Saturday 12 January 2008

The Movies (1925) William Goodrich

Roscoe Arbuckle really wasn't a minor actor. He was the first person to sign a multi-year/multi-million dollar deal with a studio. Yet only seven years later he was effectively blacklisted by the industry, unjustly it seems today. So he wrote and directed films under a pseudonym, William Goodrich (Buster Keaton suggested Will B Good), though apparently Louise Brooks suggested that he really didn't do much active direction, just sitting there and letting everything happen.

This one is a Lloyd Hamilton film, Lloyd Hamilton being an actor I don't know who walks like he has constipation and has a face coated in makeup that looks more like one made for radio. He's a country boy here who gets into no end of trouble in the big city (which is actually a couple of blocks away), unable to cross a road without causing trouble and getting on the bad side of the villain of the piece. He finds his way to the Cafe Montmartre, which is attended by no end of actors in costume: presidents, indians, Romans, you name it. Eventually in comes Lloyd Hamilton, who apparently has hurt his leg, and of course Lloyd Hamilton looks precisely like Lloyd Hamilton, so he get hired as his body double.

Hamilton doesn't look much like a star actor but he was one and he was certainly talented, as an actor and a slapstick acrobat. He ends up being fun to watch. Marcella Daly looks far more like an actress with delightful eyes and smile, not that she has much of a part. The villain is Arthur Thalasso, who had a far longer career than either of them. The movie itself though isn't much more than there. It's mildly amusing but too short and certainly dated.

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