Saturday, February 06, 2021

Another Fine Mess (1930)

Perhaps the origin of their frequently-misquoted catchphrase, Another Fine Mess is one of the more unusual Laurel and Hardy shorts, though one of my favorite. It's based on a stage sketch by Stan's father, and as such contains a bit more plot than usual, being a farce of the kind that normally didn't lend itself to the Boys' slapstick style of humor.

Laurel and Hardy had filmed this same sketch once before, as the first film in which they appeared as a team (Duck Soup, back in 1927). But the addition of sound, and the developments of their characters in the intervening years, make the 1930 version a much more fully-fleshed out comedy. It also gives the Boys a rare chance to engage in more verbal humor than usual, as well as playing characters that go beyond their usual "Stan and Ollie" personas, with Hardy impersonating Col. Buckshot with the aplomb of a Southern gentleman, and Stan dressing as both butler and maid.

Contains one of the funniest sight gags I've ever seen -- with the Boys tripping and sliding down the front steps while disguised in the hide of an antelope, and then riding a tandem bicycle down a busy street.

Features James Finalyson as the real Col. Buckshot, Charles Gerrard as Lord Plumtree, and the great Thelma Todd as Plumtree's wife.

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