Film: 3536

Feature Comedy | 1920 | Silent | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Walter Forde in a department store comedy. Inside department store, assistants mill around. Cleaning lady moves sheet cover from furniture. She is shocked and frightened by moving piano keys on a piano. Something moves under sheet. She flees. Yawning man emerges from under sheet. The piano has a piece of sheet music on it entitled 'Beloved, It Is Morn'. Man climbs out of piano where he has presumably slept, he yawns and stretches. He removes the curtain material he has been wearing as a nightshirt to reveal his suit. He gathers materials and walks off. He opens a box and removes his straw hat. He puts hat on. He walks to a window and hangs curtain and ties its sash. As he walks he replaces various fabrics. He picks up a comb and brush and soap and other toilet requisites to perform his morning toilet. He fills a basin with the water from a fire bucket, takes off his jacket and prepares to wash. The man has slept in the department store overnight.
Boss in his office walks to door. Man who has washed is putting his jacket back on. He has put together a nice time-saving collection of comic clips. He tips water from basin into wicker waste paper basket and lays bin on top. In the reflection in the base of a shiny tray he brushes his hair. Girl sorting out something in a bag. The 'villain' of the piece is the floorwalker - he has long pointed moustaches and smiles to a point just off camera. He adjusts his collar and walks off. He approaches the girl who is the boss's daughter and smiles. Boss approaches from other side and does not look pleased. Floorwalker walks off, put out. The now washed man looks quite spruce. He moves to help a large man who wears a pale grey top hat. Man takes hat off. Shop assistant measures man's head. He mis-measures so he looks for a larger sized hat than he should. Surprised, he holds the measure to the man's big stomach. Other measurements of the man's head are taken. Shop assistant places a straw boater on the customer's head. It is too small and man shakes his head and takes hat off. He throws it on the floor. Nice joke piece whereby the assistant stands behind the customer and very quickly puts a succession of hats on the customer's head. In turn the customer throws them all on the floor. Good hat jokes. Many hats are tried including a pith helmet. Very small bowler is placed on head and shoe horned on. Man smiles. He sees himself in a mirror (off camera) and shakes his head and says 'No'. Assistant places a large flat cap on man's head. He is shocked. Assistant spots man's original hat and presents it - delight all round. Man tries it on and is very pleased. They move off screen to pay.
The floorwalker surreptitiously enters an office and looks warily around. He opens a bag and takes money out of it. He swaps it with money of his own. Shop assistant prepares wrapping paper for the hat, but folds paper too small. He gets several very small bits of paper which he attempts to wrap hat in. He wraps a truly hopeless present (really quite funny). The man checks his fob watch. He is aware of the time. Assistant looks to side. Shot of two girls working very quickly and efficiently on present wrapping machinery. Assistant finds a hat box and drops man's hat in, smiling. He spreads his hands in a sense of accomplishment. Close up on the 'Lightning Sealing Machine'. Good comic sequence as man pulls coloured tape out of machine and gets it stuck to loose papers on the desk. In trying to seal the box, he gets papers stuck to it and his hands. He then gets them stuck to a customer. He tries to copy girls and turns the box over quickly. He sticks his hand to his head.
Boss leaves room with little bags clutched to his chest. He takes them to his daughter in accounts. Customer who bought hat now has a sealed hat box. Girl in accounts hands money to man who tests money for counterfeiting in his teeth. He bites coin. He shows girl and villainous floorwalker the counterfeit money. Silly joke piece whereby man makes an order for ties and collar studs and its treated as order for fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper and salted. Villain makes ungentlemanly demands of bose' daughter - she must marry him, or her father will go to jail.
Customer walks into hardware section of shop. He wears black top hat and has a beard. He is shown a watering can. He indicates 'No'. Assistant pulls fire extinguisher off shelf. It is agreed the man will buy the fire extinguisher. Villain talking on telephone handpiece and receiver. Men wearing peaked cap doing the same. Shop assistant will demonstrate fire extinguisher. He walks to a firework demonstration, and lights fuse on firework.
At a round table, daughter and man sit, looking unhappy. She rests her head on her hand, looking very unhappy. He reads a letter. He has an idea and clicks his fingers, (he has had an inspiration), and clenches his fist. He pats young woman on the shoulder. Man is very demonstrative - does a 'hie me hence and hither' and leaves. He tries to stop him, but with comic melodrama he is determined. Maid enters, hands him his straw hat and he leaves. Outdoors, man is greeted by a jolly police constable. Man now looks shifty and has a plan. Policeman is blissfully unaware. Man deliberately stands on officer's foot, but policeman just wags his finger at culprit. (the plan is obviosly to get arrested). Standing on policeman's feet a second time gets another finger wagging. Walter sees a brick on the ground, picks it up and knocks the policeman's hat off. He smiles and picks it up. He laughs and talks as he jovially puts his hand on walter's shoulder. He says goodbye and walks off. Walter tosses brick away. On a street Walter approachess another policeman. He leans on fire alarm point. He pushes button. At this moment a man flees a house from which smoke is pouring. Policeman grabs Walter, but man appears, shakes Walter by the hand and takes policeman away. (A static traction engine steams away in the background). Walter puts his hands in his pockets and trudges off. A drunken gentleman in the street grabs a hold of a lamp post. A criminal-type smoking a cigarette watches from a few yards away. Walter approaches and feels the man's dangling fob watch. He walks off. He walks along a lane. A policeman walks in the opposite direction. Close up of dangling fob watch next to lamp-post. Walter turns and deliberately makes himself look suspicious - he rolls up his sleeves and turns up his collar. The cop is interested. Melodrammatically looking like a criminal Walter sees if the coast is clear and creeps alongside a hedge. He approaches the gentleman and steals the watch. Man approaches cop to ask directions. The policeman gives them to him - he turns and points in opposite direction. By a quick move, the situation is changed - the real thief cuts the watch chain and is arrested with Walter protesting his guilt. Walter is left with watch - other two are arrested. He puts his hands on his hips and exhales.
Coiner's den where counterfeiting takes place. Head villain enters. Walter sits on pavement outside. He picks up a literally hot counterfeit coin. Mistaken identity means Walter is escorted into downstairs workshop. He and men make a secret sign at one another. Men stand over Walter as they order him to make counterfeit money. He spreads water on block - (gag is dough!). One scratches his head in puzzlement. Walter rolls out dough with a pestle. Using scissors he cuts out a round of dough. Head villain approaches heroine from behind as she sits unaware at a table. He grabs her - a kidnapping. She struggles and kicks her legs. Walter places dough balls on baking tray. Men are bemused. Walter juggles dough balls. He places baking tray on large spatula and feeds it into oven. Villain drags girl downstairs into his lair. She is thrown into a barred room under the sairs. Men watching Walter are not impressed and grab hold of him. Girl is locked in room. Strong villain displays strength by bending iron bar on his knee. Walter, trying to flee by, is held. Chief baddie triumphantly raises his fist to the girl and laughs. Silly chase sequence, rather like a farce with men running in and out of doors. Meanwhile girl starts fiddling with padlocks and escapes. Man hunts for walter, holding giant mallet. Walter escapes by grabbing giant chandelier and swinging away to a window. Girl makes a telephone call from a wall mounted telephone. Walter pulls a lever, the steps on staircase go flat and man slides down the collapsed staircase. Walter slides down stairs. Walter throws one man into furnace - flame comes out. Policeman enter and arrest men. Man and girl smile.


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