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  • A shy young Belgian immigrate searches for the American girl who wrote of her love to him during the Great War.

    Director Frank Capra and clown Harry Langdon together fashioned THE STRONG MAN, one of the finest comedies of the Silent Era. Moving the action from No Man's Land in Western Europe, to Ellis Island and the hectic streets of New York, and finally to the temporarily corrupted village of Cloverdale, Capra & Langdon expertly mix belly laughs with scenes of great emotional tenderness. If either of them had never made another film, this one would have been enough to have ensured each a footnote in movie history.

    Langdon's minimalist style is highlighted in a series of vignettes which perfectly captures his unique adult baby persona: Harry's hilarious encounter with Broadway Lily, which includes his classic up-the-stairs-backward routine; Harry's finding of blind Mary Brown and the incredibly poignant way in which he immediately falls in love with her; Langdon's hapless impersonation of The Strong Man and his single-handed battle against a saloon full of bad guys.

    A sturdy cast gives able support: Gertrude Astor as dangerous Lily; saintly William V. Mong as Holy Joe, the Cloverdale minister; Priscilla Bonner as sweet Mary; beefy Arthur Thalasso as The Great Zandow; Robert McKim as Cloverdale's wicked criminal boss; and Brooks Benedict as a tough passenger encountered by Harry on a bus.

    A quick caricature of Harry, dressed in his policeman's uniform from the end of the movie, appears courtesy of Walt Disney at the beginning of the animated MICKEY'S GALA PREMIER (1933).
  • "Corny"is a word that seems to have gone out of use. Never a sterling compliment, corny meant something homespun & sentimental manufactured to manipulate our nostalgia for "the good old days". Probably the reason the word is now extinct is that people under forty don't seem to have any "good old days" to look back on. That is an issue not to be dealt with here. Rather, let us recall the corny glory that was Harry Langdon in The Strong Man. Sexless & guiless, he can muster nothing more intimidating than petulance. A true child of comedy, his white face is rather more round than Stan Laurel's but just as vacant. That face is an inconstant tabla rasa, on which external events can impress fear, joy, and love for a moment. The storyline fits Langdon like a glove; it is Evil versus Good, with Harry the Good triumphant at the end more by slapstick grace than any wit or daring on his part. You have to have a corny mindset to enjoy this movie; to wit, there are bad & bullying people in the world who deserve an antic comeuppance & extinction. If you can hold that naive thought while watching this beautiful comedy you may find yourself, as I have, actually crying through the laughter at the loving watchcare the God of comedy gives great clowns like Langdon in their most threatening pickles. The most wondrous moment of the film occurs during the rally at the end, when with barbells, cannon, and a huge fire curtain, Langdon subdues an insolent, drunken crowd. Langdon begins walking over the curtain,which is covering the writhing crowd beneath it, and suddenly dozens of hands pop through the curtain, twisting like serpents in Dante's Inferno. It is a hilarious visual gag and an apt summary of the consequences of the crowd's evil hubris. This silent gem cannot be ignored by anyone who loves cornball pantomime -- a genre apparently as dead as our ideals. Woe is us!
  • Having read the comment proceeding my own, I felt compelled to write a brief comment about this film (that I watched yesterday).

    Sadly the previous reviewer didn't laugh a single time, which is in direct conflict with my own experience, I laughed out loud at several places in the film (and I watched it at 4:00am, so laughing out loud isn't ideal!) I enjoyed just about every aspect of the film, from the actors to the set-pieces, to the silly and poignant. There is even one moment of pure cinematic brilliance when a last curtain/sheet tears into shreds (when you see the film you'll know the sequence I'm talking about) which I thought was visually arresting.

    Sadly we are too often drawn to categorize and judge films based on what is "best" or "more worthy". It seems every film must be judged against the very best at all times. I think this is a little unfair, and prefer to maintain a more open mind.

    The bottom line was, this film actually did make me laugh out loud, and I was entertained throughout. From the opening sequences on the battlefield to the finale at that den on inequity. I highly recommend it to everyone, and it's certainly worth seeking out.

    10 out of 10 for me, I'm going to rewatch this tonight with my good wife. Good times!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film, starring the sublime Harry Langdon, is one of the finest pieces of American slapstick to emerge from Hollywood in the silent era.

