Would-be photographer Harry gets his big chance when a newspaper wants pictures of a prominent gangster and his girl. Harry and another photographer first visit the gangster's girl, and ...
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Would-be photographer Harry gets his big chance when a newspaper wants pictures of a prominent gangster and his girl. Harry and another photographer first visit the gangster's girl, and then wait at the scene of an expected robbery. But before they can get the pictures they want, they must first distract a policeman whose presence would otherwise deter the gangster from appearing.Written by
This Harry Langdon short for Educational Pictures is quite funny. The plot and scenario, though, are only so-so: Harry becomes a photographer's assistant through a mix-up and has to takes pictures of a gangster's girlfriend. What makes it is that Arvid E. Gilstrom's direction lingers long enough to let Harry do his thing and be funny. He's at the top of his game here and plays every gag wonderfully, constantly throwing in the subtle touches that made him a cut above most comedians of the day (for instance, those spams of running in place, trying to get the policeman to come with him). Directing this short with fast "comedy" pacing would have made it lose a lot of what makes its gags work.
There's actually something wonderfully natural and innocent about the way Harry Langdon delivers his lines. I think his piping, hesitant voice works perfectly with his fidgeting, babyish screen character and shorts like this one prove that he was still making successful comedies into the sound era, despite some people's belief that his career effectively ended around 1928. He works very well with his frequent costar at Educational Vernon Dent, and as another reviewer pointed out, they suggest almost a comedy team at this point.
A lot of the gag ideas here are very good too; there's no way of knowing how much Langdon himself contributed. I love his attempts at flirting early in the film. Overall a good, solid, funny, Langdon talkie.
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