Feature Comedy | 1920 | Silent | B/W
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Blood and Sand comedy spoof.
Intertitle: 'At the home of the most ambitions one - Rhubarb Vaseline.'
Dim domestic scene, with light on woman seated facing us beside a table covered with a cloth. A frumpish woman doing housework looks round, puts her hands on her hips, shakes her head, and walks off left.
She goes over to a door at left and looks out, then shuts it and walks towards us, hands on hips.
Woman: "Mon Dios! I sent Rhubarb for a sack of flour at sunrise! Where can he be?"
Woman in striped dress and headscarf looks at her (she is the woman seated at the table).
A man with a moustache, in light trousers, waistcoat and tie, walks towards us, between the two women, talking to the one standing, and clapping his hands for emphasis.
Man: "She's right! Ever since he met that bull-fighter Sapo, all we get out of him is bull! bull! bull!"
He raises and drops his arms emphatically, and walks a couple of paces back, his hands clasped behind him.
An old woman in a shawl, seated, speaks while brandishing her pipe.
Old woman: "You'd better apprentice him to me - I'll make him a bootlegger."
Mother walks off right, as the man walks towards us.
Intertitle: "Homeward bound with mother's flour."
Two young men skip jauntily towards us along a country lane, one trailing a bag on a string.
Intertitle: "The said bull fighters: Left - Rhubarb Vaseline - Right - his Pal, Sapo.'
The two stop, facing each other, and Sapo hands the string to Rhubarb.
Close-up of Rhubarb (Stan Laurel) looking dopey, in spotted shirt, jacket, and hat with a ribbon.
Vignette of the subject of his gaze: the backs of several men in hats, standing at a gate in a high wall.
Close shot of Rhubarb calling to Sapo. Sapo leads Rhubarb off R, arm in arm. From left, they join the men at the gate.
Close-up of a noticeboard showing "BULL FIGHT BY AMATEURS TO DAY 3 BULLS TO FIGHT 3, MATADORES, BULLS Killed, AMATEURS WELCOME.'
A man comes out of the gate and shouts and gesticulates at the group outside, who rush to form an orderly queue. Four men in the queue, as Rhubarb casually walks in and stands at the head; the man behind him taps him on his shoulder and indicates with his thumb that he should go to the back; in doing so he pokes in the eye the man behind him; Rhubarb just moves one place back, so the next man again taps him on the shoulder, and he moves one place back again.
Standing beside the noticeboard, the bearded man in a sombrero addresses the others. The first man in the queue moves forward. He speaks to the bearded man, who reaches for a chalk and turns to the noticeboard. Close-up of him writing 'Don Sox' on the board. The queue, as the man goes through the gate and the bearded man closes it behind him; the men all sit down on a bench. The line of six men on the bench. The gate opens, and Rhubarb prepares himself, clapping gleefully; as the man leaves the gate open two men carry Don Sox out on a stretcher, as Rhubarb stands, ready to go in, then reconsiders as he watches the stretcher pass. The bearded man pins a piece of cloth beside the noticeboard and writes a 0 in the 'Bulls killed' box, calling for the next in line. Seated again, Rhubarb nudges the man next in line, who rises. He tells the bearded man his name, the latter writes it on the board, the former waves to the others, shakes the bearded man's hand, and enters the arena, the gate being closed behind him. Dim shot of the man at the board, which now has a 0 beside the second man's name. The gate opens, all rise (Rhubarb holding a cape in his hand) and watch as the second man is also brought out on a stretcher, face down in a crouching position. Close shot of Rhubarb putting his open hand to his chest as he realizes he is next. The group, Rhubarb at right looking sick, having taken his hat off, as the man comes out to mark the board. Man writing the 0 on the board. Rhubarb looking anxious and scratching at his throat; he accidentally on purpose drops his hat on the ground and as he steps out of line to pick it up the man behind takes his place in the queue, as Rhubarb puts his hat back on. Close shot of the two talking - the man in front has his cape over his shoulder; they shake hands.
