Not bad for Langdon in the 30s, but not at all up to the standards of his silent comedies
This film was made by Harry Langdon for Educational Films--a low-budget studio known for it's cut-rate productions. At this point in his career, Langdon was no longer a star but eked out a living in cheap comedies for a variety of studios (such as Hal Roach, Educational and Columbia--among others). Unfortunately, these films are a far cry from the wonderful shorts Langdon made in the days of silents.
Harry is a stagehand in a local production. However, instead of concentrating on the rehearsal just before the curtain is raised, the janitor takes him aside and shows him his still and insists that Harry have a few drinks. Prohibition was in effect in the US until December, 1933 and it would seem this film came up just before this--when drinking was illegal. Up until its repeal, alcohol was a pretty popular theme in films--so it's not surprising they'd use this in this short comedy. Seeing Harry have a drink and his reaction was pretty funny and it certainly was not surprising to see where the film would go from there--a drunk Harry and his janitor friend would make a mess of the production--though the film lacks a decent resolution and the end of the film is a bit of a jumbled mess.
Compared to other Langdon films of the 30s that survive to this day, this one is decent and is good for a few laughs. However, it just isn't as fresh and clever as his earlier work and if you are expecting genius, this film isn't it. Instead of his sweet child-like persona of the early films, here he relies on cheaper laughs by being a klutz or playing drunk--not exactly subtle, huh?
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