Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Post No Bills - 1923

Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Ralph Ceder
Stars: James Parrott, Marie Mosquini and Jack Ackroyd
Release Date: 5 August 1923 (USA)
Production Co: Hal Roach Studios
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
James Parrott is also known as "Paul Parrott" and those in the know may remember him as the director of many of Laurel and Hardy's best films (such as the Oscar-winning MUSIC BOX as well as HELPMATES and PARDON US). However, before directing Stan and Ollie, his brother Charley Chase, the Little Rascals and others, he was a silent comedian himself--having appeared in well over a hundred films!
This and another Parrott short (SHIVER AND SHAKE) are part of a new DVD set entitled "American Slapstick". However, unlike SHIVER AND SHAKE, POST NO BILLS is very funny and well worth seeing. The film begins with a very selfish and lazy Parrott calling in a false alarm to the fire company just so he can hitch a ride! Then, when he arrives at work, his nasty boss informs him that the people who were supposed to post bills around town advertising the theater couldn't make it and Parrott was expected to do it instead...or else! This sequence with the boss is the poorest in the film as it had LOTS of low-brow and unnecessary slapstick--people getting kicked in the butt repeatedly for no reason. This was comedy gold around 1915, but by 1923, it was already rather passé.
Despite this problem, the rest of the film was great. Seeing the lazy and rather amoral Parrott posting bills EVERYWHERE and in the most clever ways was funny. Not only did he post them on fences and walls (where they usually went) but he posted them secretly on people's butts, on cars and countless other silly places. I particularly liked the banana and the shoeshine gags--they were pretty clever.

No comments:

Post a Comment