No Wedding Bells (1923)

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In spite of racial stereotypes that grate today, this Larry Semon two-reeler has a lot of funny moments (due, in no small part to Oliver Hardy, who played his adversary in this and many other comedies). Larry is in love with a girl (Lucille Carlisle) whose father (Hardy) is on the verge of winning his first chess game in 20 years. Unfortunately, Larry knocks the board over and, instead of winning the father's consent to a wedding, he gets thrown out the window. Meanwhile, the head of a Chinese gang wants to try out his new sleeping potion, and he has an associate who is working for the father kidnap the girl. Both the girl and a black servant (Spencer Bell) are abducted. Larry comes to the rescue and falls down a laundry chute -- which just happens to take him to the gang's hideout. Larry and the servant rescue the girl and return her to her father. Instead of thanking Larry, the unforgiving father tosses him out the window again. African-American actor Spencer Bell played comic relief in many silent films, often billed under the very unfortunate moniker G. Howe Black.