- 20 min
Detained is a 1924 silent comedy film starring the legendary Stan Laurel as Harry Edwards, a bohemian artist who falls in love with a wealthy heiress named June Marston (played by Agnes Ayres). Julie Leonard plays the role of Effie, June's jealous and manipulative cousin, who sees Harry as a threat to her inheritance. At the beginning of the film, Harry is painting a portrait of June when Effie interrupts and tries to steal the limelight. June is immediately taken with Harry's charm and asks him to paint her portrait as well. As Harry spends more time with June, Effie becomes increasingly hostile and works to sabotage their relationship. Despite Effie's best efforts, Harry and June develop genuine feelings for each other, and plot to elope. However, their plan is complicated by the arrival of June's father, who forbids the marriage and has Harry arrested for trying to kidnap his daughter. The bulk of the film takes place in the jail cell, where Harry tries to break out in order to be with June, while contending with his fellow inmates, who provide plenty of slapstick moments. Meanwhile, Effie continues to scheme and manipulates everyone around her, including the warden and the police, in order to get what she wants. The film is shot and staged in a classic vaudeville style, with lots of physical comedy, exaggerated expressions, and snappy editing. The characters are broadly drawn, with Harry as the lovable underdog, June as the sweet romantic interest, and Effie as the conniving villain. The supporting cast of prisoners includes a pickpocket, a con man, and a drunkard, each with their own quirks and physicality. Overall, Detained is a lighthearted and entertaining film, showcasing Stan Laurel's talent for physical comedy and slapstick humor. The storyline is simple and predictable, but the charm is in the execution, with plenty of laughs and sight gags to keep the audience engaged. Fans of Laurel and Hardy, silent films, or classic vaudeville-style humor will likely enjoy this gem from the early days of cinema.