Thursday, September 27, 2018

Court House Crooks

When I watched Way Down East, there was a good half hour left in the time slot TCM ran it in, so they included the early two-reeler Court House Crooks.

The idea is a good one. A District Attorney (Ford Sterling) is having an affair with the Judge's (Charles Arling) wife (Minta Durfee). The judge buys his wife a necklace but drops the case, with the DA finding it, pocketing the necklace, and throwing the case away. When a young man (a young Harold Lloyd) is found with the case, he's put on trial for the larceny.

Unfortunately, I found it a fairly weak effort, as it's varies between unfunny and going floridly over the top in an attempt to be humorous, in the way that silent actors tended to gesticulate since they couldn't use dialog to make their points. The trial is also absurd, since it would have been handed to a different judge who didn't have a stake in the case and with only an empty jewelry case, the defendant should never have been convicted. A key plot point also relies on there being a window where there shouldn't be one, since the courtroom is directly opposite the hall from the DA's office.

At any rate, since this is from 1915, it's in the public domain and there are several copies on Youtube. I didn't watch this one to see if it's got a music score, but watch for yourself if you want to judge:

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