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Like his younger half-brother Charlie, Syd Chaplin was also a successful silent-film comedian and enjoyed a certain notoriety somewhat oversahdowed by his iconic sibling. Here he plays Old Bill, a World War I army private with the British Expeditionary Forces. The film derives its title from a beloved British cartoon strip, hopping from the comics to celluloid in a funny scene where a soldier stuck in a muddy foxhole complains and Old Bill replies in Cockney, “If you knows a better ’ole, go for it!” The plot involves unmasking a traitor in the ranks who, allied with the owner of a local inn, is responsible for the town falling under German control. The most classic scene finds Bill and his buddy sneaking through enemy lines disguised as a horse. Superb slapstick silliness doesn’t come any better.

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WAA16525 Better Ole DVD (1925/Syd Chaplin) $21.49