Kill or Cure (1923)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 13 min.  |  
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This one-reel comedy that Stan Laurel made for Hal Roach was basically a remake of a film he did the year before for Gilbert M. Anderson, The Pest. It even begins the same way: Laurel, a door-to-door salesman, is trying to sell his wares in front of an institute for the deaf. He tries making hand signals to a woman (Helen Gilmore), but she takes affront to his motions and charges after him. Stan's product this time around is a patent medicine that supposedly cures just about everything. No one is interested in it, however, except for one drunk (Mark Jones), who wants it because he has run out of bootleg liquor. Undaunted, Stan continues to hound prospective customers; he even proves that his medicine would make a great car wax, but his efforts are futile and the car's owner (Noah Young) turns him down. Finally he comes upon four apartment doors in a row and knocks on all of them. The angry woman from the film's start is behind one of the doors and Stan quickly runs away.