Hot Water (1924)

Genres - Comedy  |   Countries - USA  |  
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On his friend's wedding day, disgusted best man Harold Lloyd swears that "I will never give up my freedom for a pair of soft-boiled eyes!" When he (literally) trips over a pretty young girl (Jobyna Ralston), he immediately forgets his words. In the time it takes to read a title card, they are married. Thus begins a Lloyd comedy which is basically three two-reelers strung together. Hubby (Lloyd) and Wifey (Ralston) delight in their married state, and the first segment shows Wifey on the phone, asking her adored Hubby to bring her a few things from the market. Next we see Harold at the market, loaded down with her several dozen requests -- and a live turkey which he has won in a raffle. He boards a trolley, and as it travels through the charming town that L.A. was in the twenties, he (and the turkey) manage to disrupt everyone in the car. Some great physical comedy happens before Harold, his packages and his turkey are thrown into the street. Things get even hairier in the second segment when the beleaguered Hubby arrives home -- Wifey's battleaxe mother (Josephine Crowell), bum of a big brother (Charles Stevenson) and brat of a little brother (Mickey McBan) have come for a visit. Hubby has just bought a gleaming new car and instead of taking Wifey for a spin alone, the whole clan tags along. The result is a hilarious and thrilling wild ride that culminates with the car rolling down a hill, completely out of control. Naturally, the car ends up being towed home, a total wreck, the family in tears. In the last segment, Hubby sneaks some chloroform on his ill-tempered mother-in-law, so that she will quiet down for the evening, and then he thinks he has killed her. In reality, mother-in-law is just fine, and Harold's utter torture as he mistakes everything he hears and sees as an indication of his "murder" is very funny. Hot Water is loaded with great gags, but considering it was Lloyd's seventh feature film, one wonders about its lack of cohesiveness. Buster Keaton's first film, Three Ages, was also essentially three two-reelers cut together, but his at least had a plot. Nevertheless, there are enough classic comedy scenes in Hot Water to make it a must-see.

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Keywords

husband-and-wife, in-law, newlywed, trolley, wedding