His Nibs (1921)

  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Famed vaudeville headliner Charles "Chic" Sale plays seven very different characters in this picture, which is sketchy on plot but high on humor. Most of the characters find themselves at the evening motion picture show in a small rural town. The theater's proprietor, known as His Nibs (Sale) is annoyed at the way some people read the film titles out loud, so he decides to cut them out completely and just tell his audience what's going on. Sale also plays the town's newspaper editor, a self-appointed motion picture censor, the theater's tenor singer, the lady who is playing the piano, and Elmer, the son of His Nibs. Sale's other main role is the lead character of a film playing at the theater, merely known as "the Boy." The Boy heads for the big city after being fired from his job at the general store. He is fleeced by crooked promoters, winds up as a dishwasher, but still manages to save the day and win the Girl (played by a pre-stardom Colleen Moore). Interestingly, parts of this picture resemble a couple of Buster Keaton films -- he plays all the characters in one scene of The Playhouse, which was released about the same time as His Nibs, and the film-within-a-film concept was a major part of 1923's Sherlock, Jr. Since Keaton shared Sale's vaudeville roots, this is not surprising -- vaudeville actors constantly used each other as a source of inspiration (and sometimes outright theft).