“Don’t worry, mother — those pants will never go to his head!”
A young man (Harry Langdon) who has just been given his first pair of “long pants” fancies himself engaged to a vampish conwoman (Alma Bennett); after cruelly abandoning his local sweetheart (Priscilla Bonner) on their wedding day, he plots to help Bennett escape from prison.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Frank Capra Films
- Harry Langdon Films
- Silent Films
Harry Langdon’s second film with director Frank Capra (after The Strong Man) is a sadly unsavory affair. One watches with the intention of simply enjoying baby-faced Langdon’s skillful slapstick maneuvers, but a central plot element — his desire to kill his fiancee (Bonner) after stupidly falling for a passing vamp — undoes whatever potential for humor the story may have had. Yes, Langdon’s characters were notoriously “dumb”, and this is what we’re supposed to have fun with — but homicidal? No, it just doesn’t fly. There are a couple of reasonably enjoyable comedic sequences (most notably one involving Langdon’s persistent attempt to convince a policeman-like ventriloquist’s dummy to come to his assistance), but overall, this one’s a dud.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Some amusing slapstick sequences
No; this one is only must-see for Langdon fans. Listed as a film with Historical Importance (I’m not sure why) and a Personal Recommendation (really??) in the back of Peary’s book.