Henpecked husband Harry is coerced by a good time pal to go on a clandestine double date. Of course, no good will come of this, as they encounter streetwalkers, bumpy roads, and a couple of ... Read allHenpecked husband Harry is coerced by a good time pal to go on a clandestine double date. Of course, no good will come of this, as they encounter streetwalkers, bumpy roads, and a couple of toughs previously jilted by their dates.Henpecked husband Harry is coerced by a good time pal to go on a clandestine double date. Of course, no good will come of this, as they encounter streetwalkers, bumpy roads, and a couple of toughs previously jilted by their dates.
It's a very adult problem to be thrust onto such a helpless, childlike character. Harry doesn't want to cheat, but he can't do anything about it. In a wonderful bit of comic business, he can't bring himself to blow the new girlfriend kiss goodbye: he slyly pushes the kiss at her underhand and ashamedly wipes off his hand as if to chastise it. The film is a three-reel comedy, ten minutes longer than the two-reelers Harry Langdon had previously been starring in for Mack Sennett, with no more plot. Perhaps it was even designed to be a two-reeler. This works beautifully, since it gives him as much time as he needs to inject the slow reactions and bewildered glimpses and half-actions where so much of his comedy lives.
He's at his best here, and the show is really Harry Langdon's curious magic and ability to spin comedy out of almost nothing. His little half- smiles, his look while handling the money he has hidden under the rug, childlike attempts to enter the fight at the end. I think his comedy makes us recognize something fundamentally innocent and confused in ourselves that makes us feel like the whole world is too much for us, yet at the same time, by allowing us to understand what Harry does not (such as the fact that the women he good-heartedly brings to his friend to cheer him after he thinks the date has been blown are in fact whores) he forces his to realize with a little bit of sadness that we are not that innocent anymore. His comedy is just as capable of making us audibly say "Awwww" as it is making us laugh, often at once.
Here Harry wants to refuse to cheat on his wife, he wants to tell his wife whose boss and take some power back in his relationship, he wants to fight back against the two violent men at the end of the film, but he just can't affect his surroundings that much, and sometimes we all feel like that.
The film is perfectly directed by frequent Langdon director Harry Edwards; it moves at a quick pace and never stalls while at the same time making time for and presenting to best effect Harry Langdon's still, reactive comedy. Vernon Dent, a frequent foil to Langdon, plays one of the roles here where he becomes almost a comedy partner in his very effective pairing with Harry. The gags spaced out in a way that gives maximum effect too, and Harry gets his own version of a Lloyd or Keaton style stunt at the end. Here the comedy is not in Harry's big reactions to the danger of sitting perched between two moving cars, but in his slowness to take it in.
This is a hilarious film, and a perfect example of the comedy of one of the most unique an talented humorists that I know ever to have existed.
- Dec 6, 2009