Category Archives: 1920

An Eastern Westerner (1920, Hal Roach)

In An Eastern Westerner, Harold Lloyd plays a Manhattan playboy whose antics land him out West. Not the antics where he destroys a dance hall in the opening sequence, which nicely establishes the character, but the ones where his parents catch him.

Westerner‘s opening sequence, where Lloyd is willing to fight bigger men (or at least get back at them), does a lot of work. Later, when he’s in a saloon and surrounded by dangerous men, his behavior makes more sense.

The story–Lloyd doesn’t have any drama inherent to himself–involves a rich, tough louse (played by Noah Young), who’s after a girl, played by Mildred Davis. In the interest of narrative expediency, Lloyd falls for Davis the moment he meets her. Most of the rest of Westerner is fall-out from his affections.

Lloyd’s likability and antics are Westerner‘s whole show. He’s more than up to the task.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Produced and directed by Hal Roach; written by Frank Terry; titles by H.M. Walker; director of photography, Walter Lundin; released by Pathé Exchange.

Starring Harold Lloyd (The Boy), Mildred Davis (The Girl) and Noah Young (Tiger Lip Tompkins).


RELATED

Advertisements

Dry and Thirsty (1920, Craig Hutchinson)

Dry and Thirsty is split into two distinct parts. The first part, set on a boardwalk and beach, mostly features protagonist Billy Bletcher. Bletcher, who also wrote the short, resembles Chaplin. The mustache isn’t identical, but it’s close, and the mannerisms suggest a very American Chaplin impression.

He’s not bad and his mad pursuit of liquor is mildly amusing. Thirsty‘s essential component is director Hutchinson. He doesn’t just film the beach area well, he also knows how to film the motion. Hutchinson is able to make Bletcher’s manic impression work. The first half is great-looking.

The second half takes place in a hotel, introducing Vera Reynolds (as Bletcher’s love interest) and John Dempsey (as her husband). It’s funnier, but not because of Bletcher. The hotel’s so busy, there’s a foot traffic director. The gag works better than it should.

It’s an appealing little comedy with some excellent direction.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Directed by Craig Hutchinson; written by Billy Bletcher; produced by Al Christie; released by Pathé Exchange.

Starring Billy Bletcher (Horace Radish), Vera Reynolds (Mrs. Tryan) and John Dempsey (William Allways Tryan).


RELATED