The Perfect ClownComedy
Box Office: $0.0M
PRINCIPAL CASTLarry Semon, Oliver Hardy, Kate Price, Dorothy Dwan
Hapless office clerk Larry Ladd is given $10,000 to deliver to the bank before morning. He arrives too late and finds the bank closed, so he decides to deliver the cash personally to the president at his home on the other side of town. That's easier said than done, however. Almost everything that can go wrong in one night does, including Larry getting a flat tire, running into some escaped convicts, and spending the night in a haunted cemetery! If the money isn't where it's supposed to be by the time the sun rises, the only place Larry will find himself is on the unemployment line!
Though he is unfairly forgotten by many today, comedian Larry Semon was actually just as popular during the silent era as Harry Lloyd, and much more so than Buster Keaton. Part of that was because of the elaborate sight gabs employed in his films; these involved special effects and sets that sent the budgets of Semon's two-reel comedies sky high. In an attempt to reverse his financial misfortunes, the comic tried to break into the far more profitable world of feature films. The Perfect Clown is one of two features Semon released in 1925 (the other was his much-maligned adaptation of The Wizard of Oz.) It was directed by frequent Harold Lloyd collaborator Fred Newmeyer, and features Oliver Hardy in a small role as the son of Semon's landlady. Sadly, his features' lack of success at the box office only exacerbated Semon's money problems. Forced to return to vaudeville, Semon suffered a nervous breakdown while on the road. He died in a sanatorium in 1928 at the age of 39 (though some believe he faked his death to escape his creditors!)
BONUS: The Cloudhopper (1925): The Cloudhopper is the last two-reel comedy Larry Semon made before the release of The Perfect Clown, and is considered by many to be one of his best. In it, our hero takes to the skies to capture a high-flying crook. Larry wrote the short with Norman Taurog, later to be the Academy Award-winning director of Skippy (1931) and Boys' Town (1938).
Alpha Home Entertainment/Gotham