Saturday, October 03, 2020

Busy Bodies, The Chimp, The Midnight Patrol

Laurel and Hardy in The Midnight Patrol (1933)

A Laurel and Hardy triple feature on the Movies! network this morning. 

The first two were among the very first Laurel and Hardy movies I saw. Busy Bodies (1933) is one of their very best, as far as I'm concerned. The Boys work at a lumber mill and cause no end of chaos. The final scene, with Hardy being sucked through the scrap lumber disposal, is reminiscent of Chaplin getting pulled through the machine's gears in Modern Times.

The Chimp (1932) is a silly one, and a lot of fun. After a circus shuts down, the owner can't afford to pay his employees, so he gives them all a piece of the circus instead. Laurel gets the flea circus and Hardy gets the dancing chimpanzee, Ethel. In a variation on Angora Love and Laughing Gravy, they spend the rest of the film trying to hide the chimp in a boarding house. My favorite line: when Laurel sees the lion run loose through the streets, he tells Hardy, "I just saw MGM."

Laurel and Hardy are policemen in The Midnight Patrol (1933). It plays like a variation on Night Owls, with the Boys breaking into the police chief's home, except this time they're on the other side of the law -- but they still cause just as much trouble. My favorite scene has the Boys obligingly negotiating a court date with a burglar whom they've caught in the act, checking his datebook for conflicting appointments.

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