|Series:||All Stars||♦||Distribution:||Pathé Exchange||♦||Director:||Richard Wallace||♦||Cinematography:||Glen Russell Carrier|
|Production:||S-7||♦||Type:||Silent short||♦||Producer:||Hal Roach||♦||Editor:||Richard C. Currier|
|Released:||14 March 1926||♦||Length:||2-reels||♦||Titles:||H.M. Walker||♦||Supervising director:||F. Richard Jones|
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|Mr. Haig (James Finlayson), a lawyer, is in his home trying to get comfortable by the fire when his eldest daughter Toodles (Mildred June) shows her parents a newspaper article relating to her and her father's business partner/fiancé, Johnnie Walker (Tyler Brooke). Meanwhile the younger daughter (Sue O'Neil) sits beside on the sofa and annoyingly blows a trumpet so loud it causes her father (Fin) to fall off his chair and into the open fire, setting his pants alight.
Cue the aforementioned Johnnie Walker in a cab being chased by a tall blonde (Gertrude Astor) in a car behind. The cars come to a crashing stop and the couple get into a fight on the sidewalk outside the lawyer's home. Johnnie enters the Haig house and knocks over a marble statue before reassembling the two halves back-to-front. He sits with the daughter at the piano under the watchful eye of mother Charlotte Mineau and fully aware the blonde lady is waiting for him outside on the lawn.
Mr. Haig confronts the woman outside, but not before he had taken a long look at the restructured statue in his hallway before resigning himself with "it ain't possible"! The woman breaks down and finds consolation in the lawyer and the two head of to a cafe together. Next morning over the breakfast table and concerns are raised over the whereabouts of the father and when Johnnie reads the headline in the newspaper; "well known father caught in police raid", he flips off his chair and rips the paper up before anybody else sees it.
|Haig, clearly suffering from a hangover of sorts tries to wake himself up in his office when office boy Spec O'Donnell storms in and asks if he has seen the newspaper headlines? "NO! - an' I don't want to see it!" replies the lawyer before drinking a bottle of ink by mistake. The blonde woman turns up at the office and makes a nuisance of herself when the lawyer's wife telephones. The wife becomes suspicious when she overhears her husband instruct the office boy to tell her he is away on business and decides to come down to confront him.
The blonde woman's intentions are revealed as blackmail when she demands a large amount of cash from the lawyer for a previous broken promise he allegedly made to her. When he attempts to sneak away she threatens to scream.
Johnnie hitches a ride to the office from a woman motorist (a Katherine Grant lookalike). She stops and Johnnie gets out to help but loses his pants whilst cranking up the engine. A burly traffic cop pulls him to one side to address his lack of clothing. Whilst back in the office, the lawyer suggests he and the leggy blonde play a game of tag, which lasts all of about 30 seconds before Johnnie rushes in to warn Haig that his wife is on her way up. After a brief struggle, Johnnie manages to pull the woman out of view of the lawyer's wife, who enters the office and interogates him. Soon after, the woman's husband turns up and takes her away.... which just leaves the lawyer's wife to throttle her husband!
Actually, my favourite part of the film was an intertitle card! When James Finlayson notices the hastily re-assembled statue in his hallway his reaction is priceless. The top half of the statue now faces forward as the bottom half faces backward. "It ain't possible", he says!
• Production S-7 - All Star series.
• Copyrighted February 6, 1926
• November 5-19, 1925.
• At least one source credits Sammy Brooks and Martha Sleeper as being in the film. Both are wrong.
• This film was released by Alpha Video in October 2014. The print derives from the personal collection of film-maker John Carpenter. The transfer was done by Tommy José Stathes.
• Mildred June shows a lot of cleavage in the shot at the beginning when she leans forward.
• When the daughter is putting out the fire in Fin's pants with the soda spray, she 'accidentally' sprays him in the face. Hmmm, looked a bit deliberate to me - and so unnecessary!
• The gag where Tyler Brooke knocks over the naked statue was later re-used in Laurel & Hardy's Wrong Again.
James Finlayson uses a gag in his office where he fills a glass of water from a water pitcher and then drinks from the pitcher before emptying the glass back into the pitcher. Again, a gag which was used later by Stan Laurel in Laughing Gravy.
• When Mrs. Haig and her daughter leave the house to go to the office you can see their front door opens outwards. Have you ever heard of a front door that opens outwardly?
• On about 15 minutes into the film, Tyler Brooke stops on the sidewalk under the arches of 6806 - Blaine Walker Building. Not quite sure where that is.
• I find it hard to believe that Johnnie arrived at the office before Mrs. Haig. She took a cab from her home straight to the office and left before him. Johnnie left after her, spent some of the journey on foot, and despite hitching a ride, got caught up in an incident in the street and had to adjust his clothing after being pulled over by a cop. Given that Johnnie and Mrs. Haig both made the same journey separately, how on earth did he arrive before her?
• Even when the blonde woman falls (or is pushed) off the chair in the office she keeps her legs very much together so as not to reveal anything! I know, I looked very closely!!
• The newspaper article exposing the lawyer with the blonde which is seen by Johnnie at the breakfast table features a slightly different image than the one revealed at the end of the film by the woman's husband. If you look on the intertitle cards section at the bottom of this page you can see both examples.
• It is surprising that the credits reveal Tyler Brooke as the lead (he is billed first), and Sue O'Neil is billed above Mildred June who has a much bigger part. As the credits do not run in alphabetical order according to surname, this is quite strange because James Finlayson is clearly the lead. The glass slide credits Finlayson above Brooke, and with Gertrude Astor third billed.
• Newspaper articles from Los Angeles Evening Post-Record, 21 November 1925 and Los Angeles Times, 29 November 1925 list Ivor McFadden and Jerry Mandy in the cast. Having reviewed the film personally I was unable to confirm their appearances and thus I have left them off the cast list.
What the experts say
• Not a lot.
The blonde woman
The office boy
The blonde woman's cab driver
Little Eva's husband
Mildred June leans forward to reveal cleavage.
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/678274013/ (Los Angeles Evening Post-Record, 21 Nov 1925)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/380761731/ (Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov 1925)
John Carpenter/Alpha Video
Jesse Brisson (information, identification of Clara Guiol)
This page was last updated on: 04 November 2021