    The directorial debut of Frank Capra, this film contains much of the heart and character that Capra would later use in his masterworks of the 1930s and 40s. His training here was obviously important to his growth as a filmmaker.

    Langdon plays Paul Bergot, a Belgian soldier who comes to the United States after the end of the first world war as an assistant to a strong man performer, Zandow the Great. He is also looking for the girl with whom he kept a correspondence during his time in battle.

    The film traces Langdon's efforts to find the girl, and to prove himself to her. Along the way, there are many brilliant moments that add up to one of the finest comedies of all time.

    How does this film compare to Langdon's other features? I would argue that it is his strongest, at least from a structural standpoint. It is also probably his best-developed. I can whole-heartedly recommend TRAMP TRAMP TRAMP (one of his funniest films), and LONG PANTS (another masterwork that is very representative of Langdon's unique sense of humor).

    It is often said that Langdon is one of the "big four" giants of silent comedy. I would argue that, if success in feature length films is a criteria, then that is a true statement. I recently watched a silent W.C. Fields picture ("It's the Old Army Game") and realized what makes Langdon so special. While other great silent comedies are remarkably funny, clever and brilliant, Langdon was perhaps the only other silent clown who, in feature films at least, was able to reach the heights of sublime brilliance that certified Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd their places at the top.

    THE STRONG MAN is Langdon's masterpiece. You won't be disappointed.
  • The peculiar talents of Harry Langdon are displayed to their fullest advantage in the baby-faced clown's best silent feature. Seen today, it's certainly the most accessible of his few surviving films, but Langdon's curious, childlike habits and demeanor, so totally bizarre in a character meant to be a functioning adult, may still leave many viewers scratching their head. The success of this particular film can be credited, in part, to director Frank Capra, who had the patience to nurture Langdon's unique pantomime skills, using long, extended takes in which the comedian could freely improvise. Capra's pious sentimentality can be cloying (the story involves a wholesome small town rescued from gamblers and bootleggers), but he gave Langdon all the elbow room the comedian needed to work his innocent, uncertain magic. Playing the hapless assistant to a vaudeville strong man, Langdon responded with more than one unforgettable routine, proving himself the equal to his better remembered peers in the art of silent comedy.
  • I saw this movie tonight at the 11th annual Kansas Silent Film Festival at Washburn Univ., Topeka, KS. Organ music was provided by Dr. Marvin Faulwell with percussion by Bob Keckeisen.

    I'd never seen Harry Langdon before and, on the basis of this, would rate him in the company of Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd. He has great timing, poignant facial expressions that are somewhat Chaplinesque, with great body control to fit physical comedy.

    Frank Capra was the director and I understand from our discussion that Capra's autobiography thoroughly "dissed" Harry, apparently in revenge for Harry having fired the young Capra from directing any more of his films. The two originally had been close until that point but had frosty relations after. Our discussion leader said many people are now beginning to re-evaluate Capra's revengeful pique, the significance of Langdon's contribution, and appreciate him much more.
  • MartinHafer12 July 2008
    The film begins in WWI and Harry is a Belgian soldier who has an American pen pal. After the war, he comes to America as a sideshow strong man's assistant. However, he thinks it will be easy to find a girl named "Mary Smith"--which it naturally isn't. Eventually, he and the act arrive in a small town where Mary happens to live, but she is avoiding meeting Harry and it looks bad for our intrepid hero.

    Years ago, I saw a compilation film about silent comedians (WHEN COMEDY WAS KING) and the film said there were "three truly great comedians of this age--Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Harry Langdon". Well, I knew this wasn't true, since Arbuckle (before the scandal) was much more famous and during most of the twenties, the most successful (and possibly best) comedian was Harold Lloyd. I truly think the film made this assertion because back in 1960 when it was made, Lloyd's films were not available--being owned by Lloyd and were locked in his safe.

    As for Langdon, I've not seen tons of his films, though most are no longer in existence today. However, I've seen enough to know he wasn't one of the greats--perhaps a near-great. This film is supposed to be one of his best films and at no point did it approach the great work of Lloyd, Keaton or Chaplin. In fact, I much prefer Langdon's short films more than his full-length ones because the pacing is much better. In THE STRONG MAN, the film is 75 minutes long, but could easily had 10 minutes snipped off without harming the film at all. Plus, there are a few really good gags, but only a few. Now this doesn't mean that I must have a silent comedy that is constantly funny (after all, the other three greats I mentioned did make some wonderful character-driven full-length films). However, poor pacing undid the film and with this slight trimming, it would have probably earned a 9.

