Film Review and Rating / Synopsis

(Please note the films reviewed on this site contain plot summaries and may contain SPOILERS.)

  • The Show Off (1926) - Plot Summary - About a conceited windbag named Aubrey Piper (Ford Sterling) - blow-hard, bluffer, "slap-em-on-the-back" kind of guy with elevated ideas about his own importance at his job with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Lying to his girlfriend Amy (Lois Wilson) about his job, he claims he has 30 men working under him but, in fact, earns 30 dollars a week as a clerk. This girl seems to adore him as she gazes at him with unfathomable, wide-eyed adoration and hangs on his every word - - but her family can't stand him, and when he arrives early for a date with Amy (just in time for dinner, of course) the family are not very nice to him. Amy then claims she will marry him for spite - the next thing you know they *are* married and living in his small, dingy flat. Now here's the part I don't get - he is far, far from being handsome, and it seems at first like Amy likes him for the money, the fancy houses, etc. he is going to buy for her. But then after they are married and she knows he is poor - she still seems to really love him, and he keeps on lying to her about stuff.

    Review - I found this film to be so-so, it does get better towards the end though. The main problem here is that the main character, Aubrey, seems mostly like a guy with no redeeming qualities, which makes it very difficult to care what happens to him - or to the bimbo that seems to like him so much, despite his extreme flaws (or is she just the kind of gal who thinks she has a "catch" if her man isn't beating her up or spending time in jail). Louise Brooks appears in this film, playing the girlfriend of Amy's brother, but has little to do for the majority of the film other than stand by her man, clinging to his arm, and looking gorgeous. This film does include many interesting street scenes of Philadelphia in the twenties, very interesting to look at, and is definitely worth seeing for the appearance of Louise Brooks. The version I saw included a really excellent, perky music score by Timothy Brock. Rating - * 6.5/10 stars *

    Director: Malcolm St. Clair
    Film Genre: Comedy
    Film Runtime: 82 minutes

Links / Resources


10 = Absolutely Fabulous/Superb
9 = Really Good/Excellent
8 = Good
7 = Fairly Good/Decent
6 = So-so, some flaws
5 = Mediocre
4 = Not that good, many flaws
3 = Poor
2 = Very Poor/Stinker
1 = One of the worst BOMBS ever filmed

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