Film ID:
YFA 2235

SHARPS AND FLATS

1915

Visitor Tabs

Description

This is a comedy film about two husbands who cheat on their wives by pretending that they have been called up for military training. The film stars Regie Switz, a personality mime actor who appeared in the Winky films. It was made by Bamforth and Company of Holmfirth.

Title and first two title cards missing.

The film begins in an office with two workers, Cyril and Reggie. One of them, Reggie, types a call up letter for army training purportedly from a 'Captain Kid', which he shows to his colleague, Cyril. He encourages Cyril to do the same, which he does. At breakfast the next morning Reggie is having breakfast with his wife when the maid arrives with a letter. Reggie's wife reads the letter - requesting the addressee to present at Holmfirth the following morning for 'military training under canvas' - becomes flustered and passes it to Reggie. Reggie shrugs and states, through an intertitle, 'I couldn't leave you, love, not even for a day'. His wife replies, again through an intertitle, 'Your country calls you, dear, you must go'. Cyril and his wife enter, the wives compare letters, and whilst they comfort each other over the loss, the husbands dance, laugh and slap each other behind their backs.

Intertitle: 'Same evening' That evening Reggie and his wife say farewell and he is driven off by a chauffeur to collect Cyril, who is also saying farewell to his wife. They are driven along laughing at their scam and mocking their wives' tears. Back home the wives are together, fondly looking at a photo of Reggie, and they break down crying.

Intertitle: 'Apartments' At Holmford, where they are supposed to be quartered, Cyril and Reggie compose telegrams to their wives. Reggie's one reads, 'tired, had a scotch hot - feel better now'. Back home his wife receives the telegram and is joyed. Then the film switches to Reggie with a woman in a kilt sat on his lap. Cyril's wife visits Reggie's wife, and shows her telegram which reads that he is, 'going somewhere by rail, don't know where', before Cyril is seen staggering along a street, clearly drunk, clinging to some railings.

Intertitle: 'A few days later' The two wives are together when each receives a letter, Reggie's wife remarks that hers isn't from her husband. They go and sit on a bench in the garden and Cyril's wife reads hers out. It is a long letter full of double meanings and word puns: they are under canvas, enjoy the drill, have formed into two and fours, have learnt to take cover, have tackled entanglements, enjoy the food - especially the tarts, have had a skirmish with strange officers and have been billeted in a government boarding house. After each of these extracts the wives give a pleased reaction, followed by a scene that shows what Reggie and Cyril are really up to with two other women, getting drunk and being thrown in jail by police.

Intertitle: 'Nabbed' Then Reggie's wife opens her letter which is from Binton Civilian Defence Force demanding to know why Reggie has been absent from drill. The two wives realise the deception, tear the letters in anger and make off. They arrive at Reggie's and Cyril's tent, peek in through a hole in the side and wait outside. When Cyril and Reggie emerge their wives beat them to the ground, watched on by the two other women.