Call of the Cuckoo (1927) - News Poster

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The Forgotten: Oy!

Following their invaluable collection Female Comedy Teams, Filmmuseum Munchen rescues another forgotten comedian from the ashes of history with two discs of Max Davidson Comedies, celebrating an ethnic comedian who churned out a slew of domestic two-reelers at Hal Roach studios during the late silent era.

He's a small man with a grizzled beard and a shock of salt-and-pepper hair. Circumstances frequently reduce him to a nightshirt, but he prefers an overcoat with a derby. Circumstances also conspire to throw his household into turmoil, to which Max will react by puckering his lips in a soundless "Oy!" while placing one hand to his cheek as if nursing an impacted molar. This expression, Max's "oy face," will appear with numbing regularity in every film. Occasionally, for variety, he puts both hands to both cheeks, achieving a Kubrickian symmetry.

Somewhat more funny than Max, whose range really is as limited as the above suggests,
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