Archive for January 27th, 2010

by Allan Fish

(USA 1928 21m) DVD1/2

Everybody follow them sailors!

p  Hal Roach  d  James Parrott  w  Leo McCarey, H.M.Walker  ph  George Stevens  art  Richard Currier

Stan Laurel (Ensign Laurel), Oliver Hardy (Ensign Hardy), Edgar Kennedy (family motorist), Charley Rogers (man with damaged fender), Thelma Hill (brunette), Ruby Blaine (blonde), Charlie Hall (cop),

Undoubtedly one of the masterpieces of short silent comedy, for a long time this – and fellow masterpiece Big Business – was overlooked in favour of the team’s more readily available talkie counterparts.  Yet in these late silent gems, there was a sense of wilful destruction that the talkies lacked.  Yes, The Music Box, Towed in a Hole, et al, did have destruction, that comes with the territory with Stan and Ollie, but it wasn’t deliberate.  Both Business and Tars are orchestrated and choreographed master-classes of wilful abuse, vandalism and childish petulance.  In Business, an example of a war between door to door Christmas Tree Salesmen and an irritable would-be customer.  In Tars, the chaos has a ring of modern truth, echoing as it does a factor of modern day life – ROAD RAGE! (more…)

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