    A very good comedy, just not one of the great ones.
  • For silent comics, the mark of "graduation" was the move from two-reel shorts to full-length features. Chaplin fought hard against his studio for the right to do so, and other legends like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd only really considered themselves fully-fledged when they began making longer movies. Conversely however, there are some not-so-good figures in silent comedy whose reputation and stature is disproportionate to their actual quality, simply because they managed to knock together a few full-length pictures.

    Harry Langdon has sometimes been called the fourth genius of silent comedy, after the aforementioned Messrs. Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd. A quick glance at The Strong Man however shows him to be rather a second-league comic. As a comedy character, he was something of a follower. With his shabby tramp's outfit, he seems to have modelled himself as a new Chaplin, and he also assumes the deadpan look of Keaton. But while at times he does a passing impression of these two greats, he simply doesn't have the necessary inventiveness or smoothness to his act. A lot of the gags seem to be slight re-workings of someone else's material. The scene where a row of pews fall down like a line of dominoes I believe is taken from Harold Lloyd's The Freshman. But above all Langdon's comic persona is simply lacking in charm. Remember that Chaplin, Keaton and Lloyd were also great actors – they knew how to give their absurd creations that human edge. Langdon on the other hand is little more than a glorified sidekick.

    One of the reasons so much undeserved attention has been furnished on Langdon's career is that The Strong Man and its follow up Long Pants were directed by a young Frank Capra, and because Capra later made some very fine pictures there seems to be an assumption that this makes everything he did automatically good. At this point however the director had a lot of ego and very little experience, and this is literally the worst piece of slapstick direction I have ever seen. Rather than letting sequences play out, he seems to be constantly changing camera angle for no reason. There's a particularly clunky moment when Zandow paddles Langdon's ass, and a cut occurs halfway through the paddle swing. Capra also uses close-ups to hammer a gag home, such as the iris in on the squashed hat, as if to say "It's a joke! Please laugh now!" His techniques often give the unnecessary weight to unimportant moments, such as the tracking shot of the gangster's moll trying to evade the private dick. It gives too personal an introduction to the character and makes it look as if she is going to be important to the plot – but she isn't. Later Capra, presumably attempting to inject a bit of Chaplin-esque poignancy, holds a lengthy shot of Priscilla Bonner as she finally meets Langdon. Unfortunately Bonner doesn't really act well enough to merit such scrutiny, and the moment just looks overlong and awkward.

    And finally, when you look at The Strong Man as a whole, there doesn't really seem to be much purpose or structure to it. The first half-hour is a handful of rather disparate ideas cobbled together, like two shorts edited into one. We then go off on a ten-minute diversion, without Langdon or any form of comedy, as another branch of the plot is established. There is a whole big thing about Langdon's girl turning out to be blind, and her wondering how she can tell him – but this suddenly becomes a non-issue when they meet. In effect the picture looks as if it has been partly spliced together from a few short pictures, while some vague unifying storyline has been rushed into production after a hasty first draft. In which case, what was the point in Langdon making a full-length feature? Coupled with Capra's amateurish direction and Langdon's own lack of star quality, this is a disappointingly unprofessional affair.
  • There's something about Harry Langdon that just doesn't work for me. Judging by the high marks this film has received and the uniformly positive reviews I'm clearly in the minority, but I simply can't see the appeal of this curious, borderline weird babyman. Langdon had a good sense of comic timing, there's no argument there, and with good direction from Frank Capra he clearly knew what his character was about (but only through his director's instruction, it would later transpire) and this film is even free of the over-sentimentality that so often plagued silent movies of all genres, but the fact is - his material just isn't very funny.

