The Stolen Jools (alt. The Slippery Pearls)
Director: William C. McGann
See it on The Internet Archive here.
This is that kind of film that is wonderfully amusing to read serious reviews about. "Lame excuse to put as many stars in a movie as possible" is one comment on IMDb. Oh yes, raising funds for the National Variety Artists Tuberculosis Sanitarium is a really lame excuse to appear in a motion picture for. (Notice that the film is in "co-operation with Chesterfield Cigarettes"...)
Anyway, this is a short, entertaining film stuffed with some of the greatest stars of that day. Let me describe the very simple story for you.
The films begins with a police officer, played by Wallace Beery, answering the office phone.
"What? A murder? That ain't news, we had three yesterday."
Let go for that. But at a Hollywood party the day before, Norma Shearer got her jewels stolen (or the gangsters Edward G. Robinson and George E. Stone got them stolen after stealing them from her) - now that's urgent business! Beery collects his men (one of them, Buster Keaton) and sends out a detective (Eddie Kane) to find out who among the Hollywood stars has the jewels.
Detective Kane investigates the many Hollywood stars (among them El Brendel, playing a Swedish waiter with an unplacable accent), until child star Mitzi Green solves the case:
"Mitzi, you just saved the plot of the story!""And the moral of this story is: Never spank a child on an empty stomach! [horrendous laughter]"
Now, how can you not love that? Maybe if you're that kind of person who only allows himself/herself to enjoy sophisticated, well-planned comedy, in fear that a cheap laugh might undermine his/her intelligence. I enjoyed it, and it seems like a lot of the actors did too.
And here's a part of the cast!
Wallace Beery, as the Police Sergeant
Buster Keaton, as a police man.
Our Gang, as themselves (Farina, Stymie, Chubby, Mary Ann Jackson, Shirley Jean Rickert, Echo, Wheezer and Pete the Pup.)
Hedda Hopper, as herself.
Joan Crawford, as herself.
William Haines, as himself.
Dorothy Lee, as herself.
Victor McLaglen, as himself.
El Brendel, as the Swedish waiter.
Winnie Lightner, as herself.
Fifi D'Orsay, as herself.
Warner Baxter, as himself.
Irene Dunne, as herself.
Claudia Dell, as herself.
Eugene Pallette, as a Reporter.
Gary Cooper, as a Reporter (named Cooper).
Charles "Buddy" Rogers, as himself.
Maurice Chevalier, as himself.
Douglas Fairbanks Jr, as himself.
Loretta Young, as herself.
Richard Barthelmess, as himself.
Bebe Daniels, as herself.
Joe E. Brown, as himself (uncredited).
Barbara Stanwyck, as herself.
Fay Wray, as herself.
Mitzi Green, as herself.