Rhubarb: "Goodbye old pal! Be sure and save a bull for me!"
The two, as the man (Sapo) goes off right for the fight. The two of them by the gate, and the bearded man writing up his name; the man shakes both their hands, then enters the arena, while Rhubarb leans on the open gate; the bearded man passes through, pulling the gate to behind him; Rhubarb falls in a heap on the floor, then crouches to look under the gate; a white cloth on a string blows in the breeze, beside the board. Longer shot of the scene, as the gate opens, the bearded man comes out, Rhubarb stands up, and a third stretcher comes through, the injured party lying on his side and waving his arm, as Rhubarb tentatively looks round the gate, then back to the injured man, to whom he goes over, kneeling beside the stretcher:
Sapo: "Tell him I died bully!"
Rhubarb looks up in dismay, beside the prone man. He stands up, takes off his jacket determinedly, and strides forward, momentarily tripping over the stretcher. He approaches the bearded man at the board, and adopts an aggressive stance, arms akimbo; the man starts to chalk up his name. The noticeboard, now showing 'Don Sox 0, Don Bolero 0, Don Sapo 0', as the man writes 'Rhubarb Vaseline' with a piece of chalk tied on with string. He turns to Rhubarb, who shakes his head and enters the ring. He promptly comes back out again, & shakes hands again. He re-enters, the gate being shut behind him. The men on the bench waiting outside, as a bull suddenly flies over the wall and knocks them all down; they get up, and Rhubarb rushes out of the gate, polishing his hands triumphantly; he goes to the scoreboard and takes the chalk. Rhubarb chalks up a I beside his name, turns and yawns nonchalantly. He addresses the admiring queue, waving his arms and doing little squats, hands on hips; he goes back into the ring, closing the gate behind him, as the men talk animatedly; another dead bull flies over the wall, bouncing on its rump at the man's feet, and Rhubarb again emerges, polishes his hands and approaches the scoreboard. He chalks a second I, and spreads his arms, smiling broadly. Waving his hat, he approaches the men, two of whom lift him onto their shoulders. Outside a house, a man working at left, as a prosperous-looking couple emerge from a doorway, walking towards us. Close-up of the young woman, holding a large, light-coloured rose, as she speaks. Round the corner comes a party of men, carrying Rhubarb shoulder-high, the latter waving his hat; they stop as he sees her. She smiles at him. He gets down, and approaches her. He goes over and shakes the hand of the man, who has a moustache and a sombrero; the man turns to the woman.
Man: "Don't you remember your old school mate, sweet little Caramel?"
The two men take off their hats, as Rhubarb crosses and shakes hands with Caramel. Rhubarb and Caramel, as Rhubarb gestures about how much she's grown. Close shot of her rose accidentally dipping into a paint pot. The two, as the other man walks up, and she crosses in front of Rhubarb, linking arms with the man, still clutching the flower; she gives Rhubarb the rose, and he dons his hat as they walk off right; he sighs, and sniffs at the rose, covering his face in paint; he walks away, makes a final appealing gesture after her, then walks away again.
Intertitle: 'Bringing home the dough.'
A rustic courtyard, which Rhubarb crosses from left, stopping and listening at a door. Spy-hole view of a horned goat grazing. Rhubarb bends down to look through the keyhole. Spyhole view of the goat. Spyhole view of Rhubarb's rear end. Looking across the courtyard to two other goats, as the first goat charges left to right. It butts Rhubarb's rear. Rhubarb flat on his face inside the room as the goat charges; he gets up, puts on his hat, shoves the (off-camera) goat out with his foot, then closes the door behind it.
His mother, kneading dough, looks round. Long view across the room as they exchange words; seated at right with his feet on the table is a man in shirt and tie; the mother takes up a broom, raises it, and starts to chase Rhubarb, who dodges behind the table; she takes a wild swipe, Rhubarb ducks and she knocks the man backwards off his chair; they run round the table. The other man rushes off.
