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Baby Daze (1939) Online

Baby Daze (1939) Online
Original Title :
Baby Daze
Genre :
Movie / Comedy / Short
Year :
Directror :
Charles E. Roberts
Cast :
Edgar Kennedy,Vivien Oakland,Billy Franey
Writer :
Charles E. Roberts,George Jeske
Type :
Time :
Rating :
Baby Daze (1939) Online

The usually dyspeptic and parsimonious Edgar undergoes a personality change when a perfect storm of circumstances and coincidences combine to convince him that wife Vivian is pregnant and about to give birth. In actuality two members of Vivian's family, Joe and Emma, are coming as house guests, and it is their baby that Edgar unknowingly is preparing a new nursery for. Edgar ultimately discovers the truth but not before he humorously interacts with other expectant fathers and decorators.
Complete credited cast:
Edgar Kennedy Edgar Kennedy - Edgar Kennedy
Vivien Oakland Vivien Oakland - Vivien Kennedy (as Vivian Oakland)
Billy Franey Billy Franey - Vivien's Father
Don Brodie Don Brodie - Joe
Lillian Miles Lillian Miles - Emma

User reviews



Edgar Kennedy specialized in playing characters who might start out friendly enough, but over the course of a film or a sequence are subjected to so many frustrations and obstacles (often from such expert chaos-bringers as Laurel and Hardy) that they gradually are overcome with fury. It made a reliable premise for Edgar's own series of "Average Man" two-reel comedies, where he plays a husband who is driven up the wall by the annoyances of modern life.

Here, however a lot of the comedy comes from the familiar formula being reversed. Edgar starts out in a non-unfamiliar grumpy mood and tells some people off obnoxiously, then becomes overcome with joy and kindheartedness when he discovers that his wife is about to have a baby (or so he thinks). This alone works surprisingly well for comedy. As another IMDb commentator points out, there is something a bit sad and poignant about Edgar's apparently fervent but by now apparently hopeless desire for offspring, and the way he regrets the way he's been acting we he discovers he's to be a father. In fact, the final scene in which he discovers he was wrong comes across as if Kennedy were a fine actor in a drama rather than a comic -- his tragic disappointment is palpable.

"Baby Daze" relies on the good old fashioned comedy of confusion and dramatic irony to keep it going for most of its fifteen minutes and this works fine, even when we have to buy that the OTHER Mr. Kennedy came into the maternity ward right before Edgar. Somehow the fact that he supposedly never noticed his wife was pregnant seems more in character than an oversight.


Spoilers herein.

This is included as an extra on the `The Southerner' DVD and is much the better experience. Both films represent a lost attitude in film. This one is worth re- experiencing: the Slow Burn flummox that was invented by this guy, continued in many radio series (`Guildersleeve' is the best), to be mastered in my experience by Ralph Kramden.

The setup is disposable, but the reactions are amazing. That's because we can see something that is now hackeyed when it was fresh.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


Edgar Kennedy and his wife Vivien Oakland could be the ancestors for Ralph and Alice Kramden. Kennedy made a nice series of two reel comedies with that patented slow burn technique of his. All he would have needed is a bus driver's uniform and you would swear you were watching a Honeymooner's episode.

But this one is kind of bittersweet as poor Edgar gets the wrong idea that his wife is in a family way, though without her showing anything I'm not quite sure how. In fact it's her sister and brother-in-law coming to visit with their new baby.

But once Edgar gets the idea he's an impending father, he gets a complete change in personality. As he begins selling off furniture to acquire nursery furniture, it's not funny so much as sweet. The laughs come as he's in the waiting room with expectant fathers at the hospital. They've never had a father to be quite like Edgar Kennedy.

Baby Daze is a nice introduction to the Edgar Kennedy slow burn school of comedy, though short on laughs, long on character.


I enjoyed this Edgar Kennedy short, as it was funny and well acted and written. However, in a way, the film was also rather wistful and sad--an odd combination with comedy.

The film begins with Edgar coming home to his wife. On the way inside his house, he yells at the neighbor kids and once in the house he yells at his father-in-law. He's a bit of a sorehead, but you can also understand his feelings about his in-laws--they are all pretty obnoxious people. When his wife asks Edgar if it's okay for her terrible brother and his family to come for a visit, Edgar understandably says a loud and firm 'no'. However, in an odd twist, Edgar thinks that his middle-aged wife is pregnant and that the brother and sister-in-law are visiting to help her with her new baby. The baby, however, is the brother and sister-in-law's.

Now that Edgar thinks he's about to become a father, his entire mood changes. He's nice to everyone--including the neighbor kids and his in-laws--inviting them all to visit. Oddly, his wife doesn't appear the least bit pregnant and yet Edgar is convinced that the baby is coming--very, very soon. In a funny twist, when a neighbor is taken to the hospital to have her baby, Edgar thinks it's his wife and goes to wait for "his baby" to be born.

While there's more to it and it's all funny, there is also a wistfulness about it. Think about it, Edgar and his wife are probably too late to have kids in the short film but he thinks that the unthinkable has happened and now late in life he's to be a dad. When he later sees his brother-in-law's kid, he thinks it's his and dotes on the child--yet ultimately he finds that this wonderful dream is a bust. How depressing! This does give the short much more depth than usual but also ends on a bit of a downer. Still, it's well worth seeing--even if Edgar ultimately is left depressed and without this child he appears to desperately want. I think I'm gonna cry....