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Offline metaldams

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Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: February 15, 2015, 07:57:08 PM »
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  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017813/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
    http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_132_Do-Detectives-Think
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/dothink.html




    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mIv5WIY54Xw

    Watch DO DETECTIVES THINK? (1927) in the link above

          See the picture above?  Looks like Laurel and Hardy, right?  The suits, the hats, it's the classic image we have in mind of them.  That picture is taken from DO DETECTIVES THINK? and is the first time they have this image we all know.  Previously, they'd be butlers with slicked hair, in the army, as sailors, anything but the classic archetype.  Now, they finally look like Laurel and Hardy.  The next several films after this, they revert back to other looks, so as usual with the team's development, things are anything but linear.

          DO DETECTIVES THINK? is also the last film we will discuss that's not officially a Laurel and Hardy film.  It's another one of those Hal Roach All-Star creations, though in this case, the film of discussion plays 80% like a Laurel and Hardy comedy.  They unquestionably act like a team, entering the film together as two detectives on the same case and working together until the end.  I say 80% a Laurel and Hardy film because a bit more time than usual is dedicated to Jim Finlayson's judge character and the escaped convict, played by Noah Young, who is out for revenge on the judge for having sentenced him to death.  Still, plenty of Laurel and Hardy, more so than any film up until this point.

          Even though it's great to see what feels like real Laurel and Hardy, we're still in an embryonic state in the team's development, so there's only one scene where great Laurel and Hardy comedy is played out.  The great scene starts when they are walking by a very atmospheric graveyard.  A wind blows both of their hats into the graveyards, and they are both scared to go in, so they both push each other inside.  Eventually, there's a large grave making a shadow against the wall where the hats lie, and Stan slowly keeps trying to get his hat, only to be scared of his own shadow.  The pantomime plays funnier than it sounds in writing, but it's a great scene.  When they're outside the graveyard, the way Ollie is yelling at Stan and making hand gestures while Stan makes those facial expressions like he's crying - you can picture the way they sound, it's definitely the mannerisms of prime Stan and Ollie.  It makes me wonder how audiences of the time reacted to just their pantomime, not knowing how they sound.  Seeing the talkies, we know exactly what they sound like in this bit without hearing it, so I have to wonder how that effects our interpretation of the humor.  In any case, we're witnessing a big step in them gelling as a team here.

          Once they get out of the graveyard, they, for the very first time, do the classic bit where the each put on the wrong hat, try to give each other the correct hat, only to somehow manage putting on the wrong hat.  Again, it's physical comedy, funnier in execution than me writing it, but watching them do this routine, I feel like I'm watching Laurel and Hardy.

          As for the rest of the film, nothing special to write home about.  The escaped killer basically chases everyone around the house, eventually Jim Finlayson gets some funny mask on the back of his head and a sheet around him that makes him look like a ghost, and a lot of running around takes place.  The great stuff mentioned above definitely makes this film a must see and is historically important, but taken as a whole, this is just an average comedy.

          This will be the last of our Laurel and Hardy spring training discussions, starting next week, we discuss actual films made with the intent of being Laurel and Hardy films.  Finally!

    7/10
    « Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 08:01:37 PM by metaldams »

    Offline Shemp_is_Awesome78

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 08:47:12 PM »
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  •  I can't believe I'm saying this, but this movie has a not comedic villain, which doesn't deserve to make it a comedy. Don't get me wrong, Noah Young does a terrific job playing the villain, except he's too much of a bad guy which doesn't play well in a comedy, especially a Hal Roach comedy. Honestly, I really wanted to like this.. I really did! But, I just don't.. It doesn't play well..
     What's the plot? " The Tipton Slasher" plans an evil plot to escape from jail and Stan and Oliver, detectives, are supposed to get the Tipton Slasher with violent, disastrious results. When the Slasher pulls out a very violent knife, you know that this isn't a comedy.
     Stan and Ollie do a fine job, they really do, and everybody does a fine job! Except, it's just ruined by a sort of a weird plot involving The Tipton Slasher trying to get away with murder. I know the Laurel and Hardy characters were developing, except it still doesn't feel like it belongs here and would've been better suited in the movie Sugar Daddies.
     Speaking of Stan and Ollie, you can tell that some of their trademark characteristics are starting to flow in, including the derby hats. One of the fantastic scenes in this involve Stan and Oliver just switching off hats, except they keep getting the wrong hat, and it feels like it will never stop! While funny at one time, after about 4/5 into the way of it, it starts getting a bit irritating, for some weird reason.
     Then, of course, there's " Fin" as L&H fans call him. James Finlayson does a remarkable job, as always, but something seems off about him... I don't know why..
     Honestly, this movie feels like it could've gotten away with a lot more.. While this doesn't suit a whole movie, it could suit several parts of this movie with other short little comedic bits worked in throughout the film to make this actually a decent picture. Again, it's not the actors' faults, it's just they're trying to take too much advantage of the villain.
     Well, anyways, I know this is a short review, except I'm going to go and look at other things on this board. Until next week, bye! See you when we discuss Three Little Pirates on the Stooge board and The Second 100 Years on this board! ( Metaldams, I have a question: When we're done with the Stooges discussions, yet we're not done with the L&H discussions, will we go and start the Buster Keaton discussions to take place with the Stooge boards, and The Little Rascals/Our Gang boards to take place for the L&H discussions?)
     
