Donald Drake, a deep sea gondolier ex soda jerk, arrives at the All Nation Cafe in Shanghai. The proprietor believes he's a penniless ne'er-do-well - which he is - but he unexpectedly comes... See full summary »
Mack Sennett produced this short, which I believe was meant to be a comedy even though I didn't laugh a single time. Ben Turpin plays a man who is in China and begins telling stories (via flashbacks) to two different women. While all of this is going on he doesn't realize that he's also gambling. BROKE IN CHINA is somewhat of an appropriate title since this two-reeler is pretty broke on laughs. It seems Turpin is a hit or miss with most people but I've often found myself enjoying his work so I was looking forward to this short, although it didn't take long for me to realize that it wasn't going to offer much. The film takes place in China yet there's not a single Chinese person on hand here. I know films from this era often just put white people in the roles but this sucker doesn't even try to disguise this fact. Most of the time you just see men with beards as if this is suppose to mean someone is from China? There are several flashback sequences that contain zero laughs and I do wonder if these were shot for this film or perhaps they're just scenes from other movies. Either way, this film is pretty much a complete miss so there's really no reason to watch it unless you've got to see every Turpin movie ever made.