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Monday, 22 October 2007

Happy Days (1926) Arvid Gillstrom

Happy Days features Winnie Winkle the Breadwinner and the Rinky Dinks from Martin Branner's famous comic strip. Needless to say it's so famous I've never heard of it but then I'm hardly an expert on 1920s comic strips. Apparently this one lasted for another seventy or so years but I'm no expert on 1990s comic stris either, these being the sort of strips that appear in newspapers.

Anyway Winnie, played by Ethelyn Gibson, is busy working while her little brother Perry Winkle and his Rinky Dinks play in the Mangy Baseball league. They all look like the kids in the Our Gang comedies and some of them may even be kids from the our Gang comedies. To show how delicate the comedy is, one of them is a young black actor with lips painted white as if to pretend that he's a white actor in blackface trying to be a black actor.

After half of the film on the baseball field, with a string of generic and not particularly funny jokes, we switch without much attempt at continuity to the dance hall where Perry and his unnamed black friend apparently have classes. The presence of a large frog that dances down the instructor's neck leads to one physical joke that pretty much wraps things up. Not very impressive but not spectacularly awful.

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