Lightning Love (1923)

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As he did a number of times before, Larry Semon dons overalls for this two-reel rural comedy. Larry calls on his sweetheart, Rhea (Kathleen Myers), whose irascible father (Al Thompson) is laid up with the gout. But Larry has a rival in Oliver Hardy, who brings a bulldog as a gift to Rhea. The bulldog tears off part of Larry's pants and he's forced to hide in a shack. A thunderstorm starts, and after being hit with lightning, Larry dashes back to the house. The storm blows the house to the edge of a cliff, unbeknownst to anyone inside. When Rhea rejects him, Larry walks out the front door -- and off the edge of the cliff. Kathleen Myers is best remembered to modern-day audiences as Buster Keaton's co-star in Go West and Oliver Hardy, of course, found fame a few years later when he teamed up with Stan Laurel. This was one of Semon's last comedies for Vitagraph -- in June 1923 he went independent to make features for Tru-Art. The pictures were not very successful, and Vitagraph contested his signing with Tru-Art, all of which hastened the downslide of his career.