Nothing Matters (1926)

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Norman Taurog, one of comedy's finest journeyman directors, was working for small-time production company Educational when he made this Lloyd Hamilton two-reeler. It's a pretty typical example of what made filmgoers of the 1920s laugh. A young man has taken a correspondence course to become a detective (Hamilton). A swindler (Stanley Blystone) and his associates come to the detective's small town with what they claim to be a burglar-proof safe. They place bets with the villagers, ten to one, if the safe can be blown. The detective tells his fellow townsfolk to bet all they can, since he can do the job. He does blow the safe, but the money it contained is missing because the safe had a back door and the crooks absconded with the cash. The detective follows the bad guys to the big city but winds up in an opium den, where he falls into a dream state when a smoking can of the dope is placed near him. In his hallucination, he believes he is a fairy queen and leaps off the roof. His landing brings him back to Earth -- in more ways than one -- and he runs back home to his little village.