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See COLD TURKEY - Harry Langdon - on youtube.
See COLD TURKEY - Harry Langdon - on youtube.
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"Cold Turkey" is a typical Columbia short comedy enhanced by the comic genius of Harry Langdon. Coming as late as it does in Langdon's career, it could not be this good. Harry looks nice in this short. No mustache to create him look older and no glasses to give him a Harold Lloyd look! He is the baby face Langdon of old and he has more energy than in the previous Columbia entries. The plot is simple; Harry wins a live turkey for Christmas dinner at his office. Actually he has to receive it home. Sure, Harold Lloyd did this routine before, but Harry and director Del King place their own spin on it. This routine takes up most of the first reel. Harry participates in a several nice gags with his old buddy Vernon Dent as his boss and with Columbia regular Bud Jamison as a policeman. The second reel deals with the misconception that Harry is going to slay his landlord, played by Columbia favourite Monte Collins, instead of the turkey.Even though the movie is loaded with standard Stooges-style Columbia slapstick, Harry does subtle tiny bits throughout the movie to create it funnier. He was never an athletic comic like Keaton or Lloyd; he relied on quirky tiny body movements and facial reactions. He still portrays innocence, even though he was approaching his 60s. I only want he didn't talk so much. Sometimes he comes off like a babbling idiot. Keaton only spoke when absolutely necessary. However, watching Langdon silents, you can see he is everytime talking, even though we cannot hear him.This is a first rate comedy, only marred by Harry's babbling and a low finish.
Back in the 1920s, Harry Langdon made some dandy comedies...mostly with Frank Capra directing. However, Langdon apparently wasn't very bright...and he left the studio to do movies his way. His method was apparently code for 'dull', and the shorts he made post-Capra were cute limp. Of all these, his last shorts were for Columia....and this isn't surprising as this studio made a habit out of hiring people who were down and out. This was, trust it or not, real of the Three Stooges...who bombed in most of their shots with MGM. In addition, Columbia hired Buster Keaton and Charley Chase when they both were down-and-out....and this was real with quite a several another comedians of the era.The storyline is set around Christmas and Harry wins a turkey in an office raffle. Unfortunately, it's a LIVE turkey and the animal causes all sorts of problem when he brings it home. He also has problem because when he and his wife are talking about preparing the bird, she says him he needs to slay it...and a nosy neighbor thinks they're going to slay him.Like the another Columbia shorts I've seen starring Harry Langdon, this one is not especially good. It has a several nice moments here and there but overall, it just isn't funny.
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