6.8/10
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10 user 3 critic

The Show-Off (1926)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama | 16 August 1926 (USA)
A blowhard who poses as a railroad executive (but is really just a $30-a-week clerk) catches a young bride and then drives her family's finances to the brink of ruin.

Director:

Malcolm St. Clair

Writers:

George Kelly (from the comedy by), Pierre Collings (screen play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ford Sterling ... Aubrey Piper
Claire McDowell ... Mom Fisher (as Clare Mc Dowell)
Charles Goodrich Charles Goodrich ... Pop Fisher (as C.W. Goodrich)
Lois Wilson ... Amy Fisher
Louise Brooks ... Clara
Gregory Kelly Gregory Kelly ... Joe Fisher
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Storyline

A blowhard who poses as a railroad executive (but is really just a $30-a-week clerk) catches a young bride and then drives her family's finances to the brink of ruin. Written by David S. Smith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

LAUGHS? "The Show-Off" has 'em! Come and have a laughing spasm! (Print Ad- The Observer, ((Newberry SC)) 11 February 1927) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lois Wilson, who plays Amy Fisher in this film, played Clara Harling in the 1934 remake. See more »

Quotes

Pop Fisher: Keep your damn hands to yourself! I never saw such a pest in my life!
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Alternate Versions

Kino International distributes a version with a violin and piano music score, compiled and directed by Timothy Brock. The copyright is by Film Preservation Associates in 1998, and the running time is 82 minutes. Judging from the copyright length of the film, this version was run at about 20 frames per second, a comfortable silent speed rate. See more »

Connections

Version of Men Are Like That (1930) See more »

User Reviews

 
Ford Sterling shows off his comedic talents in this funny silent comedy.
15 December 1998 | by Art-22See all my reviews

George Kelly's often-revived witty 1924 play was filmed no less than 4 times, attesting to the durability of its comedy content. This is the first filming, a silent movie with Ford Sterling as the blowhard liar, saying anything to make himself look great at all times. Of course, he fools no one except Lois Wilson, who has stars in her eyes and loves him. Her mother and father dislike him, while the other clerks at the office call him "Carnation Charlie" because he wears carnations like all the executives, which he claims to be outside of his office. So Sterling and Wilson marry, but have trouble paying all the bills. Tragedy strikes when Wilson's father dies, so the couple plan to move back into her mother's house. As luck would have it, Sterling does win a car that was being raffled off. In what is surely the funniest sequence in the movie, he picks the car up not knowing how to drive, causes some accidents by driving in the wrong lane, has the traffic cop running for his life trying the evade his car, and finally crashes the car against a building pinning the cop. At his court hearing, the judge asks for witnesses against him to stand up and most of the packed courthouse stand. To set an example, the judge sentences him to 3 months or $500, but because of Sterling's bluster, doubles the fine. Wilson's brother (Gregory Kelly) pays the fine with the $1000 check his father gave him before he died, to use to pay the mortgage. He feels that it's better to lose the house than to have a family member go to jail. Kelly had been dabbling with a rust-proof paint but was having trouble convincing steel executives to use his process. To make amends, Sterling goes to the steel people to see what he can do, just as the banker comes with papers to foreclose on the mortgage.

The film also features the legendary beautiful Louise Brooks as (literally) the girl next door, sort of Kelly's girl since they are always seen together. It's a small role, but she's a pleasure to watch. Sterling was a knockabout comedian who played the chief of the Keystone Kops under Mack Sennett, but plays this role very much like it was written. I saw a stage production of the play in 1995 at Baltimore's prestigious Center Stage and noted it was a one-set play. This film opens up the play, and we see parts of Philadelphia, and also see the wonderful car episode and and court trial, while you just hear about it in the play. These sequences alone make the film worth watching. Kino International distributes a video with a snappy violin and piano score, which I saw on a cable channel.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

None | English

Release Date:

16 August 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Show-Off See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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