Series: Snub Pollard

Director: Charles Parrott
Producer: Hal Roach

Stars: Snub Pollard, Marie Mosquini, Leo Willis
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 18 December 1921
Length: 1 reel (silent short)
Production No.: H-86
Filming dates:
Rating: 3/10
Shake 'Em Up


In the town of Pueblo de Petroliumbo, infamous because of its regular earthquakes, a fat Mexican messenger delivers a note to General Viva De Gumbo (Leo Willis) from a spy named E.N. Chillada warning him that an agent is about to attempt to free Señorita Teresa Tamale (Marie Mosquini), who is being guarded by a bunch of inept men in a circular prison out in a field. As she sits playing the guitar in her outdoor cell the General storms in and makes her an offer - marry him or be shot. Meanwhile, Captain J. Hawe (Snub Pollard) rides into town with a letter from General Lastigny telling him to rescue the Señorita. An earthquake (well it's more of an aftershock really) hits - people fly out of windows and the camera shakes and a patron brings the Captain some sandbags to wear as cushions from the quakes.
Hawe seeks work as a bricklayer but no sooner does he begin work on building a wall an earthquake destroys it. He tries to hire a taxi but when the driver starts the engine the vehicle bounces around uncontrollably. As the General enters the Señorita's prison to plead with her again, Hawe sneaks up outside and hides behind a conveniently placed bush. After mingling with the marching guards he is pulled into the prison by the General. Hawe shoots the General before fleeing with the girl but is caught and put to the firing squad. Another well-timed aftershock allows Hawe to escape. He hides in a hotel when the General forces the girl into a room and into a chest during a particularly long earthquake which sees her and Hawe captured and sentenced to death. They are led to an escape-proof bricked cell outside but an earthquake destroys it and they flee together.

Favourite bit
Leo Willis jumping into the pond. On screen it just looks like another slapstick routine, but when you take into consideration what is actually involved in performing such a stunt and how uncomfortable it is....

Copyrighted December 6, 1921.
Available on DVD from Looser Than Loose, but there is a version with French intertitle cards (which are included in a link below) which is of superior picture quality. It was from this print that I extracted the screenshots published herein, except for the English intertitle cards which are derived from the LTL disc.
What the experts say
"Average. That's pretty much ALL of Snub Pollard's silent films." ~ Lord Heath.

Snub Pollard
Captain J. Hawe,
The Mysterious Cavalier
Marie Mosquini
Señorita Teresa Tamale
Leo Willis
General Viva De Gumbo
Sammy Brooks

(for the intertitle cards from the French print click here.)

Acknowledgements & sources:
Dave Glass (French print)

This page was last updated on: 08 October 2018