6.1/10
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5 user 3 critic

His First Flame (1927)

Fire chief Amos McCarthy, a confirmed misogynist, counsels his nephew Harry Howells to avoid matrimony at all costs. Still, the lovestruck Harry is determined to marry his sweetheart Ethel.... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Harry Howells
... Ethel Morgan
... Mary Morgan
... Amos McCarthy
... Hector Benedict
... Mrs. Benedict
... President of the College
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Storyline

Fire chief Amos McCarthy, a confirmed misogynist, counsels his nephew Harry Howells to avoid matrimony at all costs. Still, the lovestruck Harry is determined to marry his sweetheart Ethel. All that changes, though, when it turns out Ethel is a faithless gold-digger. Disillusioned, Harry spends the night in his uncle's fire house to try and forget his troubles... until the clamor of a fire alarm presents the bumbling Harry with a chance to be a hero. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

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farce | number in title | See All (2) »

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They say that love is only fire against which there is no insurance. (Lobby card).

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Comedy

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3 May 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Premier amour  »

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1.33 : 1
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This film was completed in July 1925, but not copyrighted until February 1926, and released in May 1927; along the way, it was edited from 5 reels down to 3 reels. See more »

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Wonderful comedy
7 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

"His First Flame" was something of a hidden gem for me. This 46-minute comedy as as funny as anything I have seen in a long time. Harry is an innocent, child-like figure who will accept without question that he has just cleanly pulled off a woman's leg or mistake a mannequin for a real woman, but he lives squarely in the real world -- where a man dressed in woman's clothing will not be mistaken for a woman, but scorned by passers-by and rejected by his uncle, where people marry for money, and where domestic abuse occurs. If Harry sees any of this, he accepts it with the same blank passivity that would would an inexplicable piece of magic.

It's this simplicity of Langdon's and the harshness of the real world as presented in the film here that got me truly emotionally involved, making the comic situations work so much better, and making me really feel for him weeping at the window. Langdon's comedy, even when very physical, works so well because of his wonderfully-performed long reactions, slow realizations, and uncomfortable fidgets, and director Harry Edwards really allows that to work here.

In all this is infinitely funny and charming, and perfectly blends grim but hilarious black humour (the scene in which Harry, invited to visit one violent couple, only noticed the argument next door, exclaiming "Seems to be a lot of fighting around here!) with genuinely sweet moments (Harry stopping his firefighter uncle in the middle of a rescue to wave hello). This well deserves to be sought out.


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