As his mother sits crying into her apron, Rhubarb approaches to comfort her, lying on the table, reaching round her and patting her shoulder.
Rhubarb: "Mama dear - poor Sap got his today!"
The two, as she shakes her head, and Rhubarb speaks.
Mother: "He's lucky! When do I get mine?"
Initially looking confused, Rhubarb reaches for his purse, jangling the coins and smiling; she grabs at it, and he pulls it away; as he starts to open it, she reaches into her bosom for her own.
Rhubarb: "I won it at the bull-fight - and you shall have half!"
He deals out the coins - 1, 2, 3, 4 - to each of them, counting on his fingers; she bends forward to look at them.
Rhubarb: "That will keep you in tomatoes and garlic - for two years!"
They embrace, patting each other; fade.
Intertitle: 'Vaseline's local victory wins him an offer to fight the bulls of Madrid - and that night - - '.
Rhubarb speaks to a man beside a high building, with a creeper by a first-floor balcony. The other man plays a guitar, while Rhubarb sings a serenade. A little dog howls. Rhubarb looks round, disconcerted, tapping the guitarist's arm. The dog howls. Rhubarb bends down, picks up a stone, and throws it at the dog, waving it off, tapping the guitarist and resuming his song. The scene, as a woman appears at the balcony. Rhubarb gesticulates grandly, then starts to climb the creeper. He climbs to slightly above her level. He talks to her. The two talking (apparently no longer at the balcony). The two talking, closer up - looking sad.
Caramel: "Rhubarb - they tell me in Madrid they drink a great deal - will you drink anything?"
Looking a bit pained, he nods to her.
As she looks away, sadly, he tries to cheer her up with a gift, producing a box from his cummerbund; she opens it, and looks shocked, then he looks at it and realizes he's given her the wrong box (not clear what it is - perhaps bull's ears?), and gives her another, which she opens, looking delighted.
Rhubarb: "Caramel! be ready at sunrise! We will be married - and leave on the 5:15 - ".
They embrace and kiss, and he starts to climb back down. He gets up again, to kiss her again; he looks down.
Rhubarb: "Darling, I am going away to Madrid - but nothing shall ever part us - ".
They embrace, and he looks down. He jumps backwards, falling in a tumble. The guitarist helps him up, as he staggers, dazed. Caramel looks down. He bows, waving his hat, as they get ready to leave. The two men walk off.
Intertitle: 'After throwing the bull for two years - Vaseline becomes the idol of Spain '
Town street lined by small crowd; view irises inward. Rhubarb, horseback, waves his hat, acknowledging applause; the horse rears, and he looks startled. He rides towards us through the cheering crowd, then the horse rears again, throwing him off backwards. The crowd laugh as he wallows in a puddle, falling into it again as he tries to get up. Crowd cheering. He struggles up, all muddy, and raises his arm to their cheers; he turns back, shaking mud off; fade.
Intertitle: 'The Café Español - a famous rendezvous for picadors, toreadors, matadors, Floradors, Commodores and - cuspidors.'
Café scene - people dancing amid tables.
Intertitle: 'Filet de Sole - who could put her fins around any poor fish in Spain - '.
Filet, clad in white, and a man, at a high table behind rails; they sit. The floor clears, as Rhubarb holds out his arms, accepting the crowd's welcome; he puts back his hat, then raises hit. A young woman holding a rose descends stairs and stops mid-way, sniffing it. Rhubarb is seated with three toffs in top hats; they look round at her.
Intertitle: 'Pavaloosky the premio dancer of Madrid (in this Picture)'.
Woman looking down, eagerly. Rhubarb draws nonchalantly on his cigarette. Pavaloosky kisses her rose, then throws it to Rhubarb. He rises to catch it, smiling broadly. She turns to continue down the stairs. He looks towards her. She dances solo, then kneels with her back to him, bending over backwards to look into his eyes; he sighs deeply, and starts to crush the rose. Close shot of his hand crushing the rose. Close shot of a hand pressing on a soda siphon. The soda sprays in her face, and she gasps. The hand on the siphon. She looks up at him, and he suddenly realises it is him who is squirting her, and he takes his hand off in apologetic horror, taking his hat off, hand to chest.
