Teddy At The Throttle; Speeding Along

TEDDY AT THE THROTTLE (19J7). With GLORIA SWANSON, WALLACE BEERY, BOBBY VERNON, KEYSTONE TEDDY. Produced by MACK SENNETT. One Of the most famous Sennett comedies, and rightfully so. Featuring Gloria Swanson and Wallace Beery near the start Of their careers-plus Teddy, the screen’s very first animal star. The wonder dog was earning $35 a week at the time, and, judging from his daredevil, gravity-defying stunts, deserved every bit Of it. The film is a superb parody Of both Victorian melodrama and the last-minute rescue movies Of D.W. Griffith, under whom Sennett had served his apprenticeship. The evil guardian (complete with sinisÂter moustache, Of course) schemes to steal the fortunes Of the innocent heroine and her noble sweetheart. After the girl braves a raging storm to warn the boy Of this dastardly plot, the vile villain chains her to the railroad tracks. She desperately whistles for her dos Teddy, who jumps and runs over all obstacles, races miles to reach her, then heroically carries a message to her sweetheart. The chase is on! Our hero gets onto his bicycle and follows Teddy, in 3 frantic attempts to stop the approaching train and rescue the girl. Will the heroine be crushed to death? Will the villain succeed in his heinous plots? The climax, drawn out to incredible lengths by the expert crosscutting, perfectly spoOfs the conventions Of silent suspense movies, but it also manages to be genuinely suspenseful in its own right. A marvelous piece Of entertainment.