Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chasing a Million -- January 2, 2013

From the 01-August-1914 Moving Picture World.  The Straits Settlements are now part of Malaysia and a few other entities.  Note that the airplane is not mentioned in the review. 

"Chasing a Million"

A Three-Part Novelty Burlesque by "Leading Players" -- Its Second Title Is "Or Around the World in Eighty Days."  

Reviewed by Hanford C Judson.

This three-reel picture, made for the sake of laughter, has many excellent things in the way of comical situations and thrills that will prove diverting and amusing.  There are bare places in its three reels; but this foolish, rough and tumble stuff seems to be a trump with audiences this hot weather and the offering will probably prove acceptable with the majority, as a whole, while it is sure that all will enjoy the truly funny things with which it is filled.  It doesn't seem to be a cheaply put-together offering, nor is it a studio-made picture.  There is plenty of outdoors in it, with ocean and dry land, rocky coast, jungle and desert.  There are wild animals loose in it and one of its really fine scenes is a heavy thunder storm at sea -- taken in a studio, but the real thing in the fun line for all that.

It opens with a prologue in which we are introduced to the Rajah of Yeabo; his vizier, the Gink; and his priestess, Punkette.  They are on a vacation from the Straight (sic -- JT) Settlements and are doing the delights of gay Paree, where they meet Piggy, the flower girl, and her two steadies, Nutty and Cremo.  When the royal party departs things must have seemed slow and the grand announcement in the "Continental Lyre" of a great race for a million to the Island of Bunco, where the latest copy of the "Lyre" has been hidden, must have been welcome.  The first to get this and return to Paree is to get a million (if it's there).

Piggy, Nutty and Cremo are late at the start; but make up for it by extra exertions which soon carry them way ahead of all other competitors.  After earning prize money by throwing the bull in a real bull fight (it isn't hush money) Cremo gets to the ship first.  Piggy missing it by a hair, follows in a rowboat and catches it at Port Said, at which port, too, Nutty, who has swum the seas, climbs aboard.  From that point the rush across the desert is begun.  Cremo, to pay for his good lunch at the start is now selected for a meal by a crocodile, who chews him up but can't digest him.  Cremo carries a pair of pliers with which he cuts his way out of the reptile's stomach and rejoins his two comrades in misery and with them enjoys many a sad experience with man eating cannibals and with pirates of the Strait Settlements, where, greatly to their surprise, they meet again with their old friend the Rajah -- "How people will meet!"  So the adventure is carried on until they come to Bunco, only to find that an ape has already discovered the copy of "The Lyre" and has torn it.  Yet there is enough left for each to have his portion,  which after more troublous voyaging they bring back to gay Paree, only to find that the "Continental Lyre" has gone into bankruptcy and that there is no million for anyone. 

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