Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum--Dec 4

Here we go:

KOKO'S FIELD DAZE (1922): Koko and his dog pal compete in a track and field "field day" events, of course sabotaging each other. And then they jump off the page into the Fleisher's cartoonist's Field Day, where they sabotage that, too. Hilarious.

IT'S A GIFT (1923): Snub Pollard stars as an inventor with hilarious Rube Goldberg devices (on a more modern take, I felt like I was watching Wallace and Gromit at times). His magnet-powered car might even be the solution to the oil crisis.

AIR POCKETS (1924): Little known forgotten comic Lige Conley (I had never heard of him before) stars also as an inventor, and one with a unique automobile. His is collapsible. Lot's of crazy antics, a climactic (and not at all realistic) airplane chase. Funny, although some of the racist elements are pretty uncomfortable to modern audiences.

Then a brief intermission, and our feature presentation.

HUMAN HEARTS (1922): An epic melodrama starring ruggedly handsome House Peters. He plays Tom Logan, son of "Paw" Logan, founder of Loganville. He's the strongest, handsomest, most eligible bachelor, and when Paw dies and Tom gets his inheritance, he'll be the richest. So a scheming con-woman plots to seduce him (best line, from Paw who sees right through her from the start: "Nothing good comes from a woman who flirts.") However, she never counted on actually falling for him. So much so that she marries him even when Paw cuts him out of the will (he really, really doesn't approve, and is unrealistically stubborn). Things get worse when her partner-in-crime shows up, leading to Paw's murder, Tom getting framed, and things generally turning very, very bad.

I thought the story had promise, and despite a few glaring errors (one young man is diagnosed with a "he'll be okay" with a minor scalp wound before the same doctor reveals he's brain-damaged and will have the mind of a child for life) it was a pretty good story. It was just really long. Actually, it was 70 minutes, but it felt like a lot more.

Running Time: 110 minutes (estimated)
My Total Minutes: 217,330

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