Tripping Through the Tropics (1934)

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This two-reeler from Columbia's recently formed shorts department features a very funny Billy Gilbert, who all but steals the show away from the overdone romantic story line of two young people who avidly dislike each other but somehow manage to wind up together by the fade out. Gilbert plays the father of Frank Albertson, the young man. Sam Lewis is the father of then-newcomer Lois January. The dads desperately want their kids to fall in love and marry; the kids can barely tolerate the sight of each other. To help the match along, the fathers take their kids on a voyage to the tropics. To appease their overeager parents, Albertson and January pretend to fall for each other, while sneaking off on dates with other people. Everything changes, however, when the natives of the tropical village they're visiting have a secret ceremony. Dads and kids alike are determined to sneak into the festivities -- Lewis shows up in drag, which fools Gilbert for more than a few moments. Meanwhile, January, overwhelmed by the hot night and persistent rhythms, jumps into the ceremony and begins dancing. This causes the fresh-faced Albertson to see her in a new light, and the fathers' mission is accomplished.