A scene from THE LIMEJUICE MYSTERY OR WHO SPAT IN GRANDFATHER'S PORRIDGE?, directed by Jack Harrison.

The Limejuice Mystery or Who Spat in Grandfather’s Porridge? (1930, Jack Harrison)

The Limejuice Mystery is, in puppets, the meeting of Sherlock Holmes (renamed Herlock Sholmes here) and Anna May Wong (who’s also renamed for legal reasons, I imagine). Now, there are some good Holmes jokes–like the bobbies dancing to Holmes’s violin solo and Holmes’s hobby of cross dressing–but the Wong stuff is uncomfortable.

Limejuice isn’t some homage to the star–the first Chinese-American movie star–it’s a bunch of jokes about Chinese people. The short is exemplar for bad puppetry (sadly, the terrible puppeteers are not credited) and racism.

Director Harrison is actually pretty good at setting up the shots–there’s little movement as he’s filming puppet stages; the framing’s surprisingly good. And the puppets themselves appear to be well-made. The costumes are all great.

It’s just the puppeteers.

The Limejuice Mystery is dumb and boring and offensive. But it’s a mildly interesting piece of film history.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Jack Harrison; music by Philip Braham; released by Joseph Seiden.

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