Say Ah-h! (1928) Poster

(1928)

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A Wacky & Hilarious Fragment
Snow Leopard22 February 2005
The footage that remains of Charley Bowers in "Say Ah-h!" is wacky and hilarious. It features one of his most nonsensical plots and some of his most imaginative visual effects. Even in its fragmented form, it's a very good and very resourceful comedy.

Based on the usual length of his other features of around the same time, there is probably about ten minutes or so that is missing. Some of the surviving footage is also badly deteriorated, but it is so much fun to watch that it is more than worth seeing just as it is. The footage that survives is, fortunately, the last part of the movie, and given that Bowers often used the first reel or so primarily to set up the appearance of his best gags and camera effects, what is left is probably the best part.

The surviving portion opens with Bowers trying to steal an egg from an ostrich, and it quickly gets even more manic from there. The real ostriches are fun to watch, and the animated "ostrich" is even more fun - a really wacky idea, and carried out with a lot of energy and creativity. The "eating" effects are very amusing, and their entertainment value is probably matched only by the painstaking work that must have been required to make them work so well. Bowers himself must have enjoyed the effect, because he adapted it again later on for the wonderfully weird sound feature "It's A Bird".

It's too bad, of course, that the whole feature can no longer be seen. But it's very fortunate that so much of it still remains. There's nothing else quite like these Charley Bowers comedies, and this one is one of the most interesting and entertaining of them.
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6/10
A bit of a mess....but still worth seeing
MartinHafer29 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I am not exactly sure why this film is rated an 8.0, as the entire first part of the film is missing, huge chunks are almost impossible to watch due to decomposition and the fact that the film isn't as wild or funny as many of Charley Bowers' extant films. It's good, mind you--just not among the best that are still available today. The reason why this film is a mess is a common problem with older films. They were made using nitrate stock and it very quickly regrades--turning to powder, liquefying or even exploding and catching fire! This is why a fragment like this one is STILL of interest to people today, as less than half of Charley's film still exist today.

The film consists of a rich guy screaming that he wants an egg. However, when an ostrich egg is brought to him by his servants, it's impossible to eat. That's because he'd fed the ostrich cement and the egg was hollow--with a very, very, very hard shell. So, Charley's immediate boss yells at him to get some feed and give it to the ostrich NOW! Instead of going to the feed store, Charley begins grinding the strangest assortment of things--brooms, feather dusters and other bizarre items from the farm. When he feeds it to the ostrich, through the miracle of stop-motion, an abomination of nature soon hatches and runs amok--eating everything. But all is fine, as in the end, the rich guy and everyone else loves the freaky "thing" that hatched.

The film has nice stop-motion for the day, but compared to other Bowers films it's only okay. This is a good film but due to missing portions and degradations, I simply cannot score it higher.
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