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They Looked Alike
Lubin Manufacturing Company / General Film Company

Release date:
5 January 1915
  Silent short:
1 reel
Frank Griffin
Epes W. Sargent
Arthur Hotaling, Siegmund Lubin

....... As we join the film an argument between a man and a woman is already in progress on the doorstep of a boarding house.  A passing police officer sees and rushes over to intervene, but the man runs off.  The cop gives chase down a path as the man temporarily slips over, allowing the policeman to catch up.  He gets up and confronts the officer by throwing stones at him and then physically attacking him.  Nearby, a drunken bum on a park bench wakes up, stretches and leaves the area whilst the fight between the cop and the bad guy continues; but the guy manages to run off again and gesture at the cop from afar.  In this close-up it appears that the bad guy and the park bench bum do have a similar resemblance to one another.  Next, the bum arrives at the boarding house and knocks on the door and is confronted by the woman who was assaulted.  In a case of mistaken identity, she beats him over the head with a broom and knocks him to the floor.  This brings the cop back who then gives chase to the 'wrong' man whilst the real culprit hides himself in a barn.  The cop catches the bum and after a tussle gives him a kick to the pants and lets him go.  As the bum walks off he bumps into a pedestrian who gives him an indignat shove as well, just for getting in his way.
The bum walks back to the barn and finds the villain there.  The two stop and observe each other as if looking in a mirror at the striking resemblance before embracing one another and compare their battle wounds.  They formulate a plan as one hides in a bush as the other wakes up the sleeping cop by pushing him backwards off a bench he is sitting on.  Another chase ensues, around small lake in the park until the man reaches the bushes and swaps with his partner, who takes up where the other left off.  Soon after the bum bumps into another pedestrian (a rather large Oliver Hardy) and he pushes the cop into him, causing them to fall to the ground.  The good samaritan tries to help the cop up but he is pushed aside for his troubles as the cop continues to give chase to the bum.  Again, the two bums swap places in the bush as the officer carries on chasing before stumbling over.  This gives the bum a chance to throw some mud at him on the floor before enticing him to pick up the chase again but the cop is exhausted and collapses on the ground.  Two fellow police officers come out of nowhere to his rescue and carry him off back to the police station whilst the two bums hang out near the bush and light up a cigarette.
One of the officers fires his gun and summons his fellow officers, who launch a search party for the bum(s).  The six-strong army of officers chase one of the men back to the barn, who then switches with his identical friend, who then leads them off for a continued pursuit.  Always one step ahead of the chasing posse, the two men swap once again in the barn as one of the men runs circles around the cops in the park (literally!)
Back at the barn, the owner notices the door is open and closes it, not realising one of the men is inside.  The cops are still running around in a large circle and have lost sight of the fact the guy they are chasing has already left the scene, causing confusion among them.  They carry on chasing, tripping over themselves in the process as they run through the park and this time are rewarded with a catch as the bum reaches the barn door to find it locked and unable to gain access to make the switch.  He is caught by the tired cops, whilst his friend is oblivious to the goings on outside the barn he is trapped inside.  Just as the police are about to escort their prisoner away, the second man inside the barn sneezes which gives their little game away.  The owner of the barn returns, unlocks the door and the police grab both men.
Very mediocre and run of the mill one reel comedy with no real talking points to remember.

Favourite bit    
      As the two bums take turns to provoke the police officer one of them sneaks up on him from behind as the cop is sleeping and pulls him backwards off the bench and onto the ground.  That is some wake up call.  The cop leaps about four feet in the air before giving chase to the culprit.  The mindless act of aggravation was just so unnecessary and is one hell of a way to get somebody's attention!

•This was Hardy's 43rd film, and his third of 1915.
•Released as a split reel, along with The New Editor (1915).
•Oliver Hardy appears as a pedestrian walking in the park in one scene for a total of eleven seconds.
Did you notice?
•Just before the cop passes out from exhaustion on the grass he is chasing one of the bums near a house.  When the two officers pick him up and carry him away the two bums are back together at the bush.  This is a continuity error.
•Six officers join forces to apprehend the bums, and with the cop who is exhausted this makes 7 in total.
•To get the attention of a sleeping policeman in the park, one of the fellow officers whacks him over the head with his batton.
•There are two bums in the film.  The one with the chequered shirt is the smoker.
•After the cops have been running around in a large circle in the park trying to apprehend their man, they run off single file down the path and one of them trips up.  A fellow officer trips over him and does a flying forward somersault on the hard ground before getting up and continuing the chase.  It's easily missable, but a great little stunt.

Oliver Hardy
Bum #1
Bum on park bench
Pedestrian in white shirt

Also included in the cast
(no screenshots available)
C.W. Ritchie  Bill
Raymond McKee  Sam
Harry Lorraine  Rube