Long Pants (1927)

Long Pants (1927)

“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:

  • Comedy
  • Coming-of-Age
  • 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

Must See?
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.


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