Watch The Stolen Jools
- 20 min
The Stolen Jools is a cleverly structured 1931 comedy that features an impressive roster of Hollywood stars. The film proceeds as a series of loosely connected shorts featuring various stars of the day in comical scenes, all of which revolve around the disappearance of a coveted pearl necklace known as the Jools. The film was directed by actor/director William C. McGann and produced by the National Variety Artists organization as a fundraising effort to support the medical expenses of handicapped children. The organization approached producers in Hollywood for cooperation, and over forty actors volunteered their time to appear in the film.
The Stolen Jools opens with a newsreel segment that introduces the necklace and its owner, the famous and glamorous actress Norma Shearer. The necklace was reportedly stolen from Shearer's dressing room while she was on stage, and she enlists the help of legendary gumshoe Sherlock Holmes to help retrieve it.
From there, the film jumps to a series of vignettes featuring a bevy of stars in humorous roles. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appear as janitors who accidentally destroy a movie set, while comedian Jimmy Durante portrays a hapless cop trying to catch a thief. Other stars who make appearances include Wallace Beery, Buster Keaton, Joan Crawford, and Gary Cooper.
The humor in the film revolves around the absurdity of stereotypical characters and situations. For example, Polly Moran and Eddie Kane portray a bickering couple at a restaurant, while Wheeler and Woolsey appear as bumbling detectives trying to solve the case. Many of the scenes are slapstick in nature, and the humor often relies on physical gags and wordplay.
While the various shorts are amusing in their own right, the highlight of the film is the finale, which sees all of the stars gathered together in one room as Holmes reveals the identity of the thief. The scene is chaotic, with characters talking over one another and vying for attention. It's a fittingly madcap conclusion to a film that is essentially a showcase for Hollywood's brightest talents.
Despite its slapdash structure and uneven pacing, The Stolen Jools is an important film for several reasons. Firstly, it features an unprecedented array of Hollywood stars, some of whom would go on to become legendary figures in the industry. Secondly, it highlights the collaborative spirit of Hollywood, with numerous actors and filmmakers volunteering their time and services to support a worthy cause. Lastly, it serves as a time capsule of a bygone era, capturing the glamour and humor of early Hollywood in a way that few other films of the era do.
Overall, The Stolen Jools is a delightful piece of Hollywood history that is well worth seeking out. Its lighthearted humor and star-studded cast make it a pleasant and entertaining experience, while its quaint charm and historical significance add another layer of enjoyment for fans of classic cinema.
The Stolen Jools is a 1931 comedy with a runtime of 20 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7.