    That's not to say there aren't any laughs in this, Langdon's first feature length comedy. There are a few: the shuffling upstairs backwards scene, the strong man act, the... erm... well, the shuffling upstairs backwards and the strong man act are about it to be honest. The meeting between Langdon's timid Belgian soldier and Mary Brown, the woman whose love letters sustained him during the Great War, is extremely well-handled, but even this scene is let down because Capra didn't seem to want to say 'cut.'
  • I must respond to Bob Pr.'s comments below - I can't let such a slander against Frank Capra go unchallenged. :)

    ******** Quoting Bob's Review: Frank Capra was the director and I understand from our discussion that Capra's autobiography thoroughly "dissed" Harry, apparently in revenge for Harry having fired the young Capra from directing any more of his films. The two originally had been close until that point but had frosty relations after. Our discussion leader said many people are now beginning to re-evaluate Capra's revengeful pique, the significance of Langdon's contribution, and appreciate him much more. *********

    Wow, I really didn't get that sense from Capra's autobiography at all. Capra praised Langdon's talent very highly, saying he was as brilliant as Chaplin etc. The thing is, according to Capra, Langdon didn't really understand what made him (Langdon) so special and wanted to BE more LIKE Chaplin, instead of being himself and being equally great in his OWN way. Apparently Langdon didn't "get" the character that Capra helped to create, the persona that was so beloved by the public. Like many people, he wanted to be something he was not.

    Capra claims that Langdon let stardom go to his head once the films they made together became big hits. That Harry started taking all the credit, not acknowledging (and actively insulting) Capra and the others who had helped him along the way. That's not so very hard to believe - success/fame (especially if it comes all at once) tends to affect most people this way and swell their heads. Capra tried to warn him about the swelled head and bring him back down to earth, and was fired. Too bad Harry lacked humility and succumbed to typical Hollywood Diva behavior (my words, NOT Capra's.)

    If you want to cast Frank Capra as the Villain here, because you find it hard to believe that someone as guileless and innocent on-screen, as Langdon appeared to be, could be an ambitious and egotistical jerk in real life (again, MY interpretation, not quoting Capra here!)...well, that only proves Harry's abilities as an ACTOR, eh?

    I recommend reading Frank Capra's book for yourself, instead of relying on second-hand information. I'm sure you'll see the genuine sorrow he felt after Langdon proved he *couldn't* do it all on his own, the quality of his films dropping fast when Capra was no longer involved. If you doubt how important Capra was in their partnership, ask yourself: after they stopped working together, which of the two continued to achieve greater and greater success, and whose film quality & career went to the dogs? Langdon obviously needed Capra more than Capra needed Langdon.

    I really believe Frank Capra was heartbroken over the way things turned out, and about Langdon's wasted potential. It didn't seem to me he took any vengeful pleasure in seeing Harry fail and fall into obscurity. There's one particular anecdote Capra remembers - passing by the set of one of Langdon's later films, where the director was treating him like crap and clearly didn't understand Harry's strengths as a performer, trying to make him do things that just didn't come naturally to him (ironic since Harry had previously wanted to be like other comics). I wouldn't have blamed Capra if he HAD gloated a bit in his autobiography, but instead he sounded upset about this incident.

    Personally I don't have as much sympathy for Harry as Frank seemed to - Harry treated "the little people" (behind the scenes writers & directors) like dirt, and made the decision to turn his back on those people he should've been grateful to. Pride comes before a fall, and all that jazz.
  • I had heard of Harry Langdon for quite some time before I finally bought any of his films. He suffered quite a fall from grace by the end of the 1920s and his time at the top was relatively brief. Langdon became reduced to making 2 reeler comedies and alcohol became a problem for him. Now, thanks to a new biography that sets the record straight and some films being available, the talent of Harry Langdon can be fully appreciated. Released in 1926, "The Strong Man" is a story about a soldier in the First World War who is corresponding with a young lady from home in the form of many letters. Once he is demobbed from active service, Langdon attempts to locate his female pen pal. All kinds of comic mishaps occur during the film. It is quite clear to me that Langdon is like a child in a man's body. He views the world and the people within, with feelings of vulnerability, uncertainty and bemusement. It begs the question: can he look after himself by protecting himself from the various dangers and pitfalls that come with every day life? The comic creativity in "The Strong Man" is very good. Each scene demonstrates Langdon's comic ability via some well timed moments. He isn't one of these comic clowns who performs slapstick at a fast and furious rate. He has opted for a more leisurely pace and this suits him. On the strength of this film and "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp" from 1927, Harry Langdon deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Stan Laurel.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Fun with Barbells

    Saturday July 17, 4pm, The Castro, San Francisco

    "...if you don't stop following me I'll turn you over to a truant officer!"

