Fireman, Save My Child (1927)

Two firemen must put up with a variety of travails in their job, especially their chief's spoiled and bratty daughter, who keeps turning in false alarms whenever she needs some heavy ... See full summary »


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Complete credited cast:
Wallace Beery ... Elmer
Raymond Hatton ... Sam
Josephine Dunn ... Dora Dumston
Tom Kennedy ... Capt. Kennedy
Roland Drew ... Walter (as Walter Goss)
Joseph W. Girard ... Chief Dumston
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Douglas Haig Douglas Haig


Two firemen must put up with a variety of travails in their job, especially their chief's spoiled and bratty daughter, who keeps turning in false alarms whenever she needs some heavy lifting done so that she can get the responding firemen to do it. Written by

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Plot Keywords:

fireman | farce | See All (2) »







Release Date:

1 August 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alarme Falso See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Firemen, save this film

Wallace Beery and Raymond Hatton were a popular comedy team in the late silent era. Just as Abbott and Costello would do in the 1940s, Beery and Hatton starred in a series of military comedies: playing soldiers, then sailors, then airmen. Between those films, they played smoke-eaters in "Firemen, Save My Child" (1927).

Beery plays Elmer, a dumb brawny Swedish-American fireman who gets lumbered with most of the heavy lifting for his firehouse. Hatton plays Sam, his crewmate who isn't quite as dumb as Elmer but is definitely more larcenous. Hatton and Beery don't resemble Bud and Lou, but both comedy teams use a very similar dynamic: an easy-going dumb guy is exploited by a lazy sharpie. But there are differences; Beery (unlike Costello) was a large man who used his bulk effectively for slapstick comedy. Hatton (unlike Abbott) played a would-be shrewdie who is only nominally smarter than this dumb buddy.

Elmer and Sam must contend with Dora Dumston, the fire chief's spoilt daughter, who is constantly turning in false fire alarms whenever she needs a couple of big strong firemen to help her move a piano upstairs or do some other trivial chore. Elmer and Sam put up with this until (of course) they ignore a summons for a genuine fire because they think it's just Dora pulling the alarm again.

The funniest gag in this film is performed by the sadly under-rated comic actor Tom Kennedy (who was even taller and brawnier than Wallace Beery). Kennedy plays the fire captain who answers an alarm by sliding down the firepole ... and then finds out, too late, that Sam has already "borrowed" the bottom end of the pole. For one hilariously mad instant, Kennedy tries to climb back UP the pole while gravity and his own massive bulk are dragging him DOWN towards his doom.

The death of Lon Chaney just before "The Big House" went into production led to Chaney's role in that film going to Wallace Beery, and a whole new career for Beery as an Oscar-winning dramatic actor. Raymond Hatton too had a long prolific career; I fondly remember him as Hillary Brooke's cantankerous uncle in an episode of Abbott & Costello's TV show. Beery and Hatton both did excellent work, but "Firemen, Save My Child" doesn't deserve a high spot in their career paths.

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