Evidently, the Essanay company had wanted to make a series of films based on the comic strip Mutt and Jeff, but were unable to secure the screen rights for the characters. Thus the studio hired a pair of Mutt and Jeff lookalikes -- one short, one tall -- and created its own comedy team, Hank and Lank. For the next year or so, the studio ground out the one-reel adventures of this mismatched pair. The first of the series, titled simply Hank and Lank, spent most of its running time establishing the characters. The critic for Variety found the films uniformly unfunny, but apparently audiences were satisfied.
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