Best Comedy Movies of 1918
A young girl, stifling on her father's backwoods farm, is reinvigorated by the arrival of an army regiment, come to train in the area.
Sincere but struggling sculptor Tommasso (Caruso--bushy moustache, gawky) works in an ornamental plaster shop, but his masterpiece on the side is a bust of his cousin Caroli (Caruso--no moustache, polished), who is the Metropolitan Opera's leading tenor. Tommasso hopes to marry his model Rosa, but her father, restaurant owner Pietro, wants her to find someone more settled and money-conscious, such as the greengrocer Lombardi down the street. Tommasso, he says, throws away his money, such as for a pair of tickets to take Rosa to the opera to see his famed cousin. After the opera, the cousins cross paths in the swanky Galeotto's restaurant, but when neither recognizes the other, Tommasso is generally mocked and Rosa believes him a liar and unworthy. Tommasso must recover his reputation and make a sale, preferably the Caroli bust to his cousin, in order to win Rosa back.
The story involves Arbuckle coming to the western town of Mad Dog Gulch (which the intertitles call "the toughest town in the movies") after being thrown off a train and chased by Indians. He teams up with gambler/saloon owner Bill Bullhum (Keaton), in trying to keep the evil Wild Bill Hickup (Al St. John) away from Salvation Army girl, Salvation Sue (Alice Lake). Fatty and Buster have a series of adventures trying to beat St. John, until they discover his one weakness: his ticklishness.
A married society couple (Dorian and Warren) persuade an unmarried pair (Valentino and Myers) to take their places at a party while they pretend to be the servants.
A mild-mannered young man has left home, and is now playing the piano in a bar in the west. The dangerous criminal Dagger-Tooth Dan enters the bar where the young man is playing. Soon afterwards, the local sheriff also arrives, with some letters that he has received. Dan notices the letters, and he switches the information in them to make the sheriff think that the piano player is the dangerous one.
The Extra-Quick Lunch
A customer arrives at a restaurant in which Mutt is the waiter, and Jeff is the cook. The customer orders oxtail soup, and then argues with Mutt when it turns out to contain no actual tail. After Mutt then attends, with some difficulty, to two other customers, he takes an order for pancakes from an attractive woman. When the pancakes arrive, she is dissatisfied with them, and so Mutt tries to make amends.
A Pair of Silk Stockings
A silent romantic comedy.
This WWI home-front comedy is the earliest surviving film of King Vidor, who would later go on to make such classics as The Big Parade and The Crowd. A two-reeler, it's a propaganda comedy involving a little boy who can't wait to go fight against the Kaiser, and who sets an unrelentingly patriotic (and militaristic) example for his draft-age, feminized brother and peace-lovin' mother.
The Beloved Blackmailer
The girlfriend of the son of a rich railroad tycoon, attempts to help him escape the clutches of his well-meaning, but over-bearing mother whilst encouraging her own father not to give up on his business, by instigating a staged kidnapping and black-mailing scheme.
The Danger Game
Wealthy Clytie Rogers writes a novel in which a society girl commits a burglary, but it is "roasted" by critic Jimmy Gilpin, who writes that her story is completely implausible. To prove him wrong, Clytie decides to feign a robbery and enters an apartment through an open window. She is apprehended by a policeman, who mistakes her for local robber "Powder Nose Annie." Gilpin sees her in jail and, posing as crook Jimmy of the Dives, arranges to break her out and take her on a robbing spree. Finally, Jimmy returns her to her parents and then calls at her home as Gilpin, the critic. Clytie is suprised but forgives the deception and agrees to marry him.