“I’ll get the money in three months if it takes a year.”
The son (Harry Langdon) of a struggling shoemaker (Alec B. Francis) enters a cross-country walking race hosted by a big-name shoe manufacturer (Edwards Davis), hoping to win the prize money as well as the heart of Davis’s daughter (Joan Crawford).
It’s been widely noted that many of the sight gags in Harry Langdon’s feature debut film are reminiscent of those in movies by his comedic peers (Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton), making this an inauspicious beginning to his all-too-brief stint in the cinematic limelight. Nonetheless, Langdon’s uniquely hapless persona lends itself well to the series of mishaps he encounters while on his cross-country journey to California: when he finds himself hanging precariously over a deep precipice, for instance, we know that the only way he’ll get out of his dilemma is — despite his best (counterproductive) efforts — through sheer, dumb luck. My favorite scene is an early one, when Langdon meets the love of his life (Crawford) in person for the first time, and doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. Watch for the creepy final scene, in which Langdon is allowed to make explicit fun of his “baby-face” image.
Note: Tramp, Tramp, Tramp is noteworthy for providing Joan Crawford with one of her earliest significant roles; fun use is made of her soon-to-be larger-than-life persona through her presence in a series of posters.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Langdon’s “meet-cute” with Crawford
- Several amusing sight gags
No, though it’s worth a look simply as Langdon’s first feature film.