Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Should Sailors Marry? (USA,1925)
The diminutive Australian-born comedian Clyde Cook was one of many comedians who ended up being forgotten as time passed, although he was quite popular in his era and had a long career that spanned even to talkies. His heyday was on Hal Roach studios in the 1920s. He was known by his acrobatic skills, which unfortunately were not always portrayed in his films. His films were not quit original or funny and were often a bit below average, specially in comparison with the work of more famous comedians like Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Langdon, etc., which can partially explain why Clyde Cook’s popularity did not endure for too long.
In this film, Cook portrays a physically fragile sailor, who had some savings and corresponded with a woman who he was about to meet with the intention to marry her.
What the sailor did not know is that this woman paid alimony to her first husband and intended to remarry in an attempt to take money from him, so she could still pay the alimony to her ex. So, she had a plan with her ex husband to make the sailor remain married to her for as long as possible, so her ex would have a guaranteed source of income. The help of her ex husband would prove valuable because, after all, he could use his physical skills as a wrestler to physically threaten the sailor.
When both the woman and the sailor met, things turned out to be a nightmare to the latter. The woman was not as beautiful as she claimed she was and was rather tough. To make things worse, he moved to her house and was introduced to her two children, who were quite misbehaved and, to add insult to injury, her first husband still lived at home.
After a while, the woman found out that her new husband (the sailor) had lost all his savings and she decided to make him work in a hazardous job. To make the most of his labor, she purchased a insurance policy, which would pay her in case an accident happened to her husband. So, both the woman and her ex wrestling husband make up a plan to kill the sailor at work. But the plan backfired and he escaped both the marriage and the accident with his life.
This film is interesting due to a participation of Oliver Hardy as a doctor who was examining the sailor, prior to his pairing with Oliver Hardy. Hardy’s scene was among the funniest of the film. Although the gags were not very funny, the final gags outdoors, when the sailor was fighting for his life were pretty ingenious for both camera use and special effects.