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  • Hustlin' Hank (1923)

    ** 1/2 (out of 4)

    Hal Roach produced comedy has Will Rogers playing the title character, a rather slow, dimwitted man who works on a ranch where he usually gets pushed around at. A woman (Marie Mosquini) comes to town looking for someone to help her photograph some of the animals so she picks Hank and soon regrets it. HUSTLIN' HANK is just the type of comedy you'd expect from Roach and Rogers. For the most part this is a mildly well-written piece but at around the eighteen-minute mark you begin to grow tired as the jokes become all the more obvious. As you'd expect, the real highlight here is the performance as Rogers who has no trouble making one laugh and coming off quite charming. There are many good sequences here where the actors comic timing really sells the joke including one part where he goes to take a picture of a bear only to be attacked by bees. Another memorable sequence has him in bed dreaming about a beautiful woman only to wake up and realize that it's the bear licking his feet. The comedy is mostly silly stuff where Rogers makes a fool of himself but the actor really sells it and gets more laughs than you'd expect. The supporting cast isn't all that memorable but they often set up the jokes well enough for Rogers to then take them and go. At 24-minutes the film does grow a bit long towards the end but fans of Rogers will still want to check it out even if it's not a classic.