What old movie features this sight gag?
February 5, 2018 5:43 PM   Subscribe

I think this is from the silent era, but it really seems like it could be in a Jacques Tati movie. It's set aboard an ocean liner. The gag consists of two separate shots of an inebriated man (in the film the shots might be a few minutes apart) that together compose a great visual joke.

First, as the ship cruises on calm seas, the drunk man staggers and reels as he tries to make his way with great difficulty along a corridor. Other passengers stroll gracefully past him. Later, as the ship heaves to-and-fro in heavy seas during a storm, a shot of the same corridor shows passengers stumbling and swaying, barely able to keep their feet, while the (presumably still drunk) man is now briskly walking a perfectly straight and steady path among them.
posted by theory to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Offhand I don't recognize it though you might want to look through this list of Ocean Liners in Movies or Films at Sea and see if anything looks familiar.
posted by jessamyn at 6:38 PM on February 5, 2018

I am pretty sure thats either Charlie Chaplin or Buster Keaton.
posted by sexyrobot at 6:42 PM on February 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

More than film may have used the gag, but I found a reference to it in Hitchcock's Champage (1928)
Neither funny nor particularly dramatic, with a paper thin plot, Champagne has to rely on Hitchcock's visual wit to carry the film, with attractive sets, and pleasant sight gags. An example being a delightful moment set aboard a swaying ship, where a very drunk man walks in a straight line as the ship and everyone else sways violently.
posted by fings at 7:41 PM on February 5, 2018 [3 favorites]

The movie itself is here.
posted by beccaj at 8:38 PM on February 5, 2018

It's possible that Hitchcock's Champagne is it -- in the link beccaj provided there is a very brief shot at 12:22 that could be the first part of the gag -- but there's no sign of the followup shot during the storm mentioned in the Scott Macdonald review linked by fings.
posted by theory at 2:23 PM on February 12, 2018

« Older Live links Chatline Commercial"In Your Hand'...   |   Brotherly discord Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.