The Mystery of the Leaping Fish

Film

Comedy

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Time Out says

This legendary comedy short is crude and ramshackle but lives up to its reputation for unorthodox content. Fairbanks, with his air of commotion and excitability, often seemed to be under the influence of something or other - a thought which was presumably the genesis of this picture. He plays private eye Coke Ennyday, who is festooned with hypodermics, keeps a bowl of cocaine on his desk as big as Pacino's in Scarface, and whose preferred tipple is a compound of laudanum and prussic acid. Humour, 1916. It's Coke vs a gang of opium smugglers who bring the stuff ashore in rubber fish inflated by a teenage Bessie Love. Billed as 'Inane, the little fish blower', she parodies the cliché of the helpless waif with great exuberance.
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Release details

UK release:

1916

Duration:

26 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

John Emerson

Cast:

Benny Zeidman, Alma Reubens, Allan D Sears, Bessie Love, Douglas Fairbanks

Cinematography:

John Leezer

Screenwriter:

Anita Loos, Tod Browning

Producer:

DW Griffith

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