14 user 14 critic

Long Pants (1927)

Harry Shelby receives his first pair of long pants. He immediately falls in love with a cocaine-smuggling flapper named Bebe. When Bebe is imprisoned, Harry decides to rescue her. To do so,... See full summary »


Frank Capra


Robert Eddy (adaptation), Tay Garnett | 1 more credit »




Credited cast:
Harry Langdon ... Harry Shelby
Gladys Brockwell ... Harry's Mother
Alan Roscoe ... Harry's Father (as Al Roscoe)
Priscilla Bonner ... Harry's Bride (Priscilla)
Alma Bennett ... Harry's Downfall (Bebe Blair)
Betty Francisco ... Harry's Finish
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Glenn Tryon ... Glenn Tryon
Learn more

More Like This 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A meek Belgian soldier, fighting in World War I, receives a letter and a photo from "Mary Brown", an American girl he has never met. After the war, he travels to America searching for her.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Harry Langdon, Priscilla Bonner, Gertrude Astor
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Low-life Harry falls in love with sweet Betty who inspires him to improve himself so he can marry her. He enters a $25,000 cross-country hiking contest. After many adventures he wins, pays ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Edwards
Stars: Harry Langdon, Joan Crawford, Edwards Davis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The naive newspaper cub Clem lands a scoop when he's sent out to cover a murder. In his enthusiasm he writes that the main suspect is Jane. When she confronts Clem she convinces him to help her prove her innocence.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jobyna Ralston, Mildred Harris
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Three men join forces to raise an adopted son.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Ben Lyon, George Sidney
Submarine (1928)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two sailors who are always competing against each other set their sights on the same girl. When she chooses one over the other, their friendship ends acrimoniously. However, things change ... See full summary »

Directors: Frank Capra, Irvin Willat
Stars: Jack Holt, Dorothy Revier, Ralph Graves
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Williams is a bootlegger who takes in the down-and-out Nora. Nora eventually finds herself in the middle of a gang war between Williams and his chief rival, Tiger Louie.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Mitchell Lewis, Alice Day, Margaret Livingston
Broadway Bill (1934)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A runaway heiress and her sister's husband join forces to race the latter's fast horse, Broadway Bill.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Walter Connolly
Rain or Shine (1930)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Woman inherits a traveling circus which brings financial difficulties.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Joe Cook, Louise Fazenda, Joan Peers
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Jerry McGuire (William Collier Jr.) is a dress designer in love with shop-girl Hilda Jenson (Shirley Mason). But the problem is that prizefighter Spike Mullins (Johnny Walker) is also in ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Shirley Mason, William Collier Jr., Johnnie Walker
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Molly Kelly wants to marry a millionaire. When she runs into Andy Charles, heir to a restaurant fortune, she jumps at the chance and marries him. Andy's father if furious and disinherits ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Viola Dana, Ralph Graves, Burr McIntosh
Dirigible (1931)
Certificate: Passed Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jack Bradon is tasked to reach the South Pole with a dirigible.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Jack Holt, Fay Wray, Ralph Graves
Forbidden (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A librarian takes a cruise and falls for an unobtainable man, a district attorney married to a crippled woman.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy


Harry Shelby receives his first pair of long pants. He immediately falls in love with a cocaine-smuggling flapper named Bebe. When Bebe is imprisoned, Harry decides to rescue her. To do so, Harry must break-off his forthcoming wedding to his childhood sweetheart Priscilla by any means necessary, including murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When he got long pants he thought he was a Sheik. When he does his stuff you'll say he is a Shriek. (Print Ad-Gettysburg Times, ((Gettysburg, Penna.)) 30 November 1927) See more »




See all certifications »

Did You Know?


52 feet of this feature, depicting Harry's daydream as a gallant lover who must fight for the hand of a beautiful maiden, Alma Bennett, was shot in 2-strip Techncolor, but does not survive. This may account for some sources calling it a seven-reel film instead of a six-reeler, even though the originally promoted Technicolor reel actually consisted of less than one minute's actual footage in the final release prints. See more »


Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

User Reviews

"It's a flat tyre"
17 May 2011 | by Steffi_PSee all my reviews

Making a comedy movie isn't just about firing off jokes for an hour or two. The audience needs a bit more of an experience. That's why the greatest screen comics of olden times were also great storytellers, and created for themselves comedy characters who were likable as well as funny. Harry Langdon was one of a small number of slapstick comedians from the silent era who made the leap from shorts to full-length features. However, unlike his mightier contemporaries Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, Langdon's screen persona simply didn't have the weight to take on such an endeavour.

Long Pants sees the baby-faced comic step into Harold Lloyd territory as a shy youngster making his first awkward steps with the ladies. Here the similarities end though. Even with his cherubic features, the forty-three year old Langdon was perhaps pushing it a bit as a teen getting his first pair of eponymous pants. Furthermore whereas Lloyd had a sort of geeky charm, Langdon is at best bland, and at worst a little bizarre, here verging on the outright disturbing. After Harold falls for a vampish femme fatale, he has to finish things with the sweet and innocent girl-next-door he was previously engaged to. Some people would do this with a note, others with a sit-down talk. Langdon decides to lure the girl in to the woods with the intention of killing her. This sort of thing may be acceptable if you're the guitarist in a Norwegian black metal band, but not if you're a supposedly sympathetic comedy character. Langdon doesn't actually succeed in bumping her off, and his bungled attempt to do so is actually one of the vaguely funnier moments in Long Pants, but regardless of that we're being asked to root for some kind of Jeffrey Dahmer type, and the audience will be lost.

The other big problem with Harry Langdon is that he simply isn't very funny. He doesn't have that ability to conjure up comedy from his environment or his props, and the gags don't exactly flow. Granted, a lot of Langdon's style is in his reactions and his funny ways of doing things, but even in this area Langdon is second-rate, doing poor copies of Chaplin's mannerisms and Keaton's deadpan expressions. Of course, a lot of the fault here lies with the writers of Long Pants, and its director Frank Capra. Capra was always a massive egotist, later shown in the way he tried to claim complete authorship for his greatest pictures, but back at this stage it comes out in his camera-work. For Long Pants he uses all sorts of showy techniques, mobile point-of-view shots, god shots looking down over action, all quite unnecessary for silent comedy. It looks like the work of some green film student trying to get himself noticed. Compared to his even weaker direction for Langdon's The Strong Man, Capra at least seems to be learning the rudiments of physical comedy direction, a good set-up being the one where a cop is in the foreground making a telephone call, while Harry completely oblivious is cracking open a crate behind him. He is also now allowing scenes to play out without lots of cutting. It's just a shame Langdon isn't really worthy of such lengthy attention.

Unlike the moderate successes of The Strong Man and its predecessor, Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (which is actually in my view the best, or rather least worst Langdon picture), Long Pants was a box-office flop. As oppose to Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd, whose stars only began to fade once the talkies came along, it's fairly clear Langdon was a fad who disappeared as quickly as he emerged. And the main reason I have consistently compared him to those three is that he is occasionally touted as the "fourth" genius of silent comedy, a title he is a long way off meriting. In the recent resurge of interest he has enjoyed, he has been branded as "The Forgotten Clown" and "Chaplin-esque", or had his links to Frank Capra emphasised, even though the two Capra-directed Langdon pictures are hardly representative of the director's entire output. Many avid buffs will no doubt want to check Langdon out if only out of curiosity, but those who are purely fans of good quality comedy would be better off steering clear.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

26 March 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A hosszúnadrág See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (2-strip Technicolor) (one sequence)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed