A scene from HAPPY DAYS, directed by Arvid E. Gillstrom for Weiss Brothers Artclass Pictures.

Happy Days (1926, Arvid E. Gillstrom)

Happy Days is a good example of a bad silent comedy short. Ostensibly about Ethelyn Gibson’s secretary slash girl about town (it’s based on a comic strip), the short more focuses on her brother (the androgynous Billy Butts) and his baseball game.

The baseball game is basically a rip-off of an “Our Gang” short, but a mean spirited, racist one. Happy Days might be best examined opposite an “Our Gang” in those terms. There are two black kids at the game, both get all jokes played on them. And one of the black kids is, basically, the main character of the short. He doesn’t get a credit.

He does, however, get to have a strange intimate moment with androgynous Butts, kissing his hand.

Then there’s the implication Gibson’s character is a little loose with the men.

Already awful, Gillstrom’s lousy direction and the incompetent editing makes Days even worse.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Arvid E. Gillstrom; based on a comic strip by Martin Branner; titles by Al Martin; director of photography, King D. Gray; produced by Billy West and George West; released by Weiss Brothers Artclass Pictures.

Starring Ethelyn Gibson (Winnie Winkle), Billy Butts (Perry Winkle), Vondell Darr (Alice), Tommy Hicks (Fat Baseball Player), Jack McHugh (Rival Baseball Team Pitcher) and Jack Raymond (Grocer).

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