6 December 2004 | Snow Leopard
Silly But Often Humorous Parody Feature
This silly but often humorous parody gives many indications of its comic-strip origins. From the hero Hairbreadth Harry to the villain and his henchmen to the melodramatic and thoroughly illogical story, it faithfully reproduces on film the nature of a comic. It's often a little too goofy to be enjoyable, but when it works, it delivers a few laughs. Likewise, it occasionally tries some fancy visual tricks, and some of them are a little ridiculous, while others work pretty well.
The story has Harry trying to protect a young heiress against the plots of the villain Rudolph and his henchmen. They are all stock characters, and it is really the henchmen that work the best on film. Harry (played by Earl McCarthy) is an energetic, likable, but rather plain hero. The villain has the expected attire and mustache, but he really comes off as rather plain. The three henchmen mug for the camera in a usually amusing fashion, having fun without taking themselves too seriously, and they provide more of the better moments.
The movie overall is probably typical of the average to mediocre range of silent comedies of the mid-1920s. There's nothing really wrong with it, but there were many movies of the era and genre that showed much more imagination and resourcefulness.