Film: 3544

Feature Comedy | 1920 | Silent | B/W


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Mack Sennett style comic version of 'Ben Hur'.

Galley Slaves rowing a boat. One of the slaves is the lead comedian Lupino Lane. He gets involved in comic routines with the oars and tangles with fellow rowers. The overseer flogs all at random and there is some falling about until eventually two of the rowers escape through the side of the boat. They arrive at a rocky shore and find roman soldier's tunics which happen to be their sizes and change into these. They then team up with a a parade of centurians and arrive at a grand palace, presumably the Emperor's. The other soldiers and officers are all much larger men than our two heroes. They are lined up to take part in the comabt of a gladiatorial style contest. Much slapstick. They fall into a large communal bath. The lead comic's opponent falls into the bath and when pulled out we find he has shrunk to midget size. The Emperor and his entourage throw missiles and fruit at the contestants There are acrobatic and comic routines with the Emperor's guests. A slave girl tells the lead comic that 'Her mistress commands your presence' His companion has to show him how to make love to a lady. More slapstick.

The Empress is a femme fatale in a beaded dress. More comic love-making and falling off the couch etc. The Emperor arrives but the second lead poses as a captain of the guard and escorts his friend away out of trouble. They run off pursued by the court. Arrive at a plinth where statues have been broken. They jump onto the plinth and assume poses of statues. These poses change as soon as the onlookers alow their attention to wander elsewhere. More comic mix ups with the court and soldiers. They arrive back at the beach and find their old clothes, change into these and run off. End. The film uses lots of extras as courtiers and centurians etc. but most of the action concerns only the two leads.

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