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Cold Turkey (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 18 October 1940 (USA)
Harry wins a turkey at a raffle.


Del Lord


Harry Edwards (story and screen play), Elwood Ullman (story and screen play)




Cast overview:
Harry Langdon ... Harry Langdon
Ann Doran ... Mrs. Langdon
Monte Collins Monte Collins ... Landlord (as Monty Collins)


It's Christmastime, and the employees at Caldwell Coughdrop are feeling so festive, they bring out the booze the moment the boss walks out of the office. Meek and mild Harry continues working during the party, but a champagne cork knocks over his inkwell and ruins his work. Unexpectedly, the boss comes back, and everyone scurries to hide the evidence of the party. Harry ends up with a glass someone left on his desk. He tells the boss it's water, and ends up having to drink it. Harry can't handle alcohol, and soon he finds himself on the phone with his landlord, issuing threats. Later, Harry wins a turkey in the office raffle. And it's alive. That's the beginning of his string of bad luck, which continues with accidentally kidnapping a young boy, nearly hanging a policeman by mistake, ruining the fresh paint on the kitchen floor, and getting mistaken by his landlord for an ax-wielding maniac. Written by J. Spurlin

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Comedy | Short


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Remake of Cold Turkey (1933) See more »

User Reviews

Very Funny Langdon Short
15 August 2010 | by lzf0See all my reviews

"Cold Turkey" is a typical Columbia short comedy enhanced by the comic genius of Harry Langdon. Coming as late as it does in Langdon's career, it should not be this good. Harry looks great in this short. No mustache to make him look older and no glasses to give him a Harold Lloyd look! He is the baby face Langdon of old and he has more energy than in the previous Columbia entries. The plot is simple; Harry wins a live turkey for Christmas dinner at his office. Now he has to get it home. Sure, Harold Lloyd did this routine before, but Harry and director Del Lord put their own spin on it. This routine takes up most of the first reel. Harry participates in a few good gags with his old buddy Vernon Dent as his boss and with Columbia regular Bud Jamison as a policeman. The second reel deals with the misconception that Harry is going to kill his landlord, played by Columbia favorite Monte Collins, instead of the turkey.

Even though the film is loaded with standard Stooges-style Columbia slapstick, Harry does subtle little bits throughout the film to make it funnier. He was never an athletic comic like Keaton or Lloyd; he relied on quirky little body movements and facial reactions. He still portrays innocence, even though he was approaching his 60s. I only wish he didn't talk so much. Sometimes he comes off like a babbling idiot. Keaton only spoke when absolutely necessary. However, watching Langdon silents, you can see he is always talking, even though we cannot hear him.

This is a first rate comedy, only marred by Harry's babbling and a weak finish.

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Release Date:

18 October 1940 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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