Friday The Thirteenth
 
Series: Paul Parrott Distribution: Pathé Exchange  Director: James D. Davis  Cinematography: -
Production: C-43 Type: Silent short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: -
Released: 02 July 1922 Length: 1-reel Titles: -  Sound recording: N/A

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"The Athletic Girl" (Jobyna Ralston) is in her house swatting flies when she accidentally swipes her father over his newspaper-covered head.  "Superstitious Sammy" (James Parrott) is introduced getting his shoes shined in the street when he picks up a basket of flowers which are on a stand nearby.  As he points them out to the shoe shine man, Paul accidentally picks up a woman's hat (worn by Vera White) which looks identical.  Her outraged husband (Mark Jones) socks Paul in the mouth.
After getting up off the floor, Paul spots a horseshoe on the ground but before he has a chance to grab it a passing policeman treads on it and walks away with it attached to his shoe.  Paul pursues the cop down the street for a while until the officer starts to get irritated and turns to chase Paul away.  The unidentified cop then steps into a puddle in the road, losing his shoe.  Paul comes over to assist but he is arrested for picking up the horseshoe and tossing it away.  However, the cop has a change of heart when Paul demonstrates a rather bizarre technique of throwing away his hat only to have it return to him like a frisby (see favourite bit).
Paul encourages the officer to have a go at throwing his own hat, but he throws it into the road and has to watch it get run over by a streetcar.  Paul continues his journey into the park, where a black cat walks across his path.  His suitor, Emmet (Eddie Baker) turns up at Paul's girlfriend's house, carrying a box of chocolates which he begins to tuck into (after changing the price tag from $0.25 to $2.25 in order to impress her.)
Paul walks into the room and the two men eye each other with contempt.  The girl shares her choccies with Paul but the suitor doesn't like it and smacks Paul when her back is turned before using him as a chair and then kicking him out the door.  Paul returns through a side door and follows the girl into the next room and uses a parasol to conceal themselves underneath so that the suitor cannot get to them.
At the table, the salt is spilled (and thrown by Paul into the suitor's face) and the subject of marriage is raised by the girl, who threatens to marry Emmet if Paul refuses to marry her on Friday the thirteenth.  Determined to remove superstition from his system, Paul returns to the park where he is sitting in a water fountain with a fishing rod and surrounded by cats.  His aim is to use bait to lure the cats into a sack so that he can drown them but fortunately his actions are thwarted by the suitor, who advises him to get to the church as he is supposed to be getting married.
At the ceremony Emmet has brought along a stuffed cat and shoved a dynamite stick up its arse (sounds reasonable, I suppose).  He then hands Paul a broom and entices him to whack the animal.  Paul does; it explodes, leaving their shadows on the wall.
The couple are eventually married in a service conducted by cross-eyed minister George Rowe.

Favourite bit
The frisby hat!  Paul chucks his hat off in front of the cop and watches it spin back to him like a frisby.  A series of unedited throws in one continuous take does make the audience wonder how it was done.  Very funny.

Facts
Production C-43 - Hal Roach series with Paul Parrott.
Copyrighted May 29, 1922.

Filming dates
March 25 - April 3, 1922, with retakes April 8.
Trivia
• This was Jobyna Ralston's first film for Hal Roach.  She would go on to appear in 46 films in the Paul Parrott series and establish herself as a leading lady.
• As Paul stops to try and retrieve the horseshoe from the ground before the cop steps on it, there are a couple of people across the street who have stopped to watch the action.  This was probably not scripted, but rather, members of the public.
The film was shot in 1922, where Friday The 13th fell in the months of January and October.
I.C. Cross is the Justice of the Peace.
• George Rowe's character name is "I.C. Cross", an obvious reference to his crossed-eyes.

James Parrott
Superstitious Sammy
Jobyna Ralston
The Athletic Girl
Eddie Baker
Emmet, the rival suitor
Wallace Howe
Jobyna's father
Mark Jones
Hat-woman's husband
George Rowe
I.C. Cross,
Justice of the Peace
Vera White
Woman with hat
UNIDENTIFIED CAST

Policeman

POSTER

INTERTITLE CARDS

This page was last updated on: 02 July 2016