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    Offline Shemp_is_Awesome78

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: February 15, 2015, 08:48:36 PM »
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  •  Oh, and for my overall rating, I'm going to go just a bit under Metal's rating and rate this movie a 6.5. In other words, I do not recommend watching this movie, except for the historic value, because at times this movie drags slow.
    Abbottt: Stop smoking in here, Costello!
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 08:32:29 PM »
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  • I can't believe I'm saying this, but this movie has a not comedic villain, which doesn't deserve to make it a comedy. Don't get me wrong, Noah Young does a terrific job playing the villain, except he's too much of a bad guy which doesn't play well in a comedy, especially a Hal Roach comedy. Honestly, I really wanted to like this.. I really did! But, I just don't.. It doesn't play well..
     What's the plot? " The Tipton Slasher" plans an evil plot to escape from jail and Stan and Oliver, detectives, are supposed to get the Tipton Slasher with violent, disastrious results. When the Slasher pulls out a very violent knife, you know that this isn't a comedy.
     Stan and Ollie do a fine job, they really do, and everybody does a fine job! Except, it's just ruined by a sort of a weird plot involving The Tipton Slasher trying to get away with murder. I know the Laurel and Hardy characters were developing, except it still doesn't feel like it belongs here and would've been better suited in the movie Sugar Daddies.
     Speaking of Stan and Ollie, you can tell that some of their trademark characteristics are starting to flow in, including the derby hats. One of the fantastic scenes in this involve Stan and Oliver just switching off hats, except they keep getting the wrong hat, and it feels like it will never stop! While funny at one time, after about 4/5 into the way of it, it starts getting a bit irritating, for some weird reason.
     Then, of course, there's " Fin" as L&H fans call him. James Finlayson does a remarkable job, as always, but something seems off about him... I don't know why..
     Honestly, this movie feels like it could've gotten away with a lot more.. While this doesn't suit a whole movie, it could suit several parts of this movie with other short little comedic bits worked in throughout the film to make this actually a decent picture. Again, it's not the actors' faults, it's just they're trying to take too much advantage of the villain.
     Well, anyways, I know this is a short review, except I'm going to go and look at other things on this board. Until next week, bye! See you when we discuss Three Little Pirates on the Stooge board and The Second 100 Years on this board! ( Metaldams, I have a question: When we're done with the Stooges discussions, yet we're not done with the L&H discussions, will we go and start the Buster Keaton discussions to take place with the Stooge boards, and The Little Rascals/Our Gang boards to take place for the L&H discussions?)

        I might agree with you about how perhaps the murder concept takes away from the comedy, though I feel Noah Young kind of overplays a bit to be taken too seriously.  I don't know, hard to put my finger on it, there are Stooge shorts, like DOPEY DICKS and THREE ARABIAN NUTS where murder and decapitation are big themes and I love them, so it's hard to say.  All I know is Stan, Ollie, and the graveyard make this short.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: February 21, 2015, 03:37:51 PM »
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  • The bowlers appear here because they were traditional headgear for detectives at that time, almost a badge of authority like a sheriff's Stetson.  I think I even remember some private eyes wearing bowlers in the stooge shorts ( I can't pin down any specific titles ) even though by the '30's men's fashion in general had moved to the fedora.  L & H's keeping the derbies forever after was a stroke of genius that made them iconic, motivation unknown, though by the '40's they were wearing a lot of fedoras as well.

    Offline Shemp_is_Awesome78

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: February 22, 2015, 03:31:17 PM »
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  • I'm pumped up to review The Second Hundred Years tonight!! I have seen scenes of the movie from some Robert Youngson L&H compilations, but have sadly not seen the movie as a whole.
    Abbottt: Stop smoking in here, Costello!
    Costello: What makes you think I'm smoking?
    Abbott: You have a cigar in your mouth!
    Costello: I got my shoes on, but I'm not walking!

