Laughing at Life
Nat Levine for Mascot
directed by Ford L. Beebe
starring Victor McLaglen, Conchita Montenegro, William 'Stage' Boyd, Regis Toomey, Ruth Hall, Frankie Darro, Lois Wilson, Henry B. Walthall, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Dewey Robinson, Ivan Lebedeff, Mathile Comont, Noah Beery, J.Farrell MacDonald, Tully Marshall, Henry Armetta, Edmund Breese, Otis Harlan, Buster Phelps, Arthur Hoyt, Pat O'Malley, William Desmond, Lloyd Whitlock, Philo McCullough, George Humbert, Irving Bacon, Gino Corrado, Bob Kortman
story by Ford L. Beebe, screenplay by Prescott Chaplin, Thomas J.Dugan, musical direction by Lee Zahler
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1913: McMahon (Victor McLaglen) has just built himself a life as a
civil engineer with a wife (Lois Wilson) and a little son when his past -
he was a big league gunrunner - catches up with him, and he has to give
the authorities the slip, but not without promising his wife to send for
her once he has settled somewhere else - but alas, over the years, he
continuously gets into troubles with the law, and ultimately his wife dies
without him ever seeing her again, and his son just disappears ...
1933, in a small South American country on the brink of revolution:
McMahon is helping revolutionary Don Fabio (Ivan Lebedeff) to build up his
army when his past catches up with him in the person of Mason (William
'Stage' Boyd), the cop who has been tracking him for the last 20 years -
and he has the grand idea to capture McMahon with the help of two
gunrunners (Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Dewey Robinson), and McMahon is only
just saved by fellow American Pat Collins (Regis Toomey), a man whose
acquaintance he has only just made.
McMahon soon trusts Collins like his own son, and he persuades him to
work with him as gunrunner - but then he finds out that Collins actually is
his son, and he tries to dissuade him from working in this line of work -
but Collins won't listen.
Then though Don Fabio turns against McMahon and tries to have him
arrested - but only manages to hav Collins arrested. At this point,
McMahon changes sides and works out a deal with the country's
still-president Valenzuela (Henry B.Walthall) to let him go if he brings
him Don Fabio ... and soon enough, McMahon has dissuaded the revolutionary
army to fight for Don Fabio, has distracted his bodyguards, has kidnapped
Don Fabio, and has brought him to the local police and has even managed to
make it look as if it was all the work of his son Collins, which
immediately sets Collins free. And to make sure he can himself make an
escape, McMahon has changed identities with Mason ...
Nothing big, but an entertaining adventure yarn, made on the cheap
quite obviously but directed at a fast pace and carried by some quite good
performances (not necessarily Mascot's strength).