Sunday, November 6, 2011

Early Laurel and Hardy

Tonight's Silent Sunday Nights on TCM is slightly different from the normal. Instead of a feature, we get four two-reelers starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, starting with Do Detectives Think? at midnight. This first one is interesting in that Stan and Ollie don't have their eventual style down. In most of the later films, the two played characters with the imaginative names of "Stan" and "Ollie" or "Oliver". But not in some of these earlier movies. Do Detectives Think? has Laurel and Hardy playing a pair of bodyguards to a judge who is subjected to death threats from an escaped convict he sent to prison years ago.

That's followed at 12:30 AM by Putting the Pants on Philip which, despite its slightly racy title, doesn't deal with what you think it does. Stan plays a young Scotsman named Philip visiting his American uncle (named J. Piedmont Mumblethunder; no Ollie there!). Stan visits wearing a kilt, which for whatever reason mkes everybody else ill at ease, so they try to get Philip to wear pants!

The last two, You're Darn Tootin' at 1:00 AM and especially Two Tars at 1:30 AM, are closer to what we expect from a Laurel and Hardy short, where the two are generally long-term friends and not some other relationship.

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