Even though Saturday Afternoon is astoundingly bad on every expected level and a few unexpected ones, I guess I’m glad to know there were always terrible comedies. It’s not some recent invention, post-television. There was always tripe.
The story is pretty simple. Harry Langdon is a moron married to an evil witch of a wife, played by Alice Ward. There’s also this very interesting inference Ward has been around a little and picked Langdon because of his stupidity.
Oh, I forgot to mention, writers Arthur Ripley and Frank Capra slather on the misogyny (not just Ward) with a wide brush.
Except Langdon’s trying to step out on Ward and the audience is supposed to sympathize. But he’s so stupid, it’s impossible.
Technically, Langdon’s performance is bad. He doesn’t have any timing. His sidekick, Vernon Dent, is worse. Edwards’s direction goes beyond bad to incompetent.
Afternoon‘s an unbearable 1,800 seconds.
Directed by Harry Edwards; written by Arthur Ripley and Frank Capra; titles by Al Giebler; director of photography, William Williams; edited by William Hornbeck; produced by Mack Sennett; released by Pathé Exchange.
Starring Harry Langdon (Harry Higgins), Alice Ward (Mrs. Harry Higgins), Vernon Dent (Steve Smith), Ruth Hiatt (Pearl), Peggy Montgomery (Ruby) and Leo Willis (The Rival).
Posted in 1926, Black and White, Comedy, Pathé, Short, USA
Tagged Al Giebler, Alice Ward, Arthur Ripley, Frank Capra, Harry Edwards, Harry Langdon, Leo Willis, Mack Sennett, Peggy Montgomery, Ruth Hiatt, Vernon Dent, William Hornbeck, William Williams
I wonder how His Marriage Wow would play without Vernon Dent. His character is an inexplicably omnipresent professor who counsels leading man Harry Langdon as to his future wife’s murderous intentions.
Of course, Marriage is never scary and never tries to be scary, so the whole groom in danger aspect is just a waste of time. And the short opens with even more time wasting as Langdon can’t find the right chapel for his wedding.
Having a directionally challenges and dimwitted protagonist does Marriage no favors. But at least Langdon’s good, unlike Dent, who just gets worse and worse.
Sadly, Natalie Kingston’s bride has nothing to do. The filmmakers seem to think Langdon and Dent are a better pair, but never even try to explain why Dent would be around.
Edwards’s direction is mediocre but occasionally inventive.
Marriage isn’t exactly disappointing, but Dent’s terrible performance does overshadow any redeeming qualities.
Directed by Harry Edwards; written by Arthur Ripley; titles by Al Giebler; directors of photography, Lee Davis and William Williams; edited by William Hornbeck; produced by Mack Sennett; released by Pathé Exchange.
Starring Harry Langdon (The Groom), Natalie Kingston (The Bride), William McCall (Her Father) and Vernon Dent (A Pessimist).
Posted in 1925, Black and White, Comedy, Pathé, Short, USA
Tagged Al Giebler, Arthur Ripley, Harry Edwards, Harry Langdon, Lee Davis, Mack Sennett, Natalie Kingston, Vernon Dent, William Hornbeck, William McCall, William Williams