Sunday, October 18, 2009

37. The Kid Brother (1927)

Running Time: 84 minutes
Directed By: J.A. Howe, Ted Wilde
Written By: Thomas J. Crizer, Howard J. Green, John Grey, Lex Neal, Ted Wilde
Main Cast: Harold Lloyd, Jobyna Ralston, Walter James, Leo Willis, Olin Francis

AND A THIRD COMIC GENIUS BREAKS ONTO THE SCENE

If you're having trouble finding The Kid Brother, it can be found on the Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection: Volume Two: Disc One. I had a bit of trouble myself at first, but ended up finding it on Netflix. Harold Lloyd was another comic genius and its evident from his depiction of Harold Hickory in The Kid Brother.

Harold Hickory is the youngest son of James Hickory, the sheriff of Hickoryville. Sheriff Hickory has two other sons, Olin and Leo, and the all three look down on young Harold for not being the man that they are. Harold is left to do the chores around the house, while his father and brothers are left to tend to the estate.
One day as Harold is parading around in his father's sheriff uniform, the traveling Medicine Man Show pulls up to the Hickory residence and thinking that Harold is the good sheriff, requests his signature on a permit to run his show in Hickoryville. Harold reluctantly signs the document and the Medicine Man Show is set to do business in Hickoryville. When James Hickory finds out of this, he immediately calls for the show to be shut down and sends Harold out to do it himself. While trying to request that the show be shut down, Harold inadvertently burns the Medicine Man cart to the ground. In the meantime, Harold has fallen for the woman who travels with the Medicine Show, providing one of the funniest gags in the movie, where the woman is walking down a hill, and Harold continues to climb a tree so that he can keep adding tidbits to his farewell.

Aside from all the hubbub surrounding the Medicine Man Show, the citizens of Hickoryville have been raising money for a new dam and have finally met the amount needed. They lock the money up in a small safe and place it in the care of Sheriff Hickory for safekeeping. When the Medicine Man owner sees this in the paper, he sees an opportunity to regain some of the money that he lost, due to the fire at his Medicine Man Show cart.

While watching The Kid Brother, I just couldn't stop myself from thinking that I'd rather be watching a Buster Keaton movie, or that I'd even rather see Buster performing these gags instead of Harold. Harold Lloyd was excellent though, and as the movie went on I continued to realize his genius. The chase been Harold and the Medicine Man strongman, on the boat at the end of the film is absolutely awesome and I loved every single minute of it. I also loved the scene where Harold does the dishes, in his own, resourceful manner. While I do think that Buster Keaton is my personal favorite and in my opinion, the King of Silent Era Comedy, Lloyd hangs in there and doesn't fail to deliver the laughs.

RATING: 6.5/10 Again, this is my knee jerk reaction of a rating and I could definitely see the rating for this film climbing with repeated viewings or maybe just a little time to reflect on it.

NEXT UP: The Crowd...Cannot find this one, so we'll be skipping it and continuing onward.

October 18, 2009 8:53pm

2 comments:

  1. Great job, very informative!

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  2. I did enjoy this.. From other comments you may remember I decidedly prefer Keaton to Chaplin.. Well I now put Lloyd only just bellow Keaton. An enjoyable character.. a (Physical) underdog with a brain and determination. Well thought out gags with well planned set-ups and not over played.
    Ray

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SINS OF OMISSION - Entry #65: Les nuits de la pleine lune/Full Moon in Paris (1984)

Running Time: 100 minutes Directed By: Eric Rohmer Written By: Eric Rohmer Main Cast: Pascale Ogier, Tcheky Karyo, Fabrice Luchini,...