Series: The Spat Family

Director: Jay A. Howe
Producer: Hal Roach

Stars: Frank Butler, Laura Roessing, Sidney D'Albrook
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 13 July 1924
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: F-12
Filming dates: January 10-19, 1924; retakes February 29, 1924
Rating: 4/10

Radio Mad

Tewksberry is on the roof of the building trying to fix up an aerial for his radio. He saws a round hole into the floor and exposes a large hole in the ceiling of two not-so-happy residents below (one is William Gillespie). Brother Ambrose is on the ground with a cable which he climbs to the roof with but he doesn't get far when Tewksberry throws a heap of sheets down on his head. One of the sheets get caught on the cable and a dog chases after it. An elderly man is eating his dinner whilst taking a bath so Ambrose sticks his hand through the open window and grabs a piece of meat from the man's plate and throws it to the dog. That's just so wrong on so many levels! Downstairs, the wife is reading the manual on the radio and basically doing nothing to help.
Amrbose comes across yet another open window with another naked man in his bath (Gillespie again), meanwhile Tewksberry receives a shock when he finds a spaghetti of wires all over the place in his living room. The neighbor confronts Ambrose on the roof with a gun but Ambrose ends up falling through the hole from earlier and lands in the neighbor's bedroom where his wife faints upon seeing him. The Spat residence catches fire from the exposed cables and all hell breaks loose. The family try to tell Tewksberry of the situation but he is engrossed in listening to a radio broadcast about some apartment block fire. They make him see that the fire is actually in his own apartment and they all run out and down the fire escape, saving the radio of course. Tewksberry doesn't want to let go of the radio so his wife and Ambrose hold a sheet for him to catch him but the dog runs up and snatches it, as Tewksberry falls flat on his arse. [End of footage]

Favourite bit

Copyrighted June 5, 1924.
7 minutes of the film was uploaded to YouTube by CINEPIX in January 2022.
Eating your dinner from a tray whilst taking a bath is just disgusting, isn't it?
It's a bit concerning that Ambrose likes watching naked old men in their bathtubs. He does it twice!

My opinion
A fairly lacklustre comedy with a couple of okay scenes. Ambrose being a peeping tom and a naked William Gillespie are all you really need to know about this one. I was only able to see less than half of the film.

Frank Butler
Tewksberry Spat
Laura Roessing
Mrs. Tewksberry Spat
Sidney D'Albrook
Brother Ambrose
William Gillespie
Dick Gilbert
Neighbor fleeing fire
Hugh Saxon
Old man in bathtub
Jill Rainsford
[Neighbor (?)]


INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Acknowledgements: (Cinepix Vintage Film Collection) (YouTube link)
John Benson (information)
Ian Elliot (identification of the film)
Steve Massa (identification of Hugh Saxon)

This page was last updated on: 21 March 2022