Ham and the Sausage Factory (1915)

Article 4207 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 4-20-2013
Directed by Marshall Neilan
Featuring Lloyd Hamilton, Bud Duncan, Charles Inslee
Country: USA
What it is: Slapstick shenanigans

Two starving bums are tempted into taking a job with a grocer who has a sausage making machine in his basement. One man makes the sausages. The other is assigned the task of providing the raw materials for the sausages; dogs, stray or otherwise.

This one ended up on my “ones that got away” list, but I was quickly pointed to a source for it. It’s your basic manic slapstick silent comedy, and let’s face it, it really isn’t in the best of taste. Still, I do think it is interesting to consider in the light of the fact that it’s one of the later manifestations of one of the earliest cinematic science fiction contrivances – the automatic sausage-making machine. In this one, some of the sausages even come to life and follow one of the men around a bit; this adds to the fantastic content. It’s hardly a comedy classic, but I do have to marvel at the chutzpah of this one.


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