Film Review: Captain Kidd’s Kids (1919)

Release Date: November 30th, 1919
Directed by: Hal Roach
Written by: Hal Roach
Cast: Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels, Snub Pollard

Rolin Films, 20 Minutes

Review:

“The Boy. His wedding day. Last night was the first, last and only chance of his whole life for the big “souse”. He is dreaming of green Giraffes with red-white – and blue legs.” – Title Card

A few months ago I watched and reviewed Young Mr. Jazz, which introduced me to the silent era work of Hal Roach and his great creative partnership with Harold Lloyd, the star of many of Roach’s early films.

This was a whimsical and enjoyable silent short and it had a bit of swashbuckling in it. Who doesn’t love swashbuckling?

Now between this and the other Roach/Lloyd collaboration that I reviewed, I like that one a bit better. The main reason, is because this has a good easy to follow narrative but the story itself feels unfocused or disjointed. The whole bit with the pirates doesn’t really come until the final third of the film and everything is just preparation for the trip that leads the Harold Lloyd character to the pirate ship.

And it isn’t that the first two-thirds aren’t good, the whole film is enjoyable. I was just expecting a straight up swashbuckling comedy in the early Hal Roach style and it was more or less like one of his more standard films without as ambitious of a premise.

Still, this is a funny film with solid physical comedy. Hal Roach was a master of the style and Harold Lloyd wasn’t quite Chaplin or Keaton but was still, deservedly, a top star of his day.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: Other Hal Roach films from the silent era starring Harold Lloyd: Young Mr. Jazz, Just Dropped In, A Sammy In Siberia, Before Breakfast, etc.

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