Series: Snub Pollard
Director: Hugh Fay
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Photography: Robert Doran
Editor: T.J. Crizer
Stars: Snub Pollard, James Finlayson, Marie Mosquini
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 19 August 1923
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: B-14
Filming dates: November 8-25, 1922;
retakes Nov. 27, 1922 and May 31 - June 1, 1923
The Mystery Man
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Billed as Sherlock Holmes' only rival - Snub is "Thousand-Eye" Pollard, a detective who sees a convict escaping jail over a ladder. When he tries to intervene, Snub is catapulted from the ladder over the wall and into a ditch by the convict's assistants. He lands on a bull which carries him a short distance before dumping him onto an ostrich (are you reading this properly?) Meanwhile the convict and his two buddies hold up in a run down shack. Snub puts on a pair of stilts and pursues the con into a windmill before grabbing the man as he tries to escape on horseback. Snub shows off to his landlord, the father of his girlfriend, before the father leaves the house pursued by "Gimlet" McGuffey (James Finlayson) - a dodgy-looking detective who then robs the father with the help of some crooks.
Snub goes to his office and summons his assistant Watson. Shortly afterwards the father shows up and tells Snub of the mugging he just suffered. The crooks (including Finlayson and Noah Young) dump their getaway car and divide up the money from the robbery. Snub grabs some hounds (how resourceful is he?) and sets off searching for the men who try to outwit him by placing their boots on a cow. Seriously, this is what happens. When a fly irritates McGuffey he starts throwing off his clothes, making it easier for the hounds to track him. Snub lets the dogs loose and they run off, leaving him to trail the slowest dog which walks right by the three crooks. Snub follows the dog into a tent where a couple are not too happy to see him. The husband takes aim at Snub on a bridge and shoots him off before Snub ends up chasing the dog round and round a barrel.
The dumb detective then starts to follow the cow with boots on through a field, which miraculously leads him to the stolen satchel with the money in. Snub rushes back to the house to exaggerate his ease in reclaiming the money, and wins the approval of his girlfriend's father. Meanwhile McGuffey, realising he has lost his share of the money, follows Snub. However, the satchel contains not the money but a swarm of wasps. When the father realises this he throws Snub out of the house and despite his pleas, he gets the same treatment again and again - each time landing on the hard ground; a rake and then a concealed cactus. It gets worse when the crooks conspire to have Snub sit on an explosive which propels him up into the air and on top of a telegraph pole, losing his clothes in the process.
Snub somehow manages to redress himself by using a wire which he lowers down to people who just happen to be carrying clothes underneath him, who stop just long enough for him to hook them and hoist the clothes up to him. (I am not making this shit up!) He briefly loses his pants - but not to worry, he finds some which just happen to be hanging on a washing line in somebody's back yard, but these are ripped off him by a dog. Snub hides inside a barrel but this quickly peels away to reveal his near-nakedness as he is chased again by the irate father. Snub hides among some marathon runners where he blends in after stealing some kids roller skates and hanging on to the back of a runner. Snub crosses the winning line and is declared the winner. He also (accidentally) apprehends the crooks and wins back the girl - and her father's blessing.
This guy does a double-take when he sees Snub walking through the street with a barrel around his waist. He falls over backwards and almost does the splits.
• Copyrighted August 2, 1923.
• When Snub grabs the convict from the horse by the side of the barn, you can see the con is held up by wiring from the top of his shirt.
• The two crooks are called the Sugar brothers - Lump and Loaf.
• The American Outfitting store that Snub almost visits was shot on Hal Roach's back lot.
What the experts say
• "Painful to watch." ~ Lord Heath.
Snub 'Thousand-Eye' Pollard,
Sherlock Holmes' only rival
The girl in the case
Woman in tent
|SHOT ON THE BACK LOT
(click any image to enlarge)
|SHOT ON LOCATION
(click any image to enlarge)
Steve Rydzewski says the girl's father is not Joseph Belmont.
This page was last updated on: 11 July 2020