The Kid Brother (1927)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Domestic Comedy, Crime Comedy  |   Release Date - Jan 22, 1927 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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One of the "problems" with Harold Lloyd's best movies is picking out a "best" among them -- there's an embarrassment of riches to be found in at least half-a-dozen (and this writer would add The Milky Way to the usual list of silent candidates). But The Kid Brother may just stand out in front of the others, with its mix of action sequences and drama amid the comedy. It's got a knowing wit about it, as a "rural drama" at a time when such works were already an object of parody, that adds an additional humorous edge to its impressive array of gags, stunts, and cliffhanger plot elements. Obviously, much of the credit for the movie's success resides with Lloyd himself, and also the presence of Jobyna Ralston as his leading lady, but some recognition must be given to Lewis Milestone, whose career as a comedic director was reaching its peak in 1927 (he would win his first Oscar for Two Arabian Nights, made that same year). In those days -- as distinct from later on, when he slowed down as a director -- he knew how to move a story along, and on The Kid Brother Milestone (one of three directors here) does just that, incorporating a huge amount of plot in 83 minutes. Not that the plot ever gets in the way, or slows down the comedy....