Crazy To Act
Series: Babe Hardy Distribution: Mack Sennett Comedies/Pathé  Director: Earle Rodney Cinematography: Art Lloyd 
Production: X Type: Silent short Producer: Mack Sennett Editor: William Hornbeck
Released: 15 May 1927 Length: 2-reels Writers: Harry McCoy, Jefferson Moffit,
Mildred June, Earle Rodney, Carl Harbaugh


At the St. John home, while bikini-clad girls dance on the lawn and swim in the pool, we are introduced to our loving couple: Arthur Young (Matty Kemp) and Ethel St. John (Mildred June). Ethel tells Arthur that she cannot marry him because she has designs to be a film star. Ethel's mother (Sunshine Hart) sits nearby with her preferred husband for Ethel, Gordon Bagley (Oliver Hardy), who tells her he doesn't stand a chance on account of the clothes he wears. The mother reliably informs him to offer to finance her career and he's in. Bagley makes his move and proposes on the couch, promising to make her a big film star. She agrees, but insists he has to fulfill his promise first. His reaction is brilliant. Cries like a baby, followed by the title card "Oh, I'm so happy". The engagement is announced to the guests who are gathered and the bride boasts how she will soon be appearing in the movies. It doesn't take long before she offers roles in the film to all of her friends, and Mr. & Mrs. Whipple barge in with offering their services as director (Dave Morris) and co-director (Thelma Hill), whilst the dejected ex-boyfriend sulks in the corner.
Production begins on the film, with the beautiful "Sennett Bathing Beauties" on the beach rehearsing a scene under the lustful eye of the director. The cameraman (Barney Hellum) tries to follow the action as the girls bound over sand dunes before falling down with his camera. The assistant director, who has pretty much just gotten in the way up until now, gets annoyed when she observes her director husband adjusting the clothing of one of the girls and confronts him, and takes over. It isn't a girl at all, but a guy. She walks off, embarrassed. Filming continues, with Bagley and the director hen Bagley makes a suggestion to the director.
The director intervenes with the actors and demonstrates "how to make love" by taking a beauty (with a great ass) in his arms and carressing her - to the shocked look of his wife who yells at him to "cut that out!" The scene continues with Ethel kissing Arthur, whom she has chosen as her leading man, which irritates Bagley. The film later moves onto the ocean, with the cast riding along in a speedboat and making everybody feel sick (there's a wonderful moment when the movie villain Jack Cooper realises Ethel's mother has placed his top hat between her legs in a threat to be sick into it before he yanks it back from her). Bagley's weight makes the boat list and him fall out into the water. After shooting the last scene, the cast and crew gather to watch their masterpiece back at the house. The movie centres around a villain who tries to blackmail the girl into marrying him or face foreclosure on her home, as he holds the mortgage. The hero of the picture steps in and takes charge of the situation. During the viewing, Bagley is forced to relive the passionate on-screen kiss his new fiancee shares with her ex and questions whether it is necessary to see so much kissing?
The movie continues, with the hero rescuing his girl from the clutches of the evil conman on an aeroplane after she jumps out and lands in the ocean. He brings her to shore and whisks her off to their honeymoon cottage, as the villain follows shortly after. After even more bloody kissing, the couple are oblivious to the crook who sneaks in behind them with a barrel of dynamite (with the word obviously pointed so it faces the camera) and blows up their house, which is unseen by the incompetent cameraman. More on-screen kissing brings an end to the screening and Bagley flips, takes Ethel's hand, announces he is going to marry her immediately and bundles her into the back of a waiting cab - driven by Arthur in disguise. After Bagley gets out of the car, the couple drive off into the distance.

Favourite bit
After a topsy-turvy boat ride, the villain places his hat between the legs of the mother, who misinterprets the gesture as an invitation to be sick in it. When the villain realises this, he quickly yanks the hat away!

Copyrighted January 17, 1927.

Filming dates
August 27 - September 4, 1926.

Filming locations included Los Angeles Harbor and the Cerritos Channel at Terminal Island.
The role of Gordon Bagley was originally intended for Sennett regular Marvin Loback; however, by the time the film was ready to shoot, Loback was unavailable and so Oliver Hardy was loaned from Hal Roach, where he was under contract, to replace him.
A reference is made to a film called Three Weeks starring Lon Chaney. There were two films made prior to this film being made with that title, but neither with Chaney in the cast.
After Ethel jumps out of the plane and is rescued by her hero in the water, there's no way of missing the fact that he holds her very delibertately under her breasts. Once is an accident, twice is deliberate. He definitely feels them, I mean her. When he brings his paddle into the beach there is a dummy on it before we cut to the close-up of him and the girl getting up from it.
What the experts say
"Mostly irritating. The on-screen kissing scenes which Hardy's character complains about throughout the film not only annoy him, but me, the viewer as well." ~ Lord Heath.

Matty Kemp
Arthur Young
Mildred June
Ethel St. John
Sunshine Hart
Mrs. St. John
Oliver Hardy
Gordon Bagley
Dave Morris
Mr. Whipple, the director
Thelma Hill
Mrs. Whipple, the domineering wife
Barney Hellum
Jack Cooper
Movie villain
Ronald Tilley
English butler at St. John's home
Billy Gilbert
Kathryn Stanley
Bathing girl
  Mary 'Betty' Mabery
Bathing girl




Laurel OR Hardy by Rob Stone (book)
Mack Sennett's Fun Factory by Brent Walker (book)
Jesse Brisson (help and information)

This page was last updated on: 15 May 2017