Laughing at Danger (1924)

Article #645 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-20-2002
Posting Date: 5-15-2003

A lovelorn man accidentally happens upon a missing piece of a death ray machine, and becomes the target of criminals intent on using the machine.

This silent action/comedy with science fiction elements (the death ray) has a fun idea at the center of it; our hero laughs at danger not because he’s so brave, but because he believes he’s in the middle of an elaborate practical joke set up by his father to raise his spirits after he is rejected by the woman he loves. Therefore, he never really believes he’s in danger, and that is the joke of the situation. The movie is amusing enough, but it never really takes this premise to its ultimate possibilities; it’s never quite as funny as it could be. However, it works well enough in its short running time, though I’m sure the idea could be resurrected again with better results.


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