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Harry Langdon: The Forgotten Clown (1927)
Starring: Harry Langdon, Gertrude Astor, Alma Bennett, Priscilla Bonner, Gladys Brockwell, Joan Crawford, Frankie Darro, Edwards Davis, Carlton Griffin, Arthur Thalasso
Director: Frank Capra, Harry Edwards
Category: Classic, Comedy
Studio: Image Ent.
193 mins



The Strong Man
Under the direction of legendary filmmaker Frank Capra (It's A Wonderful Life), Harry Langdon is at his charming, childlike best in this handsomely produced and utterly hilarious film that vividly represents the great tradition of American slapstick.After a tour of duty in the No-Man's-Land of World War I, a witless young Belgian (Langdon) comes to America and seeks out the dedicated pen pal (Priscilla Bonner) whose letters lifted his spirits during the heat of battle.But to Paul, the land of opportunity turns out to be a world of confusion, as his quest for Mary Brown leads him from mishap to comic disaster.

Tramp, Tramp, Tramp
In an effort to save the family business, a shoemaker's son (Langdon) enters a cross-country foot race with hopes of walking away with the $25,000 prize.During the course of his westward hike, Harry woos the corporate boss's daughter (a young and fetching Joan Crawford), is thrown in a chain gang and is dangled from the edge of a cliff (in a scene that rivals Harold Lloyd's clockface escapade in Safety Last).Before the finish line can be reached, Harry is caught in a violent tornado that devastates an entire town -- a sequence of spectacular comedy and destruction that no doubt inspired the hurricane finale of Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Long Pants
The era of slapstick comedy produced a legacy of imaginative and inventive films, though none is quite as peculiar as Frank Capra's Long Pants.When a sheepish young man yearning for romance is given his first pair of grown-up trousers, he springs into adulthood and is immediately smitten by the wrong woman, a hard-boiled drug smuggler (Alma Bennett).When the "snow" queen is jailed, Harry abandons his most sincere small-town sweetheart and comes to the brazen woman's rescue, ushering his fugitive moll (who is nailed inside an enormous wooden crate) through a series of riotous scrapes with the police, an alligator and a bevy of pitfalls thrown in the path by the fast-paced modern world.