Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wrapping up loose ends

When I mentioned the Laurel and Hardy shorts yesterday, I mentioned that TCM's schedule page had some serious glitches, in that the programs weren't showing in order. Thankfully, that seems to have been fixed up. I am, however, a bit curious as to how things could have gone so wrong in the first place. I mean, I can see accidentally entering the wrong movie into the schedule, as typos are easy to make. I can see getting the running time for a movie wrong, especially when it's one for which there are multiple running times. But I would think that the schedule page is, if not automatic, something that's got an obvious template. Just enter the movies into the template, and the page prints itself up.

As for the Laurel and Hardy shorts themselves, PolitiquerĂ­as, the Spanish version of Chickens Come Home, was something else. What else, I don't know, but it was something. Ben Mankiewicz mentioned that Hal Roach brought in a couple of vaudeville acts to stretch the running time. The magician was entertaining, if stuff we've all seen before. The other act, though, was shocking: a professional regurgitator. That is, somebody who swallows stuff, and then brings it back up. It sounds disgusting, and frankly it is to a point. But it's even more shocking than disgusting, and one of those things that has to be seen to be believed. Mankiewicz, I think, brought the right tone to his introduction for the movie, that being one of, "Yes, really, it's a regurgitator." As much as I enjoy Robert Osborne, I find him a bit too elegant for an introduction like that.

No comments: