The director of this comedy, Stephen Roberts, would turn into a specialist in dramas with a light touch in the next decade (and one grim tragedy, THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE) and die suddenly. For the moment, though he was working for Jack White and, among other duties, directed this Al St. John comedy.
Nominally about attempts to steal a gold mine, the movie starts out with the air of a realistic comedy, then immediately descends into a series of perfectly timed gags which made me goggle at their improbability -- not the sort of thing you normally think of in a slapstick comedy. Very quickly the unerring ability of ropes to loop themselves around tree roots, stopping Al from plummeting to his death or an explosion to drop him on a bull came to make me goggle again. It seems the director's métier of directing realistic situation conflicted with the requirements of high-speed comedy construction.
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