Monday, November 3, 2008

Kid Boots (1926) Film Review - Clara Bow, Eddie Cantor

Plot Summary - Silent film comedy starring Eddie Cantor as Samuel "Kid" Boots, tailor who tries to sell a suit to a big, bad-tempered lug named "Big Boyle" looking to buy a "one-button golf suit". Boyle ends up with a hanger in his back and ill-fitting plus-fours, causing him to give chase to Kid Boots, who hides in the car trunk of handsome Tom Sterling (Lawrence Gray), about to inherit a three million dollar fortune. Saved from Boyle, Boots and Tom are now "pals", especially after Boots becomes Tom's witness in his upcoming divorce case, after the soon-to-be ex-wife/gold digger and her sleaze-bag lawyer try to make it look like Tom was alone with her in his rooms. Tom and Boots vanish to a mountain resort to wait the two days until the trial, Tom is new golf instructor there and quickly falls for the attractive daughter (Billie Dove) of the hotel owner. Boots has a romance of his own - with Big Boyle's "girl", cute and flirtatious Clara (Clara Bow) - often seen sporting her 20s swim outfit - who likes Boots 'cause she thinks he's "reliable". Wife and lawyer show up, the wife is instructed to "vamp" Kid Boots the witness, causing Clara to get jealous. More misunderstandings when Boots takes Tom's place in his room for the night, after the wife takes the suite next door. The ending is a real cliffhanger - literally.

Review - This is a cute film, a light romantic comedy - only about 60 minutes long. It includes some amusing comic sight gags - especially one in which Cantor uses one of his arms to make it appear like he is having tea with another woman (to make Clara jealous, after she teases him) - some of the comedy is told via the title cards. Eddie Cantor reminded me a bit of Buster Keaton in this, but with his own style too. Even though sort of goofy looking, Cantor has chemistry with Clara Bow and they seem to make a good couple - well, Clara Bow seems to have chemistry with everyone! Favorite Clara Bow is very appealing in this, as usual. The DVD I saw of this is from the Eddie Cantor Appreciation Society and features a decent looking print and nice, snappy, retro style piano score done by Arthur Seigel. Rating - 7/10 stars

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