Film: 9966

Feature Comedy | 1920 | Silent | B/W


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Swimming drama 1920's
A group of young men stand around a bulletin board. Close up of message on the board saying that swimmers are required for trials. Coach Tom Jones, wearing a white cap, surrounded by the young men, they run off. Coach Jones talks to camera, he wants a victory. Busy swimming pool scene. People diving from a board, splashing in the pool. Women around the side. June Maxwell and other girls climb a ladder up to the diving board. They all have short bobbed hair and slightly flapper style about them. The girls dive from the high board, then some somersault from a spring board. Others in and around the pool observe and applaud. Doc Webster (wearing glasses and a sailor's suit) has a pair of binoculars and is looking into camera. A wider shot reveals that he is standing on a bench in the men's changing room. Men in swimming costumes splash him with water from a bucket. Other men in the background are changing. Doc Webster sneezes. Two men sitting down begin to splash each other with water from a bucket and a bowl. They pick up the containers and throw the contents over each other. Ed Benson and Don Trent change into their swimming suits. Trent helps Benson to do up his shoulder strap. The men shake hands and are joined by Coach Jones, who pats them on the back. Lots of men run and dive into the pool from the sides and from a low spring board. A large fat man belly flops from the spring board and splashes Coach Jones (who is holding a megaphone) and the men standing nearby on the side of the pool, making the quite angry. June Maxwell and the other girls (all still in swimming costumes, and some wearing wraps) wave, call and blow kisses to the men around the pool through a chain link fence. The men assemble in lines at the end of the pool to try out for the relay team. June Maxwell sighs and smiles as she watches Coach Jones start the race. The other men and the girls cheer and shout excitedly, as the men swim to the end of the pool and back. Ed Benson wins, and is congratulated by Coach Jones and the other men. The girls continue to jump and cheer and Ed Benson is selected for the team. Don Trent is given the position of substitute. Doc Webster is in the pool with a double ended paddle. A wider shot reveals that he is sitting astride the fat man, and attempting to row around the pool on him. The fat man spouts water from his mouth into Doc Webster's eye. Ed Benson (now also wearing a robe) rushes over to the fence to speak to June Maxwell. They are quite close, although the fence still separates them. She offers him her support for the next day's race. The fat man and a thin man are playing catch with a large ball near the edge of the pool. The fat man over reaches and knocks Coach Jones into the water.
Street scene, large buildings and a wide street. Man dressed in pyjamas are making a large bonfire with old wooden doors and windows, barrels and planks etc... It is nearly as tall as the houses on the street. Many men and women mill around watching and helping to pass wood. Two men are stuffing a guy, one runs off, and on his return makes the mistake of stuffing the straw up his friend's back. The men throw the dummy up to the top of the fire wood. It is caught by another man and positioned at the very top of the bonfire. Various shots of the students carrying out rubbish for the fire: wood, a long rolled up carpet, a stretcher. A wheel barrow is loaded up with various items by Benson, Trent and another man. They see a wooden hut. Benson takes out a wooden tool box and ladder. Trent suggests that they try to remove the hut, but meanwhile sends the third man off to fetch the sheriff in order to get Benson into trouble. He sneaks off. The sheriff arrests Benson. The students form a line, holding each others shoulders and carrying burning torches. The sheriff takes Benson to his offices - small low level timber building - up the steps, and inside. He locks Benson in a small cell with a low bed, Benson protests, but the sheriff wants to make an example of him. The fire is now burning fiercely. It is very large and the flames are very high. The men run around the perimeter of the fire in a circle.
Benson wakes up the next morning in the jail or gaol and asks to be let out. The sheriff demands 100 dollars bail first. A car pulls up out side the jail, near the steps. June Maxwell, Doc Webster, Doc's girlfriend and a second man rush up the steps and inside the sheriff's offices. June goes straight to Benson and talks to him through the bars. The other three ask for Benson's release. The sheriff demands the bail money, and sit s at his desk preparing his fishing rod in order to go fishing. June declares that they will get the money. She leaves Doc's girlfriend behind to distract the sheriff and prevent him from leaving. June, Doc and the second man leave the sheriff's office. She sends the men off in different directions, and gets into the car herself and prepares to drive away. Inside the jail building the girl flirts with the sheriff. Benson finds this very amusing, and so the sheriff pulls down a full length roller blind from the ceiling in front of the bars, so that he cannot see what is going on. Benson sits on his bed. The girl beckons the sheriff over to her. She invites him to sit down at her desk. She dances, and he plays a small stringed instrument - guitar like. As she dances, she swings her hips and kicks her legs high in the air.
