The Bohemian Girl (1936) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch, James Finlayson, Thelma Todd
Many people think of The Bohemian Girl as the answer to the trivia question, “What was Thelma Todd‘s final film?” And that’s a crying shame. The Bohemian Girl is actually one of my favorite Laurel and Hardy films, for several reasons. It’s quick-paced, with some excellent comedic bits between Stan and Ollie. The interplay between Oliver Hardy and Mae Busch (who plays his nagging, unfaithful wife) is very funny, with their perennial foil James Finlayson making an appearance at the end as “Captain Finn”, captain of the guard for the harsh Count Arnheim. (more…)
Sons of the Desert (1933) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Chase, Mae Busch
I can honestly say that Sons of the Desert is one of my favorite Laurel and Hardy films. It begins with the boys, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, attending a serious meeting of their club, the Sons of the Desert, who are giving a solemn pledge that they will attend the upcoming convention in Chicago. Stanley is hesitant, but browbeaten by Ollie and the others into promising; he hesitated because he didn’t know if his wife would let him go. On the ride home, the bombastic Ollie declares that he’s the king of his castle, and he doesn’t ask his wife, he tells her! Until, of course, they’re home, and Oliver’s wife (Mae Busch) tells him in no uncertain terms that they’re going on the trip to the mountains that they’d been planning. It’s a very funny scene, as Oliver is quickly deflated by his wife, and the brunt of the physical humor as she throws virtually everything breakable at him.
Them Thar Hills starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall, Mae Busch
Them Thar Hills begins with Oliver Hardy suffering from a painful bout of gout, with his foot wrapped up like a mummy, and his doctor (played by Billy Gilbert) making a house call. Diagnosing Oliver’s gout as a result of his high living, he prescribes a few weeks vacation in the mountain. His friend, Stan Laurel, makes the suggestion of renting a camper rather that hauling camping equipment, and Oliver agrees. He uses Stanley as a pack mule to move around, a comic sight in itself, which results in Oliver falling backward into the bathtub.
Once they get underway, things seem to be taking a turn for the better, as their drive up into the mountains is uneventful. Unknown to them, however, (more…)
Tit for Tat (1935) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charley Hall, Mae Busch
Tit for Tat is a very funny Laurel and Hardy film, that begins with Oliver Hardy opening his new hardware store. A local police officer stops by to congratulate him, and Ollie explains that his partner, Stan Laurel, is recovering from a nervous breakdown — only to have Stan come up from downstairs in an street elevator, lifting the poor police officer into the air. Oliver is profusely apologetic, and after the officer leaves, they go next door to introduce themselves to their neighbors at Hall’s Grocery. As they go out, Stan puts up a small sign stating that they will be back in a few minutes”and no sooner do they leave than a customer comes in. It’s once they go next door that the major conflict of the short film is revealed. (more…)
Chickens Come Home (1931) – Laurel and Hardy short film, starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Thelma Todd, Mae Busch, James Finlayson
Chickens Come Home is a very funny Laurel and Hardy short film, where Oliver Hardy plays a successful businessman (running a “high class” fertilizer business), with a loving and beautiful wife (played by Thelma Todd), who’s running a successful campaign to become mayor. All seems to be going well for Oliver, until a former girlfriend (Mae Busch) shows up, to blackmail him with a “scandalous” photograph of her and Ollie at the beach, taken during his “gilded youth…my primrose days…before I was married.” (more…)
movie review for Laurel and Hardy‘s first speaking film, Unaccustomed As We Are (1929) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch, Thelma Todd, Edgar Kennedy
Unaccustomed As We Are is remembered primarily as the first talking film by the great comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy, and this is correct. However, it’s also a very funny short film in its’ own right. The basic plot has Oliver Hardy bringing his friend, Stan Laurel, home to dinner, unannounced. His wife, played by Laurel and Hardy regular Mae Busch, is none too pleased, and after a short, furious, and funny fight, she walks out, leaving Oliver to cook the meal for Stan.
Ollie, however, hasn’t the first clue on how to cook, and after a ‘slight accident’ that involves exploding the gas stove in the kitchen, Oliver’s pretty neighbor, Mrs. Kennedy (played by the lovely Thelma Todd) volunteers to help — only for her dress to be damaged.