Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Kino on Video presents
Three's a Crowd / The Chaser (1927-1928)

"Harry, don't let my husband stand in the way of our love."
- Gladys (Gladys McConnell) in Three's a Crowd

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: June 02, 2008

Stars: Harry Langdon, Gladys McConnell
Other Stars: Cornelius Keefe, Helen Hayward, William Jaimison, Charles Thurston
Director: Harry Langdon

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild slapstick comedy, blackface gag, sexist and homophobic humor, suicide gags)
Run Time: 02:05:04
Release Date: June 03, 2008
UPC: 738329061524
Genre: comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
D+ D+BB- B

DVD Review

Harry Langdon was one of the popular silent comedians in the mid 1920s, with a hapless character with a mystified baby face, ever the victim. Despite his popularity, his renown cratered, never to recover, with the release of several films in the late 1920s, two of which are collected on this disc. While they will be welcome for Langdon completists and those curious about what happened to his career, they're rather tough going for anyone else.

Three's a Crowd (1927) features Langdon as a lonesome manual laborer who longs for a family. He stumbles into one as Gladys (Gladys McConnell), escaping from her abusive drunkard of a husband (Cornelius Keefe) while on the verge of giving birth, literally collapses in a snowbank in front of Harry. Eager to be useful, he takes her in and enjoys the prospect of having a family of his own. Unfortunately for him, fantasy is more enjoyable than reality as her husband comes to reclaim her and the child.

There's a lot here in common with Chaplin's The Kid (1921), which featured another surrogate father. The problem, which is no doubt part of what caused Langdon to lose his audience, is that he picked up Chaplin's focus on pathos and poignance but seems to have utterly forgotten to include any comedy of any kind. There is a charming sequence as he dances with a doll in imitation of his boss bouncing his young son, but it's hardly funny, and the picture just turns more and more grim as it goes on. There's not a single laugh to be had in the entire picture, which has a thankfully brief running time.

Nearly as short is the followup movie, The Chaser (1928), which takes Langdon to actual married life (with McConnell again). Henpecked and threatened by his mother-in-law (Helen Jayward), he finds himself sentenced to 30 days taking his wife's place in the kitchen, in order to deprive him of his manhood (a concept so utterly offensive in so many ways to modern eyes that it boggles the imagination). After several mishaps involving the lame expedient of cross-dressing and a seeming ability to lay eggs, the movie suddenly shifts gears altogether and becomes an entirely different picture in the second half as Harry goes golfing with a buddy and then helps him ogle a group of bathing beauties. It feels rather like two three-reel shorts crammed into one feature film, and the differences in tone are completely jarring.

On the other hand, there are at least some lame attempts at comedy here, though I'm still unable to fathom what the title is supposed to refer to. Langdon's molasses pace is even more extended here, as he keeps the camera rolling on an empty room long after the characters have departed, for no apparent reason. Methodical is one thing, but this is a tedious extreme. There's a fair amount of homophobia on display here too, amidst the moments of whimsy. The last segment gets quite surreal as Langdon dresses in his lodge uniform like a ridiculous little Napoleon. It's not enough to save the disc, but it's at least watchable.

Rating for Style: D+
Rating for Substance: D+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The original full-frame picture is hit and miss. Derived from Raymond Rohauer prints, Three's a Crowd in particular looks great during much of its running time, but for several lengthy stretches nitrate decomposition almost wholly eradicates the onscreen image. Somehow, that's thematically appropriate. The intact segments have terrific greyscale, texture and detail, and obviously are from very early generation source materials. It's too bad they were allowed to fall to such ruin. A solid A grade for the intact segments, but a D at best for the rest.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0(music only)yes

Audio Transfer Review: Lee Erwin contributes organ scores for both films. While suitable enough, they're not particularly noteworthy and the audio quality seems a bit on the thin side, without the deep boom that one would hope for from a proper theatre organ. The commentary is recorded at very low levels.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
1 Feature/Episode commentary by author David Kalat
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Still gallery
Extras Review: Although chaptering is generous, the major extra is an enthusiastic commentary from All Day Entertainment's David Kalat. He tries gamely to force a reevaluation of Three's a Crowd, but overplays his hand significantly—that picture is many things but "gut-busting" is quite certainly not one of them. He is nevertheless infectiously engaging, and he helps make this a somewhat tolerable viewing experience, and that's about as good as one can hope for. A gallery offers 16 stills from the films and a poster from The Chaser

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

While Frank Capra leaving Langdon's employ often gets the blame for the comedian's downfall, it's clear from the evidence of these films that it was an uncontrolled tendency to take himself far too seriously that lost him his audience. Think Interiors without the wit or the competence. The source prints are alternately gorgeous and utterly decomposed.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store