Dull Care
Series: N/A Distribution: Vitagraph  Director: Larry Semon  Cinematography: ?
Production: N/A Type: Silent short Producer: Albert E. Smith  Editor: ?
Released: September 1919 Length: 2-reels Writer: Larry Semon


The Chief of police (Frank Alexander) is sitting at his desk reading the newspaper when he suddenly becomes alarmed.  A group of excited uniformed officers gather around to share in the alarm when the superior walks in.  The officers immediately stand to attention, giving the notion that this man is obviously of some importance.  The chief shows the man the article to which he is angry about and the men leave the room in single file.
Outside, a close-up on the lead criminal (William Hauber) slowly pulls back to reveal two other unsavoury gentlemen.  They are also reading the newspaper (presumably the same one as the cop) and their reaction is the opposite.  They discard the paper with smiles and walk off, whilst the cops march along a grassy path at pace.  Eventually the two groups meet head-on and come to a halt.  The gang of three men all draw guns from their trousers and the cops run off in a hurry.  The chief and his superior don't realise they are now outnumbered and order the gangs' arrest.  When they do realise they are on their own, the two officers run off to catch the six policemen who have already got a head-start on them.

Favourite bit

Larry Semon film with Babe Hardy. This was the first of 26 films they made together.
Copyrighted September 24, 1919 (LP14214) by Vitagraph Company of America.
Filming dates
Also known as "The Sleuth". Stan Laurel starred in a film of the same name in 1925.
At the time this film was made, Babe Hardy was still a full-time member of the Jimmy Aubrey unit. It wasn't until a few years later that Hardy would make regular appearances opposite Semon, often as the heavy.
One source (usually unreliable) gives a release date of October 6, 1919.
There are six police officers plus the Chief in the opening scene of the film.
The scene where the Chief and his superior run off to catch up with the fleeing police officers is sped up for comical effect. This was a trait of Larry Semon to add a touch of the bizarre to his films.
What the experts say
"comments here" ~ Source here.

Larry Semon
Babe Hardy
Frank Alexander
Chief of Police
Lucille Carlisle
Police chief's wife
William Hauber
Chief crook
Dan Crimmins
Superior officer
James Donnelly
Al Thompson

Laurel Or Hardy by Rob Stone (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Dan Crimmins)

This page was last updated on: 08 November 2017