Waking Up the Town (1925)

Article 4547 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-29-2014
Directed by James Cruze
Featuring Jack Pickford, Claire McDowell, Alec B. Francis
Country: USA
What it is: Odd little comedy

A young inventor dreams of getting the financing to build a hydroelectric plant to harness energy from a nearby waterfall. How will he accomplish this?

IMDB lists the length of this movie as 63 minutes. I found it in a version that runs 41 minutes. The Don Willis guide from which I culled the title claims the fantastic content consists of a dream in which the world comes to an end. At this point, I can only conclude that the dream in question is among the 22 minutes that is missing from this print; though an amateur astronomer goes on about a coming apocalypse (in eighteen months and three days exactly), it remains only talk. However, there is some gadgetry in the movie to give it at least some tinges of science fiction content. As for the story, there’s not a whole lot here to speak of, but that may also be the result of missing footage. In its present form, almost the first half of the movie involves the meet cute between the inventor and the amateur astronomer’s granddaughter, which doesn’t do a thing to advance the plot. The plot itself is about how a local banker is convinced to invest in the inventor’s plan, and this is all pretty threadbare. And, given that the movie isn’t particularly funny, the movie ends up mostly being a curious oddity more than anything else.


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