6.8/10
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18 user 17 critic

The Strong Man (1926)

A meek Belgian soldier (Harry Langdon) fighting in World War I receives penpal letters and a photo from "Mary Brown", an American girl he has never met. He becomes infatuated with her by ... See full summary »

Director:

Frank Capra

Writers:

Arthur Ripley (story), Hal Conklin (adapted by) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Harry Langdon ... Paul Bergot
Priscilla Bonner ... Mary Brown
Gertrude Astor ... 'Lily' of Broadway
William V. Mong ... 'Holy Joe'
Robert McKim ... 'Mike' McDevitt
Arthur Thalasso Arthur Thalasso ... 'Zandow the Great'
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Helen Brent Helen Brent
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Storyline

A meek Belgian soldier (Harry Langdon) fighting in World War I receives penpal letters and a photo from "Mary Brown", an American girl he has never met. He becomes infatuated with her by long distance. After the war, the young Belgian journeys to America as assistant to a theatrical "strong man", Zandow the Great (Arthur Thalasso). While in America, he searches for Mary Brown... and he finds her, just as word comes that Zandow is incapacitated and the little nebbish must go on stage in his place. Written by Dan Navarro <daneldorado@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He couldn't tear a piece of paper without losing his breath- he isn't big enough to carry a chip on his shoulder- but the muscles around his funny bone bulge like blisters on a balloon tyre. (Print ad- Sunday Mail, ((Brisbane, Queensland)) 13 February 1927)

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atleta à Força See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Silent Classics (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

There's a reason Langdon isn't among the pantheon of greats
31 July 2009 | by JoeytheBritSee all my reviews

There's something about Harry Langdon that just doesn't work for me. Judging by the high marks this film has received and the uniformly positive reviews I'm clearly in the minority, but I simply can't see the appeal of this curious, borderline weird babyman. Langdon had a good sense of comic timing, there's no argument there, and with good direction from Frank Capra he clearly knew what his character was about (but only through his director's instruction, it would later transpire) and this film is even free of the over-sentimentality that so often plagued silent movies of all genres, but the fact is - his material just isn't very funny.

That's not to say there aren't any laughs in this, Langdon's first feature length comedy. There are a few: the shuffling upstairs backwards scene, the strong man act, the... erm... well, the shuffling upstairs backwards and the strong man act are about it to be honest. The meeting between Langdon's timid Belgian soldier and Mary Brown, the woman whose love letters sustained him during the Great War, is extremely well-handled, but even this scene is let down because Capra didn't seem to want to say 'cut.'


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