Dr. Jack (1922)
Directed by Fred Newmeyer with a story co-written by the great Hal Roach this Harold Lloyd silent teams the comedian with his future wife actress Mildred Davis. Davis plays the daughter of a wealthy man (John T. Prince) whose doctor Dr. Ludwig von Saulsbourg (Eric Mayne) lives (off him) handsomely by telling him that his daughter is sick so that he can treat her. Lloyd is titled character actually Dr. Jackson a country doctor who believes that positive thinking in lieu of drugs is the best medicine.
Lloyd is an excellent physical comedian whose antics frequently involve transportation (automobile or a motorcycle) gags as well as stunts in and around a multilevel building or home. In this film his character uses both an automobile and a motorcycle as well as a bicycle to get to a patient. A couple of times the doctor actually jumps out of the car and runs alongside it (e.g. to move some cows out of his way) before reentering the vehicle. He rescues a little girl’s doll from a well and catches a little boy pretending to be sick to avoid school; he also helps said boy avoid a spanking. He then cures several seemingly ill patients by involving them in some happy activity to distract them from their woes. He also assists a girl by getting her father out of a card game before he spends his entire week’s paycheck. Eventually he comes to the attention of the “Sick-Little-Well-Girl”’s lawyer ( C. Norman Hammond) who has figured out Dr. Saulsbourg’s scam.
As is typical Lloyd’s character is smitten with the lead female character. However her father is not amused with Dr. Jack’s infatuation and forbids him to see her again. Not from around there he is permitted to stay the night during which a shot is heard and some men report than an Asylum inmate has escaped and is on the loose in the area. This gives Dr. Jack and idea to dress up as the escapee in order to scare Dr. Saulsbourg from the home. Several hilarious sequences follow with Lloyd doing quick changes such that the others in the home believe he’s chasing the escaped inmate; a talented dog (a pit bull?) is utilized in many of the scenes. Of course everything goes as planned and “the boy gets the girl” in the end (I hope I didn’t spoil it for you).