6.6/10
26
4 user

The Dumb-Bell (1922)

The owners of a movie studio are having problems with a temperamental director, and they promise an actor on one of his pictures that he can have the job if he can find a way to make the director leave the picture.

Director:

(as Charles Parrott)
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Cast

Credited cast:
... The New Director (as Harry 'Snub' Pollard)
... Mary - the Leading Lady
... Julius Goldsmith - Film producer
... Abe Silverstein - Film producer
... Disgruntled director
George Rowe ... Cameraman
Sammy Brooks ... Short actor playing doctor
... Actor playing doctor
... Actor wearing top hat
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lincoln Stedman
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Storyline

The owners of a movie studio are having problems with a temperamental director, and they promise an actor on one of his pictures that he can have the job if he can find a way to make the director leave the picture.

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

16 July 1922 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Not dumb to watch it
3 February 2010 | by See all my reviews

Snub Pollard was one of those silent comedians whose trademark was his appearance. He was useful in his films as much for his skill as a comedian as for his distinctive mousy appearance and big, droopy moustache. So it's odd to see him starting this film dressed up in a dressing down and nightcap with a white moustache, playing a sick old man whose six doctors won't let him eat much of anything. This proceeds, though, into a funny series of gags that are typically absurd, deadpan, and Rube Goldberg-like for Pollard as he sneaks himself food that he has cleverly disguised around his house.

The twist is when a director storms onto the set and fires Snub; he returns to his typical appearance and we learn that he has essentially been playing an actor in a Sub Pollard film, and we move into a little plot in which he fakes having fired the director so he can get a director's job himself (apparently the film he was working on earlier has been dropped) and becomes a little too temperamental as a director for his new bosses.

This is a great little one-reel that's funny in the usual Snub Pollard kind of way, as well as in the in-the-know kind of way that its inventive and memorable reflexive gimmick suggests. The "turn" where we learn that the film we've been watching is a film within a film is a very nice comic surprise. Comedian Charley Chase was the director, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of his own frustrations with the arts of direction didn't creep through into the gags.


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