Two matadors sit at a table with a white cloth. Pavaloosky, on the dance floor, invites Rhubarb to join her; she wiggles her hips as he does. Supercilious woman onlooker (Filet). He struts his stuff, unable to keep up with Pavaloosky; he does a high kick, kicking off the hat of one of his companions as he falls over backwards; he gets up. The simpering woman. As they dance to and fro, his foot catches in the chair of a standing diner, pulling it away; the diner sits back, falling over, then retrieving his chair and sitting properly. An avid diner, shovelling in spaghetti. Rhubarb and Pavaloosky doing a peculiar kicking dance, back and forth. As he dances backwards, Rhubarb kicks the plate of spaghetti into the diner's face, who looks incensed, as he mops himself down with his napkin. The simpering Filet. The couple dance back and forth towards a central fountain, Rhubarb trying fancy legwork, and throwing in a bit of everything from Charleston to Irish dancing. One of the two seated matadors throws down a piece of chicken, to make him slip. Close shot of the chicken piece on the floor. They continue dancing, and Rhubarb does a pratfall. The two matadors laughing uproariously. Rhubarb looks indignant, and kicks the chicken leg at them. It hits the second matador in the face - he splutters. Filet smiles. The dancing couple; Pavaloosky jumps onto the rim of the fountain. The simpering woman. Rhubarb, holding Pavaloosky's hand, catches the woman's look. She indicates Come Hither. He winks. She repeats. He smiles - 'Me?'. She preens her hair seductively. He rushes over, abandoning Pavaloosky, who topples backwards into the fountain. The two matadors leap up to go to her assistance. They pull her out of the fountain.
Matador: "Sacrament! - San Diego! - We shall avenge you!"
The two matadors and Pavaloosky gesticulate theatrically. The maitre d' escorts Rhubarb to Filet's table. She nods. Leaning towards her, he gazes into her eyes, sighing deeply; fade.
Intertitle: 'At the apartment of Filet de Sole - that night - '.
Dim scene, with Filet lying on her bed in a pool of light, being fanned, as Rhubarb is shown in; light comes on whole scene.
Filet, in long dress, looping necklace, cigarette-holder, walks towards him. He bows as he approaches, butting backwards the butler behind him. She flutters her eyelashes alluringly. The footman bows and leaves. Filet simpers, and gives Rhubarb suggestive looks. He claps on his hat and rushes for the door - but is promptly thrust back in again by the footman; he stands nervously. The bedroom scene; he is looking down, away from her, and standing on her train; she walks across right to left, pulling him along on her train, without either noticing; as she sits, she pulls on her train and he topples to the floor; he struggles up; fade.
Intertitle: 'Having fallen for her fins, Rhubarb forgets to go home.'
Rhubarb seated facing us, as Filet approaches from rear. They circle each other a little warily, then he goes to her, kissing her hand as he kneels in front of her; Caramel and his mother enter at right, looking on in dismay; Rhubarb and Filet embrace; she is holding a large feather fan. Caramel and the mother eye them up and down in disgust. Filet lets go, as she sees them, and Rhubarb turns round in alarm. Caramel looks away, sorrowfully. Rhubarb gasps, distancing himself from Filet. The two shocked women. Filet - scheming - drops her purse and points down at it, while Rhubarb wonders how to save the situation.
Filet: "My purse, slave!"
Torn, he looks away, then she repeats her demand and he bends down resignedly. Filet looks triumphant. He gives her her purse; she smiles, but he turns away and walks over to Caramel and his mother. He speaks to them.
Rhubarb: "Oh sweet Caramel - I'm innocent! Honestly! I am - ".
