Soldier's Plaything, A

Two young men enlist to avoid the law, only to find war, peace and love. Michael Curtiz directs, silent comedy king Harry Langdon co-stars.

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Genre:   Classics, Drama
Soldier's Plaything, A


by PowerReviews
Soldier's Plaything, A

(based on 1 review)

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The Elf Speaks

By frankebe

from Redwood City, CA

Verified Reviewer


  • Entertaining
  • Funny


  • Uneven

Best Uses

  • Entertainment

Comments about Soldier's Plaything, A:

Well, it's not a particularly good story and it's not a particularly good movie, but Harry Langdon captivates my attention with anything he does, and he's onscreen here a lot. This is a particularly attention-grabbing film because Langdon plays absolutely the same character as his "elf" in the silent movies, but with added words and sound-effects (his). Watch him carefully in his silents and you'll see that he does talk... in fact he's ALWAYS talking! Now you get to hear what he was saying in all those movies (it's pretty much the same thing all the time).

Of course it's a shame this is not fully a "Langdon movie", but he does get ample time do his shtick, with sound. And it is hilarious, if sometimes a little out of control. He seems to have been given a lot of freedom to do his little routines the way he wanted, and even gets to sing a song! I do wish that there were not so much ancillary "story", which is always unnecessary in comedy, and always causes comedy films to drag; I wish that the other main character was more comical and that they worked better as a team; and I wish that the ends of the scenes were not so abrupt: the black-outs sometime actually fade out on the characters during or even before the final joke of the sequence (like costume-horse being hit by the motorcar--what's the result??). But if you can't get enough of Harry Langdon, then I think you should pick this up. He gets the spotlight as much as anyone else, his pantomime is typically mesmerizing, and I actually think that his vocalizations add to the character.

The picture quality is very good, and the sound is mostly clear. I have to warn you that during the first part of the film, the sound is not quite in sync with the picture. Of course Warner Brothers states up front that the film is not "restored", but how much trouble would it have been to re-sync this part of the movie before selling it? It takes quite literally about three minutes on Final Cut to do this. Fortunately, his little song is in proper sync.

Recommended to Langdon fans.

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