YANKEE DOODLE IN BERLIN
(director: Richard Jones; screenwriter: story by Mack Sennett; cinematographers: Fred Jackman/J. R. Lockwood; cast: Marie Prevost (Belgium girl), Bothwell Browne (Captain Bob White), Ford Sterling (The Kaiser), Bert Roach ( Von Hindenburg), Malcolm St. Claire (The Crown Prince), Ben Turpin (A Guardsman), Charles Murray (An Irish-American Soldier), Eva Thatcher (The Kaiserin), Baldy Belmon (Von Tirpitz), Charles Lynn (Prussian Drill LeaderChester Conklin (Officer of Deaths Head Hussars); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Mack Sennett; Paramount Pictures; 1919-silent)
“Gently pokes fun at the Kaiser’s Germans during World War I.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A Mack Sennett written comedy directed by Richard Jones(“Falstaff”). It’s a fluff Hun propaganda film that gently pokes fun at the Kaiser’s Germans during World War I. The Germans are spoofed as being lousy lovers, the Kaiser is viewed as a half-wit and the Hun soldiers are depicted as bumbling as the Keystone Cops. The film’s star, Bothwell Browne, was a renown female impersonator. This was his only film.
American pilot, Captain Bob White (Bothwell Browne), is sent on a risky mission to steal the Kaiser’s war map for an upcoming offensive of the Allies and is dropped behind enemy lines. Bob is disguised in female drag and rescues a mistreated female Belgium prisoner of the Germans (Marie Prevost). His disguise is so good that the womanizing Kaiser (Ford Sterling) flirts with him. Jealousy abounds when the Kaiser’s right-hand man, the Crown Prince (Malcolm St. Claire), also flirts with the cross-dresser. When Von Hindenburg (Bert Roach), of the high command, informs the Kaiser’s wife (Eva Thatcher) about the dalliance, she goes on the warpath. But the spy is able to steal the map from the Kaiser’s bedroom and get it to his colleagues in time.
The film’s big moment is when Captain Bob performs in drag an Oriental Dance.
The humor was from a time long ago when such comedy was in vogue. Watching it in the present, its comedy eluded me.
REVIEWED ON 3/21/2015 GRADE: C https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/