Thursday, May 24, 2012

What a Whopper! - 1921

Country: United States
Director: Charley Chase
Writer: Hal Roach (story)
Stars: 'Snub' Pollard and Marie Mosquini
Release Date: 31 July 1921 (USA)
Also known as: Pollard blagueur (France)
Production Co: Rolin Films
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Comedy | Short
Snub Pollard is one of those silent comedians whose face, thanks to that oversize walrus moustache, is immediately recognisable to many, but who never really made a name for himself. Familiar to many as Harold Lloyd's sidekick, he made quite a few short comedies of his own but, while they were competently enough made, they never really made the grade. What a Whopper is a fairly typical example. Snub plays a henpecked husband who has a night on the town while his wife believes he is fishing. To support his subterfuge, Snub buys a fish on the way home from drying out at the Turkish baths but when he runs into his neighbour, who has bought a dead duck to support a similar ruse - only this time hunting – they get their kills mixed up and Snub has to do some fast talking to get himself off the hook.
The film has some amusing moments, but overplays its hand at times, letting gags run for too long, or simply devoting time to jokes that just aren't funny. It's probably a good example of Pollard's solo work though, and is a reasonably entertaining short.

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