    A baby-faced boob immigrates to America after The War to search for his pen-pal sweetheart. As the hapless assistant of The Great Zandow a travelling strongman, Paul (Harry Langdon) eventually finds Mary (Pricilla Bonner), the blind daughter of a crusading minister and inadvertently chases the all riff-raff out of town.

    Arguably the funniest and most successful feature film of Harry Langdon's meteoric career, The Strong Man was the first of two Langdon features directed by the best known of his handlers, Frank Capra. Taking full advantage of his signature schtick: sleepy exhaustion, diffuse panic and glacially slow reactions, he stumbles through the film in search of Mary. In the hilarious finale when he is forced to go on for his boss (Zandow's enormous tights look like baggy pajamas on Langdon), he incites the already combative dancehall crowd, swings from the rafters and fires everything onstage from the cannon but himself.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director Frank Capra made his feature film directorial debut with The Strong Man, a Harry Langdon film. Langdon plays a World War I soldier who corresponds with Mary Brown, a blind girl back in Cloverdale U.S.A. After several misadventures, he winds up in Cloverdale after the war and accidentally meets Mary Brown who lives in a town rife with drink and corruption, 1926 style of course. This was Langdon's best picture supposedly, and it's no secret that Frank Capra was the reason. Capra utilized a style combining humor and pathos that enhanced Langdon's child/man character in a way audiences had not seen before, excepting perhaps Chaplin and maybe Keaton at the time. Capra was also fond of the small town setting and populated it with archetypes, often an underdog against several others in positions of power. Here Langdon must stand in at the last minute for a strong man and entertain a rowdy crowd in a music hall while inadvertently assisting the holy rollers of the town in getting rid of its bad seeds. The sequence with the first "Mary Brown", Lily of Broadway played by Gertrude Astor, trying to obtain her pilfered loot from Langdon is a comic highlight. The sequence with Langdon trying to rescue his embarrassment in front of others while feeling sick is also funny. However, the final sequence when Langdon subdues the reckless crowd, wins the girl, and rids the town of its bad element simultaneously is equally corny and grand, something Capra would also become known for in later films. *** of 4 stars.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As I continue to watch Frank Capra's films, I watched this film this morning. I've watched a number of early Charlie Chaplin films and this is similar but also different from those films although there is still a lot of slapstick comedy. Like most silent movies, the music really sets the mood. While the first part of the movie is just about a soldier trying to find a woman whom sent him a letter, while he was fighting in Belgium during WWI, coming to New York City in 1918 or 1919. He goes through a series of adventures like a wealthy woman who gives him a wad of money and goes to extensive lengths (letting him carry her up the stairs) so she can get the money back while he is working a vaudeville production, seemingly for little money. The movie goes on to make hilarious jokes time and time again like the protagonist putting on a form of stinky cheese rather than something else, to get himself ready for his performance.

    But there ends up, as is the case in most of Capra's films, a social commentary, specifically of a pastor, leading the moral, peaceful townsfolk, standing up against gamblers and other swindlers. The protagonist is in the middle of this, eventually siding against the crowd whom are patrons at the big establishment, a bit like a saloon/game house, as on threatens to put Mary Brown, the woman who sent him a letter in Belgium, on display. The forces against the "money changers," as the pastor calls them, are ultimately successful.

    This movie also reminds me of a later Chaplin film, The Blind Girl, as Mary Brown in this movie is also blind, which becomes a part of the plot as well.

    While the protagonist becomes a police officer at the end, enforcing the law, the town goes back to normal. I'm not sure what to take away from that but I can say this movie deserves a 10-star rating due to its slapstick comedy and social commentary.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The restored Kino DVD print, matching the original tinted stock and abetted with a delightful music score compiled by Langdon himself, is not only wonderful to see and hear, but a revelation of the comedian's genius.

    "The Strong Man" is funny, it's spectacular, it's charming, it's sad, it's altogether captivating.

    Langdon's winningly childish persona is not only unique, but utterly sympathetic. In the tinted prints, he no longer looks freakish but amusingly innocent, good-naturedly naive. As with all supremely great comedians, his appeal is universally humanistic. And of course his timing is absolutely superb.

