(1926)3Janiss GarzaIt's too bad that Eddie Cantor was kept so busy on-stage during the 1920s that he only had the chance to make two silent films (the other one is Special Delivery). Kid Boots is rather loosely based on his Florenz Ziegfeld stage success, and he's very funny and appealing here. As Kid Boots, Cantor is a touch like Buster Keaton without so many quirks: a likable, hard-working misfit who somehow manages to get the girl in spite of his awkwardness. The girl in this case is Clara Bow, as Clara McCoy. Bow was literally on the precipice of stardom; her breakthrough picture, Mantrap, came out while this picture was being made. Although Cantor was known for his high comic energy, there's an almost quiet sense about his humor here, which compliments Bow's vivaciousness quite well. Lawrence Gray as Kid's pal, Tom Sterling, performs nicely, but he's pretty much eclipsed by the charismatic Cantor and Bow; he and Billie Dove, as his romantic interest, Polly Pendleton, only serve as attractive decoration. Natlie Kingston, as Sterling's soon-to-be ex-wife, is appropriately nasty, as is Clara's mean-tempered beau (Malcolm Waite). One particularly amusing title cards comes during the climax, when the Kid and Clara are trying to escape Waite and make it to the courthouse to help Sterling obtain his final divorce decree. The two of them wind up hanging off a cliff, and the Kid urges Clara to return to Waite, who is glaring down at them. "I'd rather be your corpse than his bride!" Clara defiantly declares. Cantor, with his "banjo eyes" and oversized ears, may not have been the handsomest guy around, but he's certainly easy to love in Kid Boots. Cantor made a number of highly entertaining pictures in the early sound era, but this picture proves that film stardom was waiting for him any time he had the chance to grab it.
Based on the musical comedy of the same name, Kid Boots was the first of two silent vehicles for irrepressible Ziegfeld Follies star Eddie "Banjo Eyes" Cantor. Old "Banjo Eyes" stars as a tailor's assistant named Kid Boots, who tries to save his pal Tom Sterling (Lawrence Gray) from the clutches of gold-digger Polly Pendleton (Billie Dove). Since Tom is a pro golfer, this requires Kid Boots to hire himself out as a caddy, leading to a series of slapstick complications. With the help of Tom's true-blue sweetheart Jane Martin (Clara Bow), our hero incapacitates Tom's golf-tournament rival George (Malcolm Waite) and exposes Polly for the predator that she is. Legend has it that Eddie Cantor had a brief affair with Clara Bow while working on Kid Boots, but this has been refuted by most of Bow's biographers.