Un-friendly Enemies (1925)

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In the mid-'20s Hal Roach gave James Finlayson his own starring series of one-reel comedies. They weren't very successful, mainly because funny as he was, Finlayson was strongest when he was reacting to someone else. This picture, directed by Stan Laurel (who had not yet teamed up with Oliver Hardy), works a little better than the others because Finlayson was able to play off George Rowe. Finlayson plays an American cameraman during World War I, and Rowe is his assistant. In spite of being surrounded by action, they have a hard time getting a good shot, so they go over the top. General Stonehead Balsam (Jules Mendel) orders an attack and he and his men obligingly pose for the camera, but the cameraman is never able to get the shot just right. A live grenade falls into the film box, and the cameraman and his assistant get tangled up in some barbed wire in their attempts to escape from it. Of course, the box winds up attached to the barbed wire and follows them mercilessly until it explodes, sending the two men flying into the air. Hal Roach regular Charlie Hall plays a soldier and a very young Fay Wray has a small part as the girl.