Series: Harold Lloyd

Director: Alfred J. Goulding
Producer: Hal Roach

Stars: Harold Lloyd, Snub Pollard, Bebe Daniels
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 29 September 1918
Length: 1 reel (silent short)
Production No.: L-41
Filming dates: June 6-12, 1918
Rating: 3/10

Swing Your Partners


At a dancing school for women, Professor Tanglefoot prepares his dancing girls for the arrival of two new instructors. The girl (Bebe Daniels) leaves a store and is spotted by a couple of gentlemen who take an immediate liking to her and follow her down the street, hotly followed by several other letcherous men. The boy (Harold Lloyd) is introduced, sleeping in a bathtub among a junk yard in the street. He wakes up, performs his morning exercises (at 2pm) with a couple of bottles and then gets ready for the day ahead, whilst his neighbor (Snub Pollard) lounges in his makeshift bed. But not for long... he springs into motion when Harold throws a pale of water of the fence and onto his head. The two fight through a chain link fence before Harold spies a man in blackface by a fence with a cooked chicken. He quickly liberates it from the man but is accosted by a policeman who witnesses the theft.
A chase leads to a park with seven men now in pusuit of the beautiful girl before they all fall into a lake. Harold and Snub walk into the dancing academy and the professor mistakes them for the two instructors he is awaiting and puts them straight to work. Harold and Snub, dressed as cavemen, are immediately surrounded by the eager girls before they begin their new routine. Snub takes to the piano whilst Harold dances around foolishly in front of the women but ends up falling on the floor on account of a discarded banana peel from Snub. Harold then siezes the opportunity to casually rob the professor of his watch before the real dance instructors show up. Snub and Harold make a quick exit up the chimney and up onto the roof. Snub is captured but Harold manages to climb down to the ground where he is promptly arrested by the police and driven away in the wagon.

Favourite bit
A spot of catch me if you can with the local cop. It's a fast scene with good timing on the parts of the actors involved in dodging the policeman and evading the man in blackface.

Copyrighted July 23, 1918.
Reissued May 14, 1922.
The film was subject to cuts by city and state film censorship boards. For example, the Chicago Board of Censors required a cut of two near views of Lloyd on a piano stool facing the camera. [source: Wikipedia]
As well as the film being available on DVD from Looser Than Loose, there is a version with French titles available which is of a slightly better quality.
Harold and co. are chased around a large billboard with advertises Elsie Ferguson appearing in "A Doll's House" for one week Sunday June 9th. The film was directed by Maurice Tourneur and was indeed released on June 9, 1918. "Swing Your Partners" was filmed at the beginning of June 1918 but wasn't released until September, by which time "A Doll's House" had already run its course in theatres.
See here for screenshot.
There are twelve dancers if you include Bebe Daniels.
With the exceptions of Bebe Daniels, Estelle Harrison and Hazel Powell, at least eight of the nine remaining dancers seen in the film were students of dancing teacher Ernest Belcher, father of actress/dancer Marge Champion and stepfather of actress Lina Basquette (the only one still unaccounted for at this time is June Lovering).
What the experts say
"Just your usual run-of-the-mill Harold Lloyd silent film borefest with nothing new to get over excited about." ~ Lord Heath.

Harold Lloyd
The boy
Snub Pollard
The boy's neighbor
Bebe Daniels
The girl
William Blaisdell
Professor Tanglefoot
William Gillespie
Man outside store
James Parrott
Man outside store
Gus Leonard
Helen Gilmore
Woman on street
Dee Lampton
Fat pedestrian
Sammy Brooks
Short pedestrian
Estelle Harrison
Hazel Powell
Maynard A. Laswell
Dance instructor
Lew Harvey
Dance instructor
Max Hamburger
Wagon cop
Billy Fay
Man in lake
Bud Jamison
Dorothea Wolbert
Mildred Forbes
Belle Mitchell
Charles Stevenson
Wallace Howe
Oscar Larson
Myrtle Watson
Lige Conley
Herbert Crawford
Grace Madden
Ariel Millais
Isabelle Clark
Elizabeth Kislingbury
Mildred Heinze
Heloise Cottle
Celia Baker
Dora MacKinnon
June Lovering
Helen Monahan
Natalia Haraszthy



(click any image to enlarge)

The Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia by Annette D'Agostino Lloyd (book) (Wikipedia)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Gus Leonard, Dee Lampton, Estelle Harrison, Hazel Powell, Maynard Laswell, Lew Harvey, Billy Fay and Max Hamburger)

This page was last updated on: 14 September 2018