Friday, June 24, 2011

A Few More Laurel & Hardy Shorts (1933)

Me and My Pal (1933) - This Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy short costars regular James Finlayson as the father of the bride.  Finlayson also starred in about 30 shorts and features with the boys and also originated the phrase "d'oh" many years before Homer Simpson made it popular. 

As Oliver prepares to get married to a rich man's daughter, Stan who is his best man arrives at the house with a bag of rice and a wedding present -- a jigsaw puzzle which becomes the nucleus of the short. 

Everyone that sees the puzzle has to have a hand in helping  to put it together including Stan, Oliver, the butler, a telegram delivery man, a cop on his beat, and the cab driver who all in turn make them late for the wedding.  When a piece of the puzzle is discovered to be missing, the policeman refuses to let anyone leave until the piece is found.  When Oliver's future father-in-law shows up to find out why they are so late, the riot that follows wrecks the house and gets everyone arrested, except of course for Stan and Ollie.

Busy Bodies (1933) - Produced by Hal Roach Studios (actually all the shorts in this posting were from Roach Studios in 1933) this short features costar and familiar foe Charlie Hall who starred in about 50 shorts and features with Laurel and Hardy. 

The short begins with Stan and Oliver on their way to work at a saw mill.  Listening to music on the "radio", which is is actuality a Victrola under the hood of the car.  Some of the running gags include getting knocked down by boards and Stan hammering a nail into a wall for a coat hook and hitting a water pipe. 

In one of their funniest scenes Oliver gets his hands caught in a window frame and Stan breaks out some blueprints to try to get him out. This scene practically had me in tears.  You've just gotta love the physical slapstick humor.   Stan also offers a cigar to a coworker who's been harassing them and then turns him in for smoking on the job.  If I had coworkers like these two guys I wouldn't care where I worked.

The Midnight Patrol (1933) - Criminals beware ...  In this short Stan and Oliver star as two policemen in car #13 new to the force attempting to get through their first night on the beat. 

Stan and Oliver start their shift how?  By having lunch  of course.  After they retrieve their lunch from a police call box  they get their first call ...  someone is trying to steal their spare tire while they're sitting in the car.  Stan gives the crooks a stern talking to and gets a couple of windows broken in the process.  The pair get a call to a house break in progress, forget the address, and then can't get their patrol car started.  Stan's expressions while Oliver tries to get the car going are incredible.  But anyway the boys finally get to the house and get their man only to get a big surprise in the end. 

I'm trying to recall if there is any short or feature that doesn't involve Oliver getting wet in one way or another.  I don't think there is.  All three of these are great, classic, Laurel & Hardy shorts and the running time on them is about 20 minutes each.   I really wish they would make the entire L&H collection available to the public at some point.  For now I guess we just have to try to enjoy them anyway we can.

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