Sunday, May 22, 2016
Just Rambling Along (USA,1918)
Although this film is rather simple and not particularly innovative, it has a big historic value. It is a example of one of first films Stan Laurel made for Hal Roach before being paired with Oliver Hardy and reaching international fame. It was in Hal Roach studios where Laurel and Hardy started working together in the 1920s and where many of their films were made.
This film is also noteworthy because it shows actress Clarine E. Seymour in a comedy. She became famous for her association with dramas by director D.W. Griffith, which also gave her a chance to work with famous actors like Robert Harron and Lillian Gish. Her career seemed to be promising, but we will never know how it would develop because she died at only 21 years old in 1920. Seymour’s most famous film is probably True Heart Susie, by Griffith, which was made in 1919.
This film shows a amoral character, played by Stan Laurel, who has some resemblance with Chaplin in both body language and for being a kind of society’s outcast. After a fight with a kid about who would take a wallet that was found on the sidewalk, Laurel followed a beautiful woman into a restaurant and started to flirt with her. Actually, many men followed the woman and it seems she had flirted with them on purpose in order to attract clients to the restaurant.
However, to go to the restaurant Laurel supposed to have money to pay for the food. Apparently, he was previously known to employees of the place and not welcome there. Laurel solved his financial problem by stealing the money from a kid on the street. The woman was not really flattered with Laurel’s advancements and ignored him completely, but he did not give up. In addition to flirt with the woman, Laurel also did all he could to get as much food as possible without paying and his plan worked well at first.
But when the bill finally arrived, Laurel did not have enough money to pay for it and he ran away from the restaurant. Unfortunately, on his way out, he bumped into a cop who has been called by the kid whose money he had stolen before entering the restaurant. In an attempt to hide from the cop, he returned to the restaurant and the employees took revenge on Laurel by beating him up.