The Battle Royal (1916)

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The stock players for Vim Comedies in Jacksonville, FL, were a close-knit crew and, as a result, this standard spoof on hillbilly feuds looks like it was a lot of fun to make. The Florida backwoods double for the hills of Kentucky, home of the Plump and Runt families. The Plump son (Oliver Hardy) loves the Runt daughter (Elsie McLeod), and his sister loves the Runt boy (Billy Ruge). The two families, however, start battling after Plump and Runt hook the same fish. The only pauses in the fighting happen when one of the boys sneaks off to make love to his girl. Finally a group of revenue officers appear and the two families unite once again to get the government men off their land. Once the revenuers are gone, peace reigns once again in the hills of Kentucky. Billy Ruge was just one of several small guys big Oliver Hardy would team up with -- the most famous, of course, was Stan Laurel.