Old Time Comedy Classics, Volume 5 [DVD]
- SKU: 17068931
- Release Date: 09/02/2008
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- New musical soundtracks
Produced by low-budget entrepreneur Phil Goldstone, this silent action melodrama starred Richard Talmadge, a German-born former stunt double for Douglas Fairbanks.Talmadge played Bruce Randall, a wealthy young man supposedly killed during a robbery in his home. But Bruce has survived and is instead wandering about in a state of amnesia. He is found by a couple of crooked lawyers who hire him to "impersonate" himself in order to gain access to the Randall home. Mrs. Randall (Helene Rosson, not surprisingly, believes he really is her husband and Bruce regains his memory just in time to defeat the crooks and save his wife from a fate worse than death. This piece of cinematic nonsense was directed by William K. Howard, a former theater manager whose work in the sound era included The Power and the Glory (1932), by some considered the inspiration for Citizen Kane, and Carole Lombard's The Princess Comes Across (1936). ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
The Bell Hop
Perhaps the most readily available of Larry Semon's two-reel comedies, this mad farce deals with a gang of foreign spies attempting to steal an important government document at a resort hotel. The white-faced Semon is the hotel's lazy bellhop, with Oliver Hardy (a Semon stock company player at the time) cast as a dapper-looking, mustachioed desk clerk. In typical Semon style, the gags gets increasingly elaborate and The Bell Hop's extravagant budget would ultimately lead to the comedian's exit from the Vitagraph Company. Norma Nichols played the heroine, a Secret Service agent masquerading as a hotel maid, and Bill Hauber performed Semon's more life-threatening stunts. Semon's co-director on this and most of this other 2-reel comedies was future MGM stalwart Norman Taurog. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
His Day Out
This compact, two-reel King Bee comedy is one of Billy West's most frequently revived films (West was the 1910s best Charles Chaplin impersonator). West plays an escapee from a mental institution who manages to escape and have a day out. He sees the pretty Joy (Leatrice Joy) and follows her to the barbershop where her father (Bud Ross) works. The father has an eye for the ladies himself, and he takes off after one, leaving Billy to do his job. Billy trims every man's mustache to look just like his own (which, of course, looks exactly like Chaplin's). This turns out to be very helpful when the asylum attendants come looking for him later on and discover that everyone fits the mustache identification. Billy has a rival for Joy in Oliver (Oliver Hardy), but Billy is the one who takes her to the barbers' ball. After his bizarre encounters with the outside world, Billy decides he's safer at the asylum and returns, locking the gate behind him. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
The Wrong Mr. Fox