Synopsis by Janiss Garza
Reginald Denny seems to be doing a Harold Lloyd impersonation in this comedy, right down to the glasses, and maybe he was -- the plot concerns a hypochondriac, like Lloyd's 1923 hit Why Worry?. Although Rufus Billop (Denny) is convinced he will die at any minute, he has outlived his whole family with the exception of his Aunt Beulah (Lucille Ward). While visiting her he decides he desperately needs a doctor. After fighting against the tough manipulations of a towering woman chiropractor (Blanche Payson), he finds a " real" doctor (Clarence Geldert) who agrees that he needs serious care. The only thing holding Billop back from entering a sanitarium is a lack of funds -- he will inherit 750,000 dollars in three years, but if he dies any earlier all the money goes to charity. After the doctor assures a trio of lenders (Otis Harlan, William V. Mong, and Tom Ricketts) that there's really nothing wrong with Billop, they front him a hundred thousand if they will wind up with his whole fortune. So Billop happily takes on a full time nurse and lays in bed all day with a book and a thermometer. But when the first nurse, "Death Watch Mary" (Martha Mattox), doesn't work out, he is given pretty Dolores Hicks (a young and inexperienced Mary Astor). Billop falls in love with her, and when the maid (Helen Lynch) informs him that women like men who "aren't afraid of nothin'," he stops languishing in bed and starts racing cars and riding motorcycles. His brushes with death almost kill his lenders, who will lose their investment if he dies before he receives his inheritance. Dolores finally gets a lawyer to make out a fair contract, and she convinces the three men to sign it as they helplessly watch Billop painting a flagpole some 20 or so stories above a busy street. Although Denny's performance may owe something to Lloyd, this picture was actually based on the novel by Harry Leon Wilson. In addition a successful play about a hypochondriac, The Nervous Wreck, ran on Broadway in 1924, and it later became the musical Whoopee!, a stage and screen hit for Eddie Cantor -- clearly hypochondriacs were marketable entertainment at the time!
aunt, chiropractic, contract, doctor, hypochondriac, inheritance, lawyer, nurse, sanitarium