Film: The Kid Brother
The Kid Brother was a 1927 silent film starring famous silent comedian Harold Lloyd. In this film, Lloyd plays Harold Hickory, the youngest son of the Hickory family of Hickoryville. His big, tough father Jim is the sheriff, and his big, tough brothers are following in his father's footsteps. Skinny, nervous, meek Harold is not. When a medicine show arrives in town Harold falls for pretty Mary, who dances in the show. But Mary's partners in the medicine show—silver-tongued pitchman Flash Farrell and Sandoni, the strongman—are up to no good. Can Harold win Mary's love, defeat Farrell and Sandoni, and win his father's respect?The sixth and last film in which Jobyna Ralston appeared as Lloyd's Love Interest.
This film provides examples of the following tropes:
- Achilles' Heel: Sandoni can't swim.
- Big Ball of Violence: This usually animated or comic strip trope happens in live-action when Harold has his final showdown with the town bully.
- The Brute: Sandoni, the thuggish strongman in the medicine show.
- The Bully: Hank Hooper seems to delight in tormenting Harold. For that matter, his father is jealous of Jim Hickory's leadership position in the town.
- Chekhov's Gun: The shipwreck seen in a throwaway shot at the start of the film is the location of the climactic fight.
- Down on the Farm: The setting is a bit vague but it seems to be a western town around the end of the 19th century.
- Fun with Subtitles: Or intertitles, as the case may be. Harold keeps calling out to Mary as she's walking away. He climbs a tree to call out to her again as she starts to disappear from sight walking down a hill. The scene ends with a title card featuring a tiny "Goodbye!" in the center of the screen.
- Medicine Show: Mary regrets letting the show continue after her father's death.
- Missing Mom: The absence of Harold's mother is not explained. Exposition reveals that Mary's father used to run the medicine show but recently died, but does not say anything about where Mary's mother is.
- The Sheriff: Jim Hickory. Harold's attempt to stand in for his dad doesn't work out very well.
- So Proud of You: Jim Hickory, after Harold saves the day. The look of astonishment on his face when Harold comes riding into town with the trussed-up bad guy is a highlight.Jim: Son, you're a real Hickory.
- Stick Em Up: Harold gets the drop on Sandoni by staging a piece of pipe in such a way that it looks like the barrel of a rifle.
- The Unfavorite: Poor, poor Harold.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: The whole plot. Harold desperately wants his father's respect.
- Whole Plot Reference: Not only did this film feature a plot quite similar to Tol'able David, with a meek younger brother trying to convince his family he's a real man, it also cast as The Bully (Hank Hooper) an actor named Ralph Yearsley, who played one of the bad guys in Tol'able David.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Mary's advice to Harold.