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Film / Mighty Like a Moose

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Mighty Like a Moose is a 1926 silent 23-minute comedy film directed by Leo McCarey and starring comedy veteran Charley Chase.

In this film Chase is Mr. Moose, a prosperous married man who is afflicted with a grotesque overbite. His wife, Mrs. Moose, is afflicted with a falcon's beak of a nose. Mr. Moose saves up to get dental surgery to fix his horrible overbite—while his wife is getting plastic surgery to fix that nose. The Mooses, who both go to the same plastic surgeon, meet each other outside the doctor's office after their surgeries. They each fail to recognize each other. Naturally, they wind up arranging to meet for a date.

One of the best of dozens of silent and sound short comedy films Chase made during the 1920s and 1930s.


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Tropes:

  • As You Know: The two cops outside the surgeon's party tell each other that "We've been tryin' for weeks to get one on the doc."
  • Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: "Extra, all about the big raid!" leads the Mooses to get the paper, which has their picture on the front—they were photographed by the reporters who accompanied the raid.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A title card notes that the Mooses, who don't recognize each other, got up to "a temperature of 104" in the cab on the way home—implying Auto Erotica.
  • Holding Both Sides of the Conversation: After figuring out that his girl is actually his wife, Mr. Moose scares her to death by rapidly changing in and out of a robe and putting on/taking off his fake teeth, tricking her into thinking that both men are in the house. He then goes so far as to stage a fake fight, in a long comic sequence that has him tussling around a doorway. Amusingly, she gets bored with the fight, even before she reads a newspaper plastic surgery advertisement and finally figures out that her husband and her would-be lover are the same person.
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  • Hollywood Healing: Both of the Mooses walk straight out of the plastic surgeon after their procedure, looking fine, no healing required.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Mr. Moose had every intention of cheating on his wife, but after finding out that she had every intention of cheating on him, he decides to teach her a lesson.
  • Missed Him by That Much: After going back home to change into formal wear for their illicit date, each of the Mooses keep walking around the house at the same time while missing each other by the narrowest of margins. Eventually they both spot the other, but they still don't realize that they have in turn been spotted, and neither Moose gets a good look at the other's face.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Or the equivalent of, for both of them. Mr. and Mrs. Moose, who presumably have been married for years, completely fail to recognize each other, thanks to him getting his teeth fixed and her getting a nose job.
  • Right Hand vs. Left Hand: Mr. and Mrs. Moose both get plastic surgery altering their appearances, each without telling the other, setting up the comic misunderstandings.
  • Stocking Filler: Post-surgery Mr. Moose scopes out his wife's legs in stockings. She notices him noticing.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle: Both Mr. and Mrs. Moose think they're engaging in an illicit rendezvous, while in fact they're actually meeting each other.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Neither of the Mooses cheated, but not for lack of trying.
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