Starring Pat O'Malley, Mary Astor, Warner Oland
August 1924

Carl Laemmle begs you not to take this seriously. You won't! It is a comedy born of sheer nonsense and if you happened to be temperamentally inclined for lively entertainment, her it is. This is a prize-winning story about a youth whose college record arouses parental ire and who lands himself in China. Pat O'Malley is the hero, Mary Astor, the girl, and Warner Oland a magnificent Chinaman.

Starring Pat O'Malley, Mary Astor, Warner Oland
August, 1924

It has taken a college student to kid the hokum of presenting the orthodox hero as an American who overcomes all obstacles in his protection of the Only Girl -- and conquering her and his rivals thru sheer pluck and perseverance. William Elwell Oliver is his name, and he won the intercollegiate scenario competition scholarship with "The Fighting American," thru the good offices of the Universal Film Company.

The producers deserve praise for giving Oliver the honors. It shows that they appreciate keen satire. The American, who can do no wrong, it kidded in a most humorous manner -- kidded along on an old formula -- but the satirical treatment presents him in new colors. -- and so that picture takes on a distinct novelty.

It offers a college hero pursuing a girl to China and rescuing her in scenes which score for their realities and burlesque. It is uproariously funny in spots -- particularly in the scenes featuring Raymond Hatton who doubles as a drunken war veteran -- and an equally drunken generalissimo of the Chinese army. He plays the parts with heavy seriousness, thus emphasizing the comedy values. The picture is a sort of comic opera -- not to be accepted too seriously. It is played with effective abandon by Pat O'Malley in the title role -- and excellently captioned.

What we especially like about it is the satirizing of the indefatigable, irrepressible American who since the days of Frank Merriwell's ancestors has bounded thru pages of fiction and juvenile clap-trap to the tune of Yankee Doodle.

Starring Pat O'Malley, Mary Astor, Warner Oland
June 7, 1924

Just because we are not enamored of vaudeville performances, we nearly missed one of the best comedies of the week. At the Moss Theatre. Broadway, New York, pictures are only a small part of the program, and a picture critic never knows just what time one can catch the cinema feature.

Raymond Hatton has been borrowed or bought for the occasion, and he really plays the star part. Warner Oland is seen as a comedy Chinese villain. The story is burlesque on all the dramas that have ever been written concerning the efficacy of one or two Americans in cleaning up conditions in any foreign country. In this case, it happens to be China. Everybody concerned behaves beautifully and there is an airplane rescue which is "priceless" as the flappers say.

The titles are flawless. The whole thing suggested to us that it might have been done by the men who performed similar services for "Trifling With Honor", also a Universal. Blood will tell!

P.S. ­ Our handsome Young assistant just informed us that "The Fighting American" is the story which won the $ 1,000 prize offered by Carl Laemmle for the best scenario submitted by a college student.

Review contributed by Eryn Merwart

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