The Goat (1917)

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This two-reel comedy is one of Billy West's more obscure films. This is due in good part to the fact that its studio, King Bee, not only promoted the film using its working title, The Genius, they also previewed it under that name. The Goat was the first film shot by King Bee at its new location in New Jersey; within a few months, however, the studio would relocate to Hollywood, taking its stock company with it (which included not only West but also future comic great Oliver Hardy and 1920s silent star Leatrice Joy). Hardy at the time was known both personally and professionally as Babe Hardy, and that's what he's called here. Babe is a neighbor of Billy, who is immersed in inventing submarine technology. Billy's soft-heartedness constantly gets him into trouble with his wife. He winds up in a lot of trouble when he temporarily agrees to take responsibility for a child, and the mix-up and mistaken paternity accusations prevent him from getting his patents.