Monday, May 14, 2012

The Yokel - 1926

Country: United States
Language: English
Director: James D. Davis
Stars: 'Snub' Pollard, Thelma Daniels and Bob O'Connor
Release Date: 22 October 1926 (USA)
Also known as: El campesino (Argentina)
Production Co: Snub Pollard Comedies
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Comedy | Short 
After ten years of working for Hal Roach, first as a supporting comedian for Harold Lloyd and then in his own series of shorts, Snub Pollard was let go. His style of comedy had not kept up with the new, more realistic, character-based comedy that had emerged, first under Lloyd, then Eddie Boland and now with Charley Chase. Snub had remained a clown with a strange mustache whose sharply executed gags determined the story, rather than the other way around. So he went out on his own and, with a distribution deal from the Weiss Brothers, started his own series.
Unfortunately, while his gag construction remained sharp -- there's a very nicely executed, if standard split-screen gag that kicks off this short -- neither his story construction nor titles -- some of which are wince-inducing in their attempts to be funny -- had advanced. Snub would go back into vaudeville, make some more shorts for the Weiss Brothers and continue to fade: into B western comedy short -- where he could be spotted, looking rather bizarre in the same urban costumes he had worn in 1916 -- and finally into uncredited bits. He can be glimpsed briefly in 1961's TWIST AROUND THE CLOCK, still wearing his mustache, doing the twist on a mountain in the Alps.
The story is a standard one: Snub comes to town with his pet duck where people think that he has struck oil at home, and so is briefly pursued by the young women, before settling on Thelma Davis.

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