This is a guy I had to look up. His silence and slapstick way of moving; his high, painted eyebrows and a waxy, fake-looking but real 'stache kind of gave me a creepy feeling. [Screen caps from Rollin' Plains (1938). Click to enlarge.]
Very strange vibe from this guy. Turns out Snub Pollard, real name Harold Fraser, was an Australian who moved to the U.S. and became a vaudeville actor, famed for his slapstick comedy. He was in nearly 500 movies and theater shorts, and toward the end of his career was usually uncredited. According to imdb, he was injured numerous times from doing silly stunts in the name of comedy.
In this movie, Pollard plays a character called Pee Wee, and in fact, he was sometimes credited as Pee Wee Pollard. He is obviously very short; imdb says he was 5'4". He and the other sidekick, Ananias (strange name for this character played by Horace Murphy), are sort of like two Shaggys. At every sign of danger, Tex goes charging in while they run the other way. Ritter plays a Texas Ranger, so my question is: how did a Ranger get stuck with these two goofballs?
This movie was from 1938, the second one I watched yesterday was from 1937. I think I need to go through and watch them in chronological order. Both of these sidekicks played very minor non-sidekick roles in the movie that came before this one. Pollard's role is very short, and monumentally creepier even than this one.
It's the silence. It must be. But then he came from the days when movies were silent, and although he later appeared in numerous talkies, he remained silent himself. I was beginning to imagine that he didn't even have a mouth under that 'stache until he visibly opened it for some reason.
This has been a very strange blog post but I guess I had to get it out of my system. I suppose you can expect more odd commentaries like this as I work my way through this collection. But I need to go to imdb and get all the release dates before I watch any of the others.
Oh yeah, one other thing. Rollin' Plains was the last movie appearance of a cowboy band called...Beverly Hill Billies.