Before the Public (1923)

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Charley Chase -- acting as director under his real name, Charles Parrott -- and comedian Harry "Snub" Pollard spoof movie stardom in this short from the Hal Roach studios. Snub sings to the illustrated slides at the local movie theater, but he's terrible. The audience throws vegetables at him, which he gathers and sells outside the theater. Since he persists in his job, the townsfolk elect him the winner of a popularity contest, with the first prize being a trip to Hollywood. That's the only way they can figure out how to get rid of him. Snub is so touched by the gesture that he decides to stay. Noah Young solves the problem by tying him to the train. When Snub finally does return home, he has become a huge movie star. The theater plays his new Western, and his horsemanship is so impressive, that the townsfolk insist that he ride the wild stallion Nitro in a horse show. Nobody realizes that Snub has used doubles for all his stunts. The result of placing him in Nitro's saddle is predictable.