|02 March 1916|
|Vim Comedy Film Company/General Film Company|
|Director: Willard Louis Producer: Louis Burstein|
|In this 'Plump And Runt' film, Babe Hardy and Billy Ruge are rival musicians who both live in the same house. Plump (Babe) sits on a trunk in his room with his French horn but cannot play it due to a kitten that has crawled inside it! Runt (Ruge) on the other hand sits in his own room playing his clarinet. The lady downstairs is going nuts, as well as an elderly man ('the grouch') upstairs, on account of all the noise. The incapacitated grouch bangs a chair on his floor repeatedly, sending half the ceiling down onto Plump on the floor below, but Babe doesn't notice because he is playing his instrument so hard. Plump finally realises he has a mouth full of ceiling and stops playing, much to the relief of the man upstairs.
Bandmaster Schmitte (an early film for Billy Bletcher) and his daughter are introduced into the film, with him leaving his apartment and heading off to his headquarters where other musicians are gathering outside. Schmitte puts the four men through their paces like a drill sergeant on heat.
At the house, Plump enters the room of Schmitte's daughter, opposite the hallway and embraces her warmly, whilst Runt continues his clarinet playing and annoying everybody else in the house until the lady downstairs throws a pale through his wall. Mind you, the woman takes things too far when she tries to add a chair to Runt's room via the broken hole in the wall. So much so that Runt retaliates in comical fashion. Upstairs Plump is serenading his girlfriend and causing Runt to remonstrate with him through the ceiling.
|Runt goes upstairs and enters the girl's room, breaking up her fun with Babe. Babe suddenly becomes aggitated when the girl starts smooching with Runt that he pounds on the floor, sending ceiling rubble down on the lady downstairs (she really isn't having a good time of it at this point!) Finally, Babe ejects Runt with a powerful blow on his French horn and the two leave. No sooner do the boys arrive at Schmitte's headquarters, another man turns up outside the house to woo Babe's girl.
As the musicians break up, Babe calls Runt over and swaps his instrument with him rather forcibly, but they swap back shortly after as Babe picks out a spot in the grass to take a nap. The girlfriend back at the house leaves arm-in-arm with her new gentleman caller, whilst Runt brings to the attention of his fellow musicians about Babe's lounging around. Schmitte wakes Babe up and the group of six musicians re-form to intimidate nearby civilians. Babe blows on his horn so hard he causes a woman passerby to spin around a lamp-post, and even causes a a car to glide along the street!
The musicians begin playing out-of-tune and out-of-sync in public and attract the unwanted attention of three young boys who are eating fruit nearby. A blast on Babe's horn soon gets rid of them! Just them, Babe's girlfriend comes around the corner with her new gentleman caller as they purchase a newspaper from a stand on the street.
|The man and the girl sit down on a park bench and watch on as a drum rolls on by, down the street, and being chased by all the musicians. They all seem to rejoice in triumph as the drum comes to a stop at their feet on the street corner. Off they all proceed to a saloon, where they start playing outside. Their music catches the barman's attention and he offers them inside his bar with the promise that he'll "fill their instruments with beer". In they all go. The barman does indeed fill Plump's horn with beer, but Runt is left out.
Plump wipes some of the beer froth on his finger and shoves it right under Runt's nose, but then quickly withdraws his offer as Runt tries to have a taste; instead, he ends up wearing it! Everybody leaves, except Plump, who stays behind and smokes a cigar. Runt suggests to the others that they serenade Florence (the girl whom he and Plump are both trying to engage). They stand outside her house and begin playing music, unaware that she already has a male guest in her room.
She quickly smuggles the man out of her room just as Plump rejoins the group and takes the lead in the serenading. Runt becomes the next recipient of another Plump horn-blowing and ends up falling through a washing line.
The last minute of the film is quite frantic, with the band getting drenched with a bucket of water from above, but Plump gets the last laugh when he blows the water back up with a blow on his horn.
In a shocking "did he really just do that?" scene... Babe stuffs a live cat into his French horn then blows the instrument, propelling the animal out of the end of the horn!
•Filmed in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.
•Part of the long-running 'Plump And Runt' film series made by Babe Hardy and Billy Ruge.
•There are 13 intertitle cards - shown below.
Did you notice?
•The opening scene has Billy Ruge and Babe Hardy poking their heads through a large music sheet which has the label, "Try this on your piano".
•Billy Ruge is eating spaghetti at the beginning of the film.
•When we first see the woman downstairs, there is a small black cat hiding away on the right of the screen.
•Babe performs a shocking moment of animal cruelty on a cat when he blows it out the end of the French horn!
•I think it's quite funny that Florence McLaughlin (the daughter) is actually taller than her father (Billy Bletcher).
•The intertitle cards introduce Billy Bletcher's character as "Schmitte", but later we see a sign which says "Schmidt's Wiener Band".
•Babe enters the girl's room without knocking first.
•Babe gives a wiggle of his bum in front of the camera when dancing with his girlfriend.
•There is a brief moment in the girl's room where a frustrated Babe strides up and down nervously when he sees Runt smooching with the girl. His mannerisms in this scene are very similar to those he used later in his career when opposite Stan Laurel.
•Florence McLaughlin acts like a complete tart for most of the film, flirting and smooching with at least three gentlemen!
•There is a very brief clip where Babe blows on his horn to bring two members of the band back to the group where we see a moustached man in a doorway. The sign to the left of him reads "Jacksonville Brewing Co. Beer".
•There are separate close-up shots of both Billy Ruge and Babe Hardy spitting. Yuk!
•At Heinie's Saloon, a Limburger sandwich will cost you ¢10 and a cheese sandwich will cost you ¢5.
•There is a slight continuity problem right at the end of the film where we see Babe covered in something dirty before we see the shot of the water hitting him.
Florence, Schmitte's daughter
Woman downstairs with rolling pin
The Grouch upstairs
Hopeful suitor (Harry Hick??)
Four musicians (second left = Billy Bletcher)
Woman on lamp-post
"Laurel OR Hardy" by Rob Stone (book)
This page was last updated on: 09 September 2014