Wednesday 11 April 2007

Her Painted Hero (1915) F Richard Jones

Hale Hamilton plays a matinee idol called Hale Hamilton, which I'm sure is wishful thinking on his part. A 'stage struck maiden' played by Polly Maron meets him underneath his bill poster and is as daffy as you'd expect from the credit. She goes home to find a letter from Uncle Oswald who apparently has but a week to live, and sure enough the next thing we know she inherits his fortune and moves into his castle. Such is life in Hollywood, it seems. The humour here is apparently entirely confined to her father drinking out of the saucer in front of the help. Shame! Either that, or I'm missing something and when it comes to the humour of the teens that's not too unlikely.

Now that 'stage struck maiden' is rich, she gets to ring her matinee idol to invite him to her wedding, because his phone number presumably came with the inheritance. However there follows an interminable number of people hitting each other and kicking each other's asses, literally. Apparently the wedding is now off but I completely lost track of the plot somewhere in the ass kicking section so i really couldn't say.

In the end she foots the bill for her matinee idol's next play on the promise that she becomes the leading lady. Needless to say she destroys everything through sheer ineptitude, though the audience love it regardless, and this part is the only bit that actually raises laughs. It's been done plenty of times and often better, but this is 1915 so I'll cut them some slack. It's funny and that's after the first two thirds of the picture were far more likely to sour me to whatever happened in the third. It seems strange to suggest that a 21 minute picture is a quarter of an hour too long but this one fits the bill.

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