Series: Snub Pollard
Director: Charles Parrott
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Photography: Robert Doran
Editor: T.J. Crizer
Stars: Snub Pollard, Marie Mosquini, James Finlayson, Noah Young
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 24 June 1923
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: B-16
Filming dates: January 20 - February 7, 1923
Courtship Of Miles Sandwich
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It's Thanksgiving and Ma (Marie Mosquini) has cooked a turkey for her family (Snub Pollard and child). The kid repeatedly asks his parents "why is Thanksgiving?" but is ignored. Snub, who is sleeping in an armchair suddenly wakes up when the smell of dinner wafts up his nose. At the table he desperately attempts to cut the turkey but every knife he uses breaks. He ends up breaking the table and punching the turkey out of anger. Eventually the boy's badgering of wanting to know about Thanksgiving causes Snub to recall the story of how it all begin when Miles Sandwich (James Finlayson), a Puritan captain, comes ashore with his small band of followers, which include Prisilly (Mosquini) and John Alldone (Pollard) before they set up a fort in the snowy hills.
Miles and John soon begin to compete for Prisilly's affections after she takes up residence in a log cabin surrounded by a snow-covered wilderness. As she sits inside weaving, John tries to write a letter (to whom it is never disclosed) but has no luck when the ink, the pencil and the typewriter he tries to use all break. Meanwhile Miles delivers a package to Prisilly to show his interest in her. Along comes Chief Whattadmat (Noah Young) who sees John pull up to the cabin and declares his intent to steal the horses; that is until John locks them. John tries to sell Prisilly on the idea that Miles is no good for her but she isn't interested. The rivalry between Miles and John finally spills over and they start to fight with swords which begins with John taking a cheap shot at his opponent.
Prisilly calls both men over to her when she gets a sledge and climbs to the top of a snow-covered hill. After she comes flying down the hill (complete with poor rear-projection) it's Miles's turn. Of course as he comes down the hill on his sledge he bumps into John and both men fall down. Miles fills John's pipe with gunpowder (like you do) when his back is turned as Prisilly changes from a sledge into skis for her next run down the fill. This prompts the two men to adopt skis and have their own try. Firstly, Miles nails John's skis down into the snow (yes, I know, I heard it too) before John ties a rope to the back of Miles which is attached to a tree. You can probably guess how THAT ends.
When a group of native Indians advance on the fort, Miles orders his men to attack them and they set off through the snow. The Indians surprise the men by offering to resolve their issues by talking. Miles and John take the two Indians back to the cabin and are offered a pipe of peace for their hospitality. When Chief Whattadamat lights the pipe it explodes on account of the gunpowder John has put into it. Enraged, the chief declares that John will have to marry his daughter and goes to bring her to the cabin. An ugly thing with missing teeth. At that moment Prisilly walks in and rescues John, therefore the chief's daughter turns her attentions towards Miles instead. The chief celebrates and says that they should go out and shoot a turkey for the wedding ceremony. The men go out into the snow and blow the absolute crap out of a fat turkey, destroying it completely. John sees a second turkey but is thwarted when he takes aim and is suddenly avalanched by falling snow from the roof of the cabin. Back to the present and Snub wraps up telling the story to his son, who then awards him the turkey.
This guy must have some serious anger issues! Grabbing hold of a cooked turkey and punching it silly!
• Copyrighted June 6, 1923.
• The title of the film is a play on words The Courtship Of Miles Standish, a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In the title card for the film there is a second mocking where it states "From Thinfellow's Immortal Poem". (Thin-fellow as opposed to Long-fellow).
• Jackie Morgan, the boy who plays Snub and Marie's son is referred to as 'Malcom'.
• Miles uses a hammer and tacks to nail down John's skis into the snow. I don't know where to begin with explaining why this makes no sense. What I'd like to know is who leaves a hammer and tacks just lying around on top of a snow-covered hill?
• The shots of Marie Mosquini and Snub Pollard's characters coming down the hill on skis when the camera is face-on were obviously performed by a stunt double.
• There is a clever shot where the Indians are seen advancing on the fort and are viewed through a periscope. Quite clever for 1923.
• Chief Whattadamat's daughter is called "Honka Tonka". Strange family.
What the experts say
• "Starring Snub Pollard I automatically assumed this would be boring, but directed by Charles Parrott gave me hope that it actually might be worth watching. I should have listened to my instincts. The story was so confusing and poorly edited. It has to be one of the most poorly edited films I have ever seen. The continuity was awful and the plot was difficult to follow. Still, it looked like they all had a lot of fun in the snow." ~ Lord Heath.
Man who offers Snub a light
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Acknowledgements & sources:
Steve Massa (identification of Jackie Morgan)
This page was last updated on: 24 June 2020