He finishes, looking away. Filet laughs derisively. He looks annoyed, and turns back, continuing to protest.
Rhubarb: "I didn't mean anything wrong - I just wanted to see her gowns!"
His mother speaks, and leads Caramel off right, Rhubarb holding his hands out imploringly. Filet laughs. Rhubarb turns back to her, crossly.
Rhubarb: "Now see what you've done!"
He points, and storms over to her. She laughs at him, he bangs on the table, he picks up a paper knife and puts it down again, she fiddles with her feather fan, he turns away. He turns back. She laughs, waging her fan. She rattles and inkwell on the table. She laughs. He raises a despairing hand to his brow, then the other, then both; he rages. He rages, hitting the table, as she continues to laugh.
Rhubarb: "You've ruined my life! And you'll pay! - Pay!"
Longer shot, as he finishes and leaves at right.
Intertitle: 'Deserted by his wife - and broken-hearted - Vaseline prepares for the last bull fight of the season - '.
A man throws some white cloth over a screen to the matador behind. Four smart men talking - one with a monocle. A corset (?) comes over the screen, then a hand, into which the man puts something small; Rhubarb's head appears, then he stands up, apparently in beribboned underwear, holding what looks like a hand mirror, until he starts to lick it like a lolly; changing hands with it, he smacks the man in the face with it. Men come over to shake his hand. They shake his hand; he licks his lolly; he holds out his lolly for a man to shake, which he does; then as the man feels at the stickiness Rhubarb dusts off his lolly and licks again. Close-up of Rhubarb licking the lolly, as he descends behind the screen again.
A promoter stands at a balcony, speaking; the balcony - and the adjacent one - has clothes drying, draped on it.
Promoter: "In this fight, Vaseline will kill the most vicious bull in Spain - ".
He continues to speak, gesticulating.
Promoter: " - look at him! He's already killed ten men - and that's some bull!"
Stationary on a cart pulled by two horses, the bull, amidst cheering crowd. Two men help Rhubarb dress; one unrolls a roll of striped cloth.
Dresser: "The bull is without, sir!"
First man leaves, as dresser wraps striped cloth round Rhubarb as cummerbund, waving his foot on Rhubarb's waist for leverage. He backs to the French window as he unrolls the material. Rhubarb pirouettes left to right, winding himself into the cummerbund. He spins himself right out the French window and falls over the balcony. He falls onto the bull. Astride the bull, he dismounts and takes a bow, to rapturous applause.
Intertitle: 'His last trimming.'
From a tub on his dresser labelled VASELINE he takes great dollops and rubs them into his hair, repeatedly. His shirt daubed in Vaseline, his greasy hair standing on end, he faces us, then round to his valet. The smiling valet. Rhubarb talking to him. The valet. Rhubarb laughs and turns back to the mirror. He pulls a silly face, to camera, and turns to his valet. Valet laughs. Hair now slicked down, Rhubarb looks at himself in his hand mirror. A cloud, with flashes of lightning. Rhubarb admiring his centre parting, and looking up. Cloud, and lightning.
Intertitle: 'An ill Omen - '.
He opens the door to look out. Cloud and lightning. He re-enters, clasping at his hair and feeling for raindrops; he bends over, still feeling; he glances in the mirror and gasps.
The bull on the cart, in the crowd. He redoes his parting, contorting himself in the mirror.
Intertitle: 'The parade to the arena - ".
Iris out to the busy street, parade approaching, people waving handkerchiefs. Matadors in costume, walking swiftly towards us. Cheering women in balcony. Rhubarb and matadors in parade, taking applause. Three girls on balcony throw him kisses. He waves to them. They smile back. He stops and blows them a kiss. Smiling girl rolls her eyes at him.
Girl: "Oh, you Vaseline!"
He blows a kiss.
Rhubarb: "Oh you sweet Mamma!".
He blows kisses. He leads the parade, waving back. Still blowing kisses, he backs right into the arena gate, which falls open as he falls down; he looks up, turns, then runs as he sees the bull, which trots after him, followed by a mounted bullfighter.
