes aren't what I'd call funny but they are amusing in some weird way and in the end the film really isn't too bad. The Vitaphone sound includes various sound effects, a couple whispered words and that's about it but I was surprised at how well it all sounded considering this technology was under a year old. Several of the gags are based around these sound effects and there are a couple unique ones including a scene where a bomb goes off in a barn and Syd finds himself covered with hay. There's also a very long sequence dealing with Syd and his buddy getting into a cow outfit and causing all sorts of trouble. I was also surprised at how big the budget was on this thing because the war scenes look top notch and all the costume detail is top notch. Even with that said, the comedy just doesn't come off as funny but for fans of early sound cinema this is worth viewing at least once.

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