Series: Paul Parrott
Director: Jay A. Howe
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Stars: James Parrott, Ernest Morrison, Ethel Broadhurst
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 01 January 1922
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: C-32
Filming dates: September 14-22, 1921
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The daughter (Ethel Broadhurst) is playing the piano when she notices her dog inside the lid. She takes it out, tells it off and then puts it in a wooden locker. Moments later the servant kid (Ernest Morrison) jumps out of the locker crying with the dog attached to his pants! He spins around and the dog is released from his backside, and is slung through the air and into the face of her father (Marvin Loback). The boy is sent down to the cellar to get some home brew... seconds later an explosion sends the kid flying through the air and landing on the sofa, covered in white paint.
"The Sentimental Artist" (James Parrott) is introduced, skipping along merrily holding a canvas when he reaches a river. He skips across the stepping stones in the water but sinks gracefully when one of the stones gives way beneath his feet. After he emerges from the pond with a painting of a fish he has conjured up whilst under the water, he heads for the girl's home (with a live fish on his head) where she greets him outside. She doesn't want to buy his painting but instead puts him to work as a gardener for him to earn some money.
There's a great gag of a large car driving along the street added in where repo man(George Rowe) is revealed to be driving a much smaller car (see favourite bit).
The artist starts mowing the lawn and in doing so mows over the dog, sending fur everywhere (this scene is slightly edited on the DVD). The repo man arrives at the house and, after the father sits on his hat, demands a payment of $500 or else he will take everything - except the temperature! The father then sees an ad in the newspaper for a beauty contest and a prize of... wait for it... $500.
The repo man deliberately spoils a photo of the daughter so that she cannot submit it into the competition. Luckily there is another photo of her locked away in a truck in the attic. The daughter tries to open it but asks the artist to help her. He determines that the trunk needs to be blasted open and goes across the street to gather some gunpowder in a sack. The repo man, who is nearby, lights the fuse when the artist isn't looking, forcing the artist to quickly run back to the house and blow up the trunk. The artist suggests that he takes a photo of the daughter and runs off to grab his camera. Meanwhile, the sinister repo man continues his quest to foil the plot by adding gunpowder (yeah he just happened to have a barrel lying about) to the camera tripod (when nobody was looking, of course). Naturally, when the fuse lights everything blows up, sending the artist up into the hanging light with the kid.
The photo is ruined so the artist offers to paint her portrait instead. So they go out into the field and she strikes a pose. The repo man entices the boy to scare the artist and his subject by dressing as a bear. Unfortunately, a real bear wanders into the fray and chases the girl into the bushes, whilst the artist tries unsuccessfully to apprehend it. The bear chases him until the artist crashes into the daughter. The bear turns out to be the boy in the suit. The three of them get up off the floor and run towards the house where they meet the father and the repo man. They all turn to run and are clotheslined by a roped fence before all running off into the distance, presumably away from the bear.
Repo man/motorist George Rowe is driving along the street when he seemingly waves another motorist out of his way. The shot pulls back to reveal a bigger car obscuring his own and when the car moves forward we see Rowe in a much smaller car.
• Copyrighted December 10, 1921.
• This was the first film in the Paul Parrott series.
• There is something unnatural about the way Ethel Broadhurst and Marvin Loback stand when they are dealing with Ernest Morrison. Both are standing facing forward whilst side-by-side. Who does that? It's so obviously a "for the camera" moment, but doesn't reflect what two people would do in "real life"!
• Did James Parrott really just attack a real bear? Man, that takes some balls!
• Ethel Broadburst? In a beauty contest? Damn. Well... here's the photograph of her as seen in the film. Would you?
• The version of the film released by Alpha Video is missing some significant footage from its print:
I/ the opening 30 seconds of the film with the scene where Ethel Broadhurst is sitting at the piano and then picks her dog out of the piano and putting it in the locker with the boy.
II/ one of the funniest parts of the whole film is when George Rowe is driving to the house and his car is obscured by a larger car (this runs for about 20 seconds).
III/ a close-up shot of the dog on the grass just before James Parrott runs it over with the lawnmower (approximately 1 second missing).
What the experts say
• "Not quite sure I can see why there was a series to be made here?" ~ Lord Heath.
The sentimental artist
David Glass, Jorge Finkielman, John Benson (help)
This page was last updated on: 08 May 2017