Series: Frank Butler

Director: Jess Robbins
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: Jess Robbins
Photography: Len Powers

Stars: Frank Butler, Katherine Grant
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 20 December 1925
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: D-86
Filming dates: March 30 - April 3, 1925
Rating: 6/10

Tol'able Romeo

Available on DVD:

A man (FRANK BUTLER) wakes a night watchman, who is sleeping on a bench. The man sits on a different bench and gets out his violin to begin playing when an attractive woman (well, attractive for 1925 at least) sits down next to him and starts showing off her legs and powdering her face. He tries to ignore her when a stage actor (WILLIAM GILLESPIE), complete with a prop skull, sits down as well. The man with the violin gets up and moves back to the first bench with the night watchman but the two men become embroiled in an argument over the watchman's hat and where it has suddenly disappeared. A tall lady (VILLIE LATIMER) takes refuge on the same bench which results in the hat being lodged somewhere up her arse. The stage hand (GEORGE ROWE) starts ushering people away and yanks a bench with a short man sitting on from underneath him. So the poor man is escorted by a larger woman (HELEN GILMORE) to the already-crowded bench where the man with the violin momentarily gets up before sitting back down on the woman.
We then see that the who thing is a film set on a stage. During a set change which takes places behind his back, the violinist sits back down and is once again unwittingly reunited with the attrictive woman (well, attractive for 1925 at least). She asks him to play a song for her, which gets the attention of the manager (GILLESPIE again). The manager comes over and orders the violinist to leave. The stage manager brings over some cushions and places them on the ground as the manager kicks them all away one by one. The manager then instructs the stage hand to drop weighted sandbags on the violinist from above but they all miss their target. So the manager takes over and ends up dropping one of the bags on the leading lady, knocking her out cold and breaking the violinist's precious instrument.

Favourite bit
For me it's the scene with Helen Gilmore on the bench and the facial expressions she makes and the dirty look she gives Frank Butler. Made me laugh. Very Almira Gultch of her!

Copyrighted December 30, 1925.
The only film in the series to be released.
There is a rather risque caption displayed when Katherine Grant quips to William Gillespie holding the skull. She says "Aw, you an' your boy friend".
Frank Butler is sitting on Helen Gilmore's lap a full 14 seconds before he realizes his error and finally gets up off of her. The look she gives him is priceless.
For the first half of the film we believe the film takes place in a park but later we see that it is a stage set.
Katherine Grant's character asks Frank Butler's character to play the song "Charley My Boy" for her on his violin. Katherine would later go on to star in the Charley Chase film Charley My Boy (1926).

My opinion
Actually quite an enjoyable ten minutes' worth of film. I know, I know, I surprised myself by saying that! Helen Gilmore's brief scene was hilarious, and even Frank Butler managed to last a whole reel without becoming boring. And damn, if Katherine Grant doesn't look sexy in that dress. Well, for 1925 at least. The DVD print from LTL is missing the original title card and credits.

Frank Butler
Katherine Grant
The leading lady
William Gillespie
Stage actor/
George Rowe
Stage hand
Helen Gilmore
Woman on bench
Villie Latimer
Woman who sits on hat
Sammy Brooks
Short man on bench
Robert Page
Night watchman

CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

John Benson (original title card and credits)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Robert Page)

This page was last updated on: 24 August 2022