|Introducing Harry Langdon
(Hal Roach Announcement)
|Series:||Special||♦||Distribution:||Hal Roach (non theatrical)||♦||Director:||Hal Roach||♦||Cinematography:||?|
|Production:||N/A||♦||Type:||Sound short||♦||Producer:||Hal Roach||♦||Editor:||?|
Harry Langdon, in his first on-screen appearance for producer Hal Roach, knocks upon Mrs. Quimby's (Thelma Todd) front door, still knocking repeatedly, even after she opens it. They have an awkward conversation about her name, and then whether or not she has any "little Quimby's"? She tells him that she has no children, but he persists with his strange conversation as she turns her back on him and sits down at the table, leaving the front door open. Unsurprisingly, she tries to ignore him as Harry continues to waffle on about how nice her home is until he asks if she has a bathroom at which point she closes the door on him and sits back down. Seconds later he knocks on the door again. And so continues the strange chat on the doorstep. Harry continues to press Mrs. Quimby on the whereabouts of her husband and suggests he may have been run over by a Buick, or engaged in boom boom!? The camera remains on Harry for an eternity as we struggle to resist the temptation to reach into the screen and punch his face in, and continues to rattle on about where Mr. Quimby might be, all the while Mrs. Quimby responds off-screen. This goes on and on and on and on.... and ON until finally - FINALLY Harry reveals he has brought a drunken man (Eddie Dunn) back with him, believing it to be Mrs. Quimby's husband. It isn't, and Harry finally leaves with him as Mrs. Quimby closes the door.
After a fade-out, Eddie Dunn returns back in front of the camera and addresses the watching audience, introducing Harry Langdon as the next star for Hal Roach.
"Maybe Mr. Quimby is making BOOM BOOM!" It's the expression on Langdon's face as he tries to spit the awkward words out to an embarrassed Thelma.
• This was a 7-minute short film made by Hal Roach in June 1929.
• June 1929.
• The film has been preserved by UCLA Film and Television Archive.
• Parts of the film reveal terrible deterioration with the negative.
• The way Harry Langdon behaves at the front door, anybody would think he was completely pissed! He cannot stand still, stands on one leg with his back to the door, talks gibberish, repeats himself frequently and is just generally bloody annoying!
• From the moment Harry Langdon suggests that Mr. Quimby had been knocked down by a Buick, the camera remains on him uninterrupted for a staggerinig (and painfully long) 2 minutes and 19 seconds. Are you kidding me?
• During the ridiculously overlong, unbroken scene where Langdon waffles on the doorstep, Thelma Todd appears to break character and laugh off-camera unexpectedly. I honestly cannot see for the life of me WHY?
• At the end of the film, actor Eddie Dunn comes back through the front door and addresses the audience. Here is the full dialogue:
-"Gentlemen, if you'll just permit me to sort of step out of my character for a moment I have an announcement to make. Mr. Roach has requested me to tell you folks out there that he has added a new star to his already well-known firmament. A very great star in fact: Mister Harry Langdon. Mr. Roach has the greatest confidence in the world in Mr. Langdon and I know Harry is with Mr. Roach, heart and soul. Incidentally, I wonder if you would like to hear Mr. Langdon say a few words to you?" (Eddie opens the foor to find Thelma Todd in Harry Langdon's arms). "Why, Harry?"
-Harry Langdon: "Why, what time is it Mr. Dunn?"
Eddie Dunn: "Well what do you want to know the time for, you're not going any place?"
-Harry Langdon: "No, I..." (Thelma grabs Harry and they continue kissing as Eddie closes the door on them and resumes his dialogue).
-Eddie Dunn: "Ha, don't pay any attention to that folks; just getting back to where I started from...." (picture fades out).
What the experts say
• "Watching this film was one of the most uncomfortable seven minutes of my whole life!" - Lord Heath
Mr. Weiss/Mr. Dunn
http://theluckycorner.com/crew/roach.html (Robert Demoss)
This page was last updated on: 13 December 2016