The Fly Cop (1921)

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Officially released September 1, 1917, the Billy West 2-reeler The Fly Cop didn't make it to New York until two weeks later. Inasmuch as West was the screen's best Charlie Chaplin imitator, it shouldn't be surprising that The Fly Cop bore a marked resemblance to Chaplin's Easy Street. Billy plays a bumbling rookie cop who is assigned to "get the goods" on a gambling house. The Chief of Police is in cahoots with the gamblers and assumes that dimwitted Billy won't be able to tie his own shoes, much less accumulate any evidence. Unfortunately for the Chief, Billy manages to corral the crooks and win a promotion. Oliver Hardy, the all-purpose "villain" in the West comedies, goes through his usual paces as the gambling-emporium proprietor, while former Chaplin stock-company player Leo White is cast as the Mayor. The Fly Cop was the eleventh of Billy West's films for King-Bee Productions.