3 August 2007 | MartinHafer
Among Larry Semon's finest films
It's hard to believe that back in the early 1920s, Larry Semon was one of the top movie comics--as he is practically unheard of today. In fact, I think the only reason I found this short on DVD was because like many of Semon's films, his co-star was Oliver Hardy and this film was part of Passport Video's "The Laurel OR Hardy Collection"--films featuring one or the other before they were permanently teamed in 1927.
While I have never been a huge Larry Semon fan, I have seen a few dozen of his films and appreciate that he CAN be exceptionally funny and his stunts amazing to watch. Unfortunately, this is not the norm, as most of Semon's films are rather mediocre for the genre. However, I was very, very happy to see that this was not a typical Semon film but one where all the action and plotting worked perfectly--producing one of the funnier comedy shorts of the 1920s I have seen. While it lacks the sophistication and polish of the best of Keaton and Lloyd, for laughs it's hard to beat this film. I particularly loved the scene where he tried to get the mouse off the customer--you'd have to see it to believe it. Plus, in this film the stunt-work is very high energy and amazing--particularly the huge falls through the trapdoor from one floor to another. I don't know how they did this dangerous work without someone being killed!! Funny, high-paced, and coming together like a true work of art, this is Larry Semon at his absolute finest.