Black Oxfords (1924)

Genres - Comedy  |  
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While this comedy was pretty standard fare for producer Mack Sennett in the 1920s, it is notable for being the first film in which Marceline Day had a major role -- she had started out working for Sennett the year before as a Bathing Beauty, and would become most famous as Buster Keaton's leading lady in 1928's The Cameraman. Mom and sis (Day) are faced with that standard melodramatic situation that Sennett loved to parody -- the mortgage is due and they are penniless. Villainous landlord Jack Richardson is about to foreclose. Mother asserts that her boy Jack would know what to do -- if only he were there. Unfortunately, Jack (Sid Smith) is behind bars. But his pal (Vernon Dent) is about to break out with the help of an aeroplane. It picks up Jack from the yard instead, leaving Dent to dig his way out. Now that Jack is free, he actually does know what to do -- he enters his horse in a steeplechase in hopes of winning the purse. Of course, Richardson is just as determined to see him lose, and enlists the help of bear-like jockey Kalla Pasha. But Jack and his steed manage to slapstick their way to the finish line. The mortgage is paid and Jack's sweetheart gleefully tells him, "Now you can foreclose the mortgage on my heart!" Minor comic Sid Smith died in 1928 from bad Prohibition-era alcohol.