A Pleasant “Saturday Afternoon” With Harry Langdon

Saturday Afternoon (1926), a silent Harry Langdon flick, is a little over 26 minutes long and un-tediously endearing.  Langdon plays a mild-mannered gent married to a shrew (Alice Ward), probably because of which he agrees to join his portly pal (Vernon Dent) for an afternoon tryst with two lovely dames.  Suspense builds as he tries to avoid his wife’s suspicions and animosity, but it’s not as though we actually sympathize with Harry:  he’s a milksop who, inarguably, should have told the dames he is married.  He also gets stupid with two other freewheeling young women and a brick he is holding.  So it’s Harry, warts and all, and he soon takes a necessarily rough ride.

Competently directed by Harry Edwards, the film is funny without being too much, and Langdon is marvelous with his committed acting and man-child face and body activity.  The other actors are good too.  The best thing about the short script is its unpredictability.

Maybe, just maybe, Saturday Afternoon is art.

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