Outside a hardware shop, and unconvincing blind man with a false beard, crutches and a limp accidently drops a purse of money and hops off. Walking behind him, Doc finds it and picks it up. He is amazed to find a roll of bank notes inside, but makes the mistake of returning it to a lady shopper. She is wearing a white cloche hat and is carrying parcels tied with string. Seeing the contents of the purse she takes it and gives Doc a nickel for his trouble. Doc is disappointed and looks at his watch, worried.
Meanwhile back at the jail, the girl still dances for the sheriff. She takes off her cloche hat and replaces it with his black one. The sheriff continues to play and enjoy, tapping his feet. Benson manages to release the blind and it shoots up to the ceiling. He and the girl find the whole incident very amusing. The sheriff pulls the blind down again. This time the girl picks up the guitar and plays and the sheriff dances, kicking his legs, holding his jacket out and twirling around the office.
Doc Webster enters a second hand clothing store, and when he emerges he has sold the clothes he was wearing. He is now holding bank notes. He is picked up outside by June Maxwell and the second man who is driving the car.
A large lake with a very high wooden structured diving board. There are many spectators watching the divers. There are flags and bunting, and the audience waves and cheers. Some divers somersault and turn in the air. An announcer, standing with another man and two stylish girls, calls out the next event: aquaplaning. Four pairs (one girl, one man) are water ski-ing on wide wooden boards, in formation, and balancing on each other's shoulders. Shots from the side of the water skiers, and point of view from the back of the boat. Two of the couples collide and fall in the water. The boats pull them all back into the side. The crowd continue to wave and cheer. Coach Jones enters the men's changing room. The event hinges on the relay, and the men are worried about Benson's absence. Trent appears pleased. A man with a starting pistol (back to camera) begins a rowing event - coxed fours - with four entrants. The crowd behind the starter jump up and cheer as the race begins. Close up on a single boat rowing fast.
June, Doc (now with a blanket wrapped round him) and the other man pull up outside the sheriff's office again. June and Doc go in. The girl has pleased the sheriff so much that he is prepared to release Benson without bail money. Doc finds a female hair on the sheriff's jacket, and is upset with his sweetheart, feeling that his trust has been betrayed. He grabs her by the hand, Benson is released, and all four run outside to the waiting car.
Back at the lake, the boat race finishes. In the changing rooms, Coach Jones tells Trent that he must take Benson's place. The swimmers run out across a wooden bridge to the water, and assemble on a floating pontoon. The announcer calls the 400 yard relay - the last event. The starting pistol is shot (and the starter checks his watch) and the first swimmers begin the race.
The car speeds toward the lake, and two policeman run to their motorbikes and begin to pursue the car. Another six bikes join the chase. Benson has changed into his swim suit. There is a shot from the back of the car of the motorcycles in pursuit.
The swimming race continues, and still the motorbikes pursue the speeding car around curving coastal roads, passing rocky terrain and low level timber buildings. Benson (sitting in the front passenger seat) jumps from the car while it is moving, and the car continues on. He runs down a wooden jetty to the water's edge, and tries to stop a passing boat. It goes past and he dives into the water and picks up the water ski from the back. They speed off towards the race.
At the swimming race, a group of girls has assembled on the edge of the decking at the other end of the course. Some are kneeling, some standing - they are excitedly cheering the swimmers on. Coach Jones appears frustrated, while the supporters of the opposing team cheer behind him. Benson is still ski-ing towards the race. The racers "tag" and a new swimmer enters the water. Coach Jones is frustrated - shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head. He calls Trent to the edge of the pontoon. Trent looks towards the swimmers getting nearer and prepares to dive in on the change over. Shot of Benson ski-ing from the back of the boat. Coach Jones and the men standing around suddenly look up and see Benson approaching. Benson waves, and Coach Jones shakes his fist in triumph and cheers. Benson leaps from the water ski and swims over to the pontoon. Coach Jones helps him out of the water. He pulls on a white swimming cap and prepares to dive in. Trent protests, but Benson takes his place. He enters the water a long way behind his opponent. He and his opponent swim, the crowd cheer and Coach Jones watches. As they reach the other end of the course, the gap between the swimmers has lessened. The girls shout and cheer and the swimmers turn. Benson catches his opponent and overtakes him - Coach Jones gets excited and shouts. The men on the pontoon begin to jump up and down as the swimmers approach. Benson wins, and is met by congratulations and hand shakes.
In the car - now stopped - Doc Webster is being given tickets by the police who are upset that he is wearing very little. His girlfriend watches from a distance looking worried, but the police get back onto their motorcycles and speed back. Doc Webster gets out of the car with hands full of tickets and runs over to his girlfriend. He is worried, but she takes them from him, gathers them together neatly, tears them in half and throws them away. Doc puts his head in his hands, but she removes the sheriff's badge from her cleavage (close up on badge), grabs his arm, and they run off screen.

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