10 July 2006 | movingpicturegal
Bedlam On Board
Very funny short comedy completely taking place aboard train. The girls (Thelma Todd and Zasu Pitts) are on their way by train to Hollywood for Thelma's big screen test where she must try to impress "Director Von Sternheim", star maker of the Roaring Lion Studios. Soon havoc comes on board via a hard of hearing man on his way to the fair with a suitcase full of his "prize bees", a toy airplane, and none other than Director Von Sternheim himself, who "desiring the view", demands the girls give up their seats to him, starting them off on the wrong foot with the man they unknowingly must later impress.
This film is laugh out loud funny, with lots of the usual train board slapstick you would expect (yes, even the "loose" toupee gag). Especially good is the right on target, very amusing impersonation of Eric von Stroheim, complete with monocle, beret, plus on-the-mark accent and personality. Watch for several regular Roach Studio actors in this short including Billy Gilbert as the train conductor and Our Gang's Spanky McFarland, at the peak of his cuteness, as Zasu's little brother. A very fun, comical short.