The previous street scene, as Rhubarb runs away, pursued by bull and picador. From inside the arena, the entrance as two matadors come in; Rhubarb runs in, and looks all around. The crowd rise to their feet ecstatically. Two matadors take the applause. Cheering crowd. Waving Rhubarb. Bull trotting round ring, getting progressively closer. Rhubarb runs behind screen, and several matadors tumble out the other side. Bull trots right to left. Cheering crowd. Rhubarb makes tentative approach to bull, cape out. Close-up of front profile of bull. Rhubarb shushes nearby crowd members, then turns back to bull, before turning back and shushing them again.
Rhubarb: "Don't, you'll encourage the bull!".
He turns back from the crowd, and waves his cape at the bull. People in box - Filet and others.
Intertitle: 'Hoping to see his downfall - '.
Filet yawns, patting her mouth. Rhubarb holds the cape up to advance on the bull, then holds it so high he can't see the bull as he approaches. The bull, nonchalantly grazing, as Rhubarb walks right past it; he turns, sees with alarm how close it is, then parades in front of it. Cheering crowd, on their feet. He flourishes his cape jauntily in front of the bull, prancing back & forth, then lays down his cape, skips around it, then lifts it up again, then kneels in front of the bull defiantly. Rapturous crowd. Close shot of Rhubarb, arm raised. Bull preparing to charge. Rhubarb tosses head back, throwing off his hat, and makes passes at the bull. The bull eyes him up. He lunges at the bull with his sword, then bows to the crowd before noticing that he has pulled back a sword bent at all angles; he looks horrified; he smiles, then straightens it out over his knee, drawing attention to his cleverness. Cheering crowd. Iris out to Rhubarb poised to lunge - at the bull's backside; he lowers his sword, miming Silly Me exaggeratedly.
Pavaloosky and two matadors, pointing, in archway.
Pavaloosky: "There's the man who caused me to take a bath! He must die!"
The three, as the matador at right lifts a big bottle. Close-up of the bottle he holds, with the inscription 'ETER', which dissolves to 'ETHER.'.
Pointing, she sends the two men off. Rhubarb waves his cape in front of the bull. Cheering crowd. By the fence, the two matadors pour ether onto a cape. In close-up, they hold their mouths as they try not to breathe the fumes. Rhubarb making fancy swirls with the cape, then dropping onto his belly. The bemused bull. Rhubarb gets up slowly. The bull kicks with its back legs. Rhubarb jumps and runs off, leaving the cape. He runs right to left, pursued by the bull. He skids along the grass, then walks towards us, clutching his side from the effort. The two matadors see the bull approach them, and run off. Rhubarb sees the action, and runs off left. He stops at the fence, picks up the ether-soaked cap and runs to right. He vigorously flaps the cape in the bull's face. He bull backs away, goes to its knees, then keels over on its side. Rhubarb flapping less and less vigorously; shot wavers in and out of focus as Rhubarb looks groggy; he smirks. He waves feebly. Cheering crowd.
Crowd: "Viva la Vaseline!".
Rhubarb staggers around, then falls on his face; he gets up, and dopily falls/dances off left. Cheering crowd. In slow motion, he jumps into the air, blowing kisses. Ecstatic crowd. Rhubarb being inundated with hats; he collapses on his back. Cheering crowd. Rhubarb half buried in hats; he struggles up, a derby on his head, and takes a bow; he throws the hat back and puts his matador's hat back on, throwing other hats back.
Pavaloosky wraps a brick in her bag, then gaily throws it. It strikes Rhubarb on the back of the head; he stumbles. After a moment's staggering, he falls flat on his back. Pavaloosky laughs. Two lines of men with buckets of sand approach Rhubarb from left and right and empty them on him, leaving a little mound of sand over him.
Intertitle: 'Moral: If you want to live long - and be happy - cut out the bull!'
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