    Under Frank Capra's extremely skillful direction, the support players contribute contrasting but realistic studies of opportunism (Arthur Thalasso), con artistry (Gertrude Astor), zeal (William V. Mong) and romance (captivating Priscilla Bonner).

    Perhaps Mong is a trifle inclined to overdo the fanaticism, but we have certainly known two or three pastors cut from exactly the same fervent cloth. It all comes to a spectacular, cleverly agile, action-full finale in which the little strong man manages to win the day (and the girl).
  • No matter how hard I try, how objective I attempt to be, I do not care for Harry Langdon. He is more irritating that amusing. His vacant face provokes annoyance rather than sympathy. However, he has one very strong point-the way he moves his body, for instance, changing abruptly from an agitated to a controlled movement. Although some scenes are amusing, nowhere in the film did I laugh out loud. Getting Lily upstairs to her room, the weightlifting routine, the cannon scene-all are good moments, yet the film as a whole ultimately fails to entertain.
  • hte-trasme3 December 2009
    "The Strong Man" is the second feature film that Harry Langdon starred in for his own company after a successful series of short subjects for Mack Sennett, and everything seems together perfectly. It's an extremely funny film that tailored just to his comic strengths, and builds to several moments that he makes legitimately poignant.

    Harry, in the bewildered, vulnerable, and naive child-man character that he has perfected, is a veteran of the Great War who has traveled to America to search for the wartime penpal who years ago declared her love for him in a letter. We all admire and sympathize with this quixotic quest, though it forces us to admit that we are cynical enough not to think, as Harry does, that it would really work.

    "The Strong Man" takes this simple unifying idea and builds itself into a series of comic vignettes around it, which can be as heterogeneous as necessary since they're leading to a certain point, so Harry becomes the victim of fate, falling prey to a charlatan Vaudevillian whom he must assist, gangsters, and more. Making it so the film has a simple idea it is getting to but can digress as much as necessary along the way allows Harry Langdon best style of comedy, in which as much humor comes from his slow reactions, befuddlement over how to act on his surroundings, and blind incomprehension as it does from the gags themselves. The movie zips along at a great pace, but we still have room for numerous set-pieces that are little pieces of comic brilliance as Harry builds hilarious sequences out of waiting on a street corner for the one girl in the country he wants to find to walk by, irritating his fellow passengers on a bus by applying a bagful of cold remedies while traveling, or trying desperately to improvise a strong-man act on a stage before a hard-to-please crowd.

    There has been debate about how good Frank Capra really was for Harry Langdon's career, but it's clear that he really was an extremely talented director if nothing else, and in this, his first time behind the camera, he shows that. All the shots show us just what they need to show us when, and the comedy is timed with a music precision that brings out all the possible laughs speaking of music, the original musical score, assembled by Langdon himself, is very pleasant listening and very much enhances the film; he was a many-talented man).

    There is some dark or risqué humor (including Harry running in stark terror when confronted with the sight of a naked woman), but in the final equation this is a sweet film where things go right and Harry gets the girl (before a very charming final shot). More than anything it's Langdon's own performance, with the structure of the film supporting him, that makes this such a success.
  • It is noticeable that most admirers of this film are essentially admirers of Capra and what you think of it really rather what you think of Capra as a director about which there are very much two views.

    Personally, I do not care for Capra's films which, It Happened One Night apart, they tend to be simply saturated with false sentimentality that appeals like apple-pie to US audiences but is rather a sickly concoction for anyone else.

    Yet he is technically very capable, of this there is no doubt. The war-propaganda films in the Why We Fight series are very fine (quite his best work to my mind) and it is no surprise to me that the wartime sequences at the beginning are amongst the best scenes in this film too.

    Langdon is an able comic but, unlike Keaton, Chaplin or Lloyd, his is a rather dependent talent. He is only as good as his director and his scriptwriters. And, despite the long list of people who worked on this script (or perhaps because of it), it never really gets off the ground. And I agree with another reviewer that the pace is execrably slow, especially given the entire predictability of the action.

    So this film is rather weak, in my view, not in spite of Capra but because of him... He is trying to turn Langdon into one of his typical sentimental heroes and, for me, it simply doesn't work. For Langdon at his best one is better off with the Harry Edwards shorts made for Sennett 1924-1925, the best being those that pre-date Capra's arrival in Langdon's writing-team.