Review: ‘The Cat’s Paw’

The Cat's Paw is a big departure for Harold Lloyd in that it is the most adult comedy yet attempted by him.

The Cat’s Paw is a big departure for Harold Lloyd in that it is the most adult comedy yet attempted by him.

The story is simply a play on the corrupt politics theme. Lloyd, as a missionary’s son, visiting his home town in the US after 20 years in China, is picked for a prize sap by the burg’s political czars and nominated for mayor as the 1,000-to-1 shot opponent for their own man. But he surprises everybody, including himself, by winning, and the worm keeps on turning until having cleaned up the city 100%.

There are some good, substantial laughs along the way, but the roars are few and far between. Script [from a magazine story by Clarence Buddington Kelland] nurses itself for quite a long stretch to build up to the climax.

There’s a girl, too, and no more fortunate choice for the part of this smart-cracking cigar counter femme could have been made. Una Merkel plays it expertly. A gem character performance by George Barbier and some polished gangster and gun moll stuff, respectively, from Alan Dinehart and Grace Brinkley, give Lloyd a lot of help in the support line.

The Cat's Paw

Production

Lloyd/Fox. Director Sam Taylor; Producer Harold Lloyd; Screenplay Sam Taylor; Music Alfred Newman

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1934. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Harold Lloyd Una Merkel George Barbier Nat Pendleton Grace Bradley Alan Dinehart
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