A Straight Crook
 
Series: Eddie Boland Distribution: Roach/Pathé  Director: Hal Roach  Cinematography: ?
Production: C-19 Type: Silent short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: ?
Released: 15 May 1921 Length: 1-reel

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"The lucky fellow -- He found $10,000 worth of cocktails -- and drank them both". Eddie Boland sits under a water fountain whilst holding an umbrella over his head. A young lady walks by and he follows her onto a nearby street. He falls through a rotating door and into the lobby of a hotel, landing on a sofa where a woman gives him the evil eye. Eddie then staggers up the hotel stairs but falls back down to the bottom and hands a fellow guest an empty glass. Upstairs, and still staggering around, Eddie attempts to unlock a door using what appears to be a rubber key, only to find that behind the door is guest Vera White - who shoves him across the corridor and through the door into another room opposite. Eddie begins the slow process of undressing before falling asleep.
Next morning, the hotel manager hands Eddie a bill for rent and suggests Eddie works off what he owes by performing duties within the hotel. We next see him as a bellhop, calling the elevator for a guest, but when it doesn't come he uses a guest's cane to reach up and pull the pointer down to the bottom so that the elevator opens (clever gag). The publicity-seeking actress Miss Lazara del Frijole (Ethel Broadhurst) is some sort of V.I.P. guest at the hotel and calls down to the reception desk. The sarcastic receptionist sends Eddie up to her room where the actress instructs Eddie to guard some jewels for her. After he leaves, she then calls back down to the receptionist and tells her to send up some detectives and reporters. One reporter is already taking notes as two detectives arrive. They are immediately suspicious of the bellhop and keep a close eye on him. A mailman (Mark Jones) comes to collect the outward-going mail from the hotel postbox but hands a package from it to the bellhop for not having any stamps on it. Eddie throws the package out of an upstairs window but it is picked up by the manager and brought back inside. Eddie tries to slip the package into the handbag of a lady guest who is reading her newspaper but fails, all under the watchful eye of the two detectives who are closing in on his bizarre behaviour. Eddie attempts to hand the package of jewels back to Miss del Frijole but she plays dumb. In one last attempt to relieve himself of possession of the package, Eddie slips it into the bag of an elderly guest in the lobby - only to find a trap inside. The two detectives grab him and open the package, only to find a note inside written by Frijole, which thanks him for helping her get publicity for the stunt, and offering him two free tickets to her next performance. He punches himself in the face and lands on his back as the picture fades out.

Favourite bit
A clever gag where Eddie Boland uses a cane to pull down the needle above the elevator so that it points at the floor where a guest is awaiting to enter it, then opens the doors. Brilliant!

Facts
Production C-19 - Eddie Boland series.
Copyrighted May 14, 1921.
Filming dates
February 16-21, 1921.
Trivia
The opening shot of Eddie Boland sitting next to the small pond was shot at the front of the Hal Roach Studios.
There is an intertitle card which reads, "On his present salary, he should have his hotel bill paid by June 1st, 1950." Just in case you were wondering, that date fell on a Thursday.
Ethel Broadhurst's character resides in room 43.

What the experts say
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Eddie Boland
Bellhop
Ethel Broadhurst
Miss Lazara del Frijole
Charles Stevenson
Hotel detective
Vera White
Hotel guest
Jean Hope
Hotel receptionist
Wallace Howe
Hotel manager/
Hotel guest
Mark Jones
Mailman/
Elderly guest in chair
Julie Leonard
Hotel guest in bed
Gaylord Lloyd
Hotel detective
Chris Lynton
Hotel guest who boards elevator
Bob O'Conor
Reporter
Lilymae Wilkinson
Hotel guest reading newspaper
Dagmar Dahlgren
Receptionist next to stairs
Molly Thompson
Large woman in lounge
Fanny Perry
[unidentified character]
Nina Speight
[unidentified character]
Harold Adkins
[unidentified character]
Betty Atwood
[unidentified character]
   
UNIDENTIFIED CAST

SHOT ON THE LOT
The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR

INTERTITLE CARDS

Acknowledgements:
Tommie Hicks (help)
Jesse Brisson (identification of half the cast!)

This page was last updated on: 20 March 2017