Boys Will Be Joys is a strange Our Gang outing, simply because the story doesn’t belong to the Gang. Instead, sixty year-old industrialist Paul Weigel has grown bored being a successful grown-up and just wants to goof off.
Luckily, he happens to be developing a plot of land the Gang has built an incredible amateur amusement park on and they come by his office demanding he stop developing.
There’s a shocking lack of tension to Joys. It’s fairly certain from a few minutes in–after Weigel bats a couple balls with some teenagers in a ballgame–the Gang isn’t going to meet with much resistance from the “adult.” Weigel even orders his subordinates to run the machinery so the boys can enjoy the rides.
McGowan’s got some decent shots and the amusement park set-up is rather impressive.
I think there’s only one gag in the entire picture.
Directed by Robert F. McGowan; written by Hal Roach; titles by H.M. Walker; director of photography, Art Lloyd; edited by Richard C. Currier; produced by F. Richard Jones; released by Pathé Exchange.
Starring Allen ‘Farina’ Hoskins (Farina), Andy Samuel (Andy), Jackie Condon (Jackie), Jannie Hoskins (Jannie), Jay R. Smith (Jay), Johnny Downs (Johnny), Joe Cobb (Joe), Mickey Daniels (Mickey), Mary Kornman (Mary) and Paul Weigel (Henry Mills).
Super-Hooper-Dyne Lizzies explores the dangers of electric cars. Basically, they can be taken over by radio waves and made to do crazy things. If it weren’t for the gasoline dealer (John J. Richardson) being the villain, one could almost see it as twenties gas company propaganda.
The short is a special effects extravaganza and director Lord does pretty well with it. There are all sorts of car effects, some okay wirework and a few other things. Sadly, the rampant racism overshadows any of the short’s positive qualities.
At one point, co-writers Frank Capra and Jefferson Moffitt posit blacks are actually not living creatures. Where’s Robert Riskin when you need him….
There’s also some anti-Semitism, but it might be from title card writers Felix Adler and Al Giebler.
The first half is mildly amusing with the special effects. But the second half makes it Lizzies unpleasant overall.
Directed by Del Lord; screenplay by Frank Capra and Jefferson Moffitt; titles by Felix Adler and Al Giebler; directors of photography, George Spear and George Unholz; edited by William Hornbeck; produced by Mack Sennett; released by Pathé Exchange.
Starring Billy Bevan (Hiram Case), Andy Clyde (Burbank Watts), Lillian Knight (Minnie Watts) and John J. Richardson (T. Potter Doam).
There’s got to be something good about Pie-Eyed. I just can’t think of it. I suppose directors Pembroke and Rock do show some competence; they save the stupidest gag for last. Stan Laurel falls seven stories without injury. If there’s never any danger to him, why be interested?
But that complement is a sarcastic one. The timing is probably more coincidence.
I suppose Laurel isn’t terrible. It’s not his fault (presumably) the short has no story. Pie-Eyed opens, appropriately, with him being a drunken buffoon at a night club. Of course, he’s not drinking at night, the short later reveals, but during the day.
He gets flirty with the club owner’s wife, gets thrown out, has further misadventures. Even without an original plot point, Pie-Eyed might have been tolerable with some original gags. There aren’t any; every gag is familiar from much better comedies.
It’s exceptionally lame.
Directed by Scott Pembroke and Joe Rock; titles by Tay Garnett; director of photography, Edgar Lyons; produced by Rock; released by Selznick Distributing Corporation.
Starring Stan Laurel (Drunk), Glen Cavender (Nightclub manager) and Thelma Hill (Girl in club).
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).