The King of the Kitchen (1918)

Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This L-KO two-reeler features Oliver Hardy in a small but significant role. He doesn't have much to do with the plot, which concerns a pair of crooks (Billy Armstrong and Mae Emory) who are staying at a boarding house. They discover that the daughter (Eva Novak) of their landlady (Rose Gore) will inherit a fortune when she marries the chef (Harry Gribbon). The crooks go about destroying the couple's relationship so that they can make off with the inheritance. Eventually, they are foiled by the girl and her fiancé. Hardy's part comes at the film's beginning and is part of an anti-German statement. Gribbon is seen making a toxic soup for a testy German customer (Hardy). He dumps cans of vegetables -- including the can -- into the brew and adds some kerosene. The customer spits out his first mouthful, causing a fireball over a lighted candle. He gives chase to Gribbon, but runs afoul of a soldier who tears away his Iron Cross and replaces it with the American flag before throwing him out. This scene no doubt got cheers from the audiences of the day, since the U.S. was in the midst of World War I.