FIG LEAVES (1926)
Article 4889 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Howard Hawks
Featuring George O’Brien, Olive Borden, Phyllis Haver
What it is: Comedy
A plumber’s wife’s desire for new clothes inadvertently leads to a rift in the marriage, especially when a scheming neighbor and a narcissistic fashion designer come upon the scene.
This certainly doesn’t sound anything like the usual fare I cover, but fans of fantastic cinema will want to tune in for the first twelve minutes of the movie. This section takes place in prehistoric/garden of Eden times, and before we’re through, we’re treated to a giant chimpanzee, two dinosaurs (one providing bus transportation) and a talking snake; it’s a bit like an early version of “The Flintstones”. As for the rest of the movie, the efficient direction of Howard Hawks and the genuinely witty script make it an enjoyable affair. Still, I wouldn’t blame anyone for getting a little bored during a lengthy “fashion show” sequence which was originally shot in color, but only exists nowadays in black and white. The dinosaurs aren’t really convincing, but they are fun, especially a full-size prop triceratops. This one was quite entertaining.