Sky Bound (1926)

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Although the career of his uncle, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, was on the skids, Al St. John flourished throughout the 1920s as a two-reel comedian. This short was one of many he made with director Jack White. St. John plays a timid young man whose sweetheart (Zelma O'Neal) is being courted by the village sheik (Otto Fries). To drum up the courage to deal with the situation, the young man goes to a hypnotist (Phil Dunham). The sheik, meanwhile, is planning a bank robbery, and the girl discovers his nefarious scheme. With the help of a book on hypnosis, she puts her sweetheart under her spell and convinces him that he has the bravery to become a hero. St. John undertakes a number of hair-raising feats and defeats his rival in an airplane chase. Once the sheik is given the heave-ho, St. John and the girl are united. Under the name of Preston Black, Jack White would go on to direct quite a few shorts for the Three Stooges. His brother, Jules White, was head of the Columbia short subjects department during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.