Down on the Farm (1920)

Down on the Farm poster

Mack Sennett Comedies
Starring:
 Louise Fazenda, Bert Roach, James Finlayson
Also Starring: Pepper
Directed by: Ray Grey, Richard Jones, Erle C. Kenton

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Louise (Louise Fazenda) is the daughter of a Farmer (Bert Roach) and has eyes for a Rustic Sweetheart (Harry Gribbon) but unfortunately she catches the eye of a ruthless Banker (James Finlayson).

Kitty Cameo: At the very beginning of the film Louise is introduced as the main character. She is seen in costume holding a calico kitten which she is pretending to have clawing her hair. She drops the kitten after just a moment.

Down on the Farm - Louise Fazenda as farmer's daughter with calico kitten

Down on the Farm - Louise Fazenda as farmer's daughter with calico kitten

Cinema Cat: This five-reel comedy film features prominent performances by two of Sennett’s most famous animal actors; Teddy the dog and Pepper the cat. Pepper is first spotted at the beginning of the piece walking along a fence at daybreak.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat on fence at sunrise

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat on fence at sunrise

Pepper’s major scenes are later in the film and take place in a general store setting which the Farmer runs. The Farmer is eating a pie but is interrupted by a customer. Pepper, who is called Pep for short, jumps up and quickly eats the pie.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat eating pie on counter

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat finishing pie on counter

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat eating pie on counter animated gif

Pepper then walks down the counter and gets onto the top of a barrel.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat walking on counter

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat climbing off counter onto barrel

The Farmer returns and finds pawprints across the counter and his missing pie. He looks down and sees Pepper looking innocent.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat looking over counter

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat looking over counter at Farmer Bert Roach animated gif

Pepper runs behind the counter and out the door, then peeks back in and meows before running away.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat running behind counter

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat looking in through door

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat meowing at door

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat looking around corner of door animated gif

Later Pepper is seen watching a mouse on the floor.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat watching mouse on floor

The mouse scares Louise, who jumps up on counters and makes a mess knocking everything everywhere. Pepper chases the mouse but loses it.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat stalking mouse

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat confused by missing mouse

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat chasing mouse animated gif

Later the Banker is about to leave when the mouse runs along a shelf above the door. Pepper follows and knocks a pitcher down on the Banker’s head.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat knocking pitcher off shelf onto Banker James Finlayson head animated gif

Pepper is only seen once more briefly chasing the mouse in the house.

Down on the Farm - Pepper cat running across floor after mouse

Pepper was so popular with movie goers that her name and likeness, along with Teddy’s, even appeared in print ads for the film.

Down on the Farm - print ad for comedy film

Final Mewsings: It’s clear to see why Pepper was a star.


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