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: February 22, 2015, 03:41:08 PM »
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  • I'm pumped up to review The Second Hundred Years tonight!! I have seen scenes of the movie from some Robert Youngson L&H compilations, but have sadly not seen the movie as a whole.

    It will be up in a few hours, I'm looking forward to it as well!  Do you watch these shorts from the YouTube links I supply?

    Offline Shemp_is_Awesome78

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: February 22, 2015, 03:48:05 PM »
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  • It will be up in a few hours, I'm looking forward to it as well!  Do you watch these shorts from the YouTube links I supply?
    Yes, with L&H. When we get to the sound shorts, I'll use the Essential Collection DVD that I have. With the Stooge discussions, I watch the shorts on DVDs.
    Abbottt: Stop smoking in here, Costello!
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 03:49:37 PM »
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  • Yes, with L&H. When we get to the sound shorts, I'll use the Essential Collection DVD that I have. With the Stooge discussions, I watch the shorts on DVDs.

    Cool, I'm glad those links are serving their purpose for at least one person.

    Offline Shemp_is_Awesome78

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #9 on: February 22, 2015, 03:51:01 PM »
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  • Cool, I'm glad those links are serving their purpose for at least one person.
    No, I bet they serve their purpose for many people! Alright,  [focus]
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    Abbott: You have a cigar in your mouth!
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    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #10 on: June 27, 2015, 06:38:45 PM »
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  • New link because the other one got pulled:
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #11 on: June 27, 2015, 07:07:48 PM »
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  • New link because the other one got pulled:


    Oy vey, they seen to be pulling a lot of these, and like I stated, collecting these silents on DVD, while possible, aren't exactly cheap and convenient.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #12 on: June 28, 2015, 04:32:56 AM »
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  • I actually found a lot of humor in this short, but one must be observant.  While the plot is depressing, the faces Noah Young makes are absolutely precious, making the comedic nature of this obvious.  Stan and Ollie are fabulous with the switched-hat gag, finding new ways to mess up every time, including at the end.  I was surprised to see Stan act intelligent and be the hero, but whenever one of these two acts intelligent, it's usually Stan, but it's still weird.  Nevertheless, the opening scenes are a bit creepy in spite of Jim Finlayson's faces.

    Another insinuation of nudity here with Fin in the bathtub, in addition to his cover sheet.  The only drag was the scene in the detective office, aside from the associated title cards.

    8/10
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    Offline CurlyFan1934

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #13 on: July 26, 2016, 11:03:21 AM »
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  • Alright, I know that I have reviewed this movie as Shemp_is_Awesome78 but now since I have a new account and since I've been watching a ton of Laurel and Hardy films lately, I figured that I would shed some new light on these Laurel and Hardy silent movies, since nobody else seems to be doing much of that lately. Hopefully, this might spark some discussion. Anyways, enough about that. Let's get on to the review!

    Going into this movie with the thoughts that I had about it a year-and-a-half ago, I expected to maintain these thoughts. I was pleasantly surprised, however. I don't know what it was, but it hit me that this comedy is good. Not great, but merely good.

    This is an All-Star comedy, which means that Hal Roach was merely using the names of once-famous stars to get these two-reelers booked into theaters. So, while Laurel and Hardy are the main point of focus in this film, Noah Young, Jimmy Finlayson, and Viola Richard also gain considerable interest into the minds of the audience.

    What's the plot of this movie? The "Tipton Slasher" (Noah Young) has escaped from jail, and Judge Foozle (Jimmy Finlayson) hires his two best detectives (Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy) to hunt down Slasher. After some amusing scenes involving Stan and Ollie in a graveyard, they report back to Foozles' house to go to sleep. However, the Tipton Slasher makes his way in as a butler, and for the rest of the movie it's basically a madcap caper.

    While it's a pretty generic plot, the cast makes the best of it in the scenes that they are in, especially Stan and Oliver. They weren't officially a team yet, so they do not have the same chemistry that they would employ in later films, but it's close enough. The graveyard scene comes to mind. Speaking of the graveyard scene, it's pretty hilarious. Stan has to go into the graveyard to retrieve Stan and Ollie's hats, but he ends up being afraid of his own shadow and leaving every time. He finally works up the nerve to do it, and then they go into their famous "Never-Ending Hat-Switching Routine" which always gets a chuckle.

    Noah Young definitely overplays the villain part, but he makes up for it in his creepy yet funny facial expressions. Jimmy Finlayson as always makes a hilarious performance as the Judge, and definitely has chemistry with Stan and Ollie. I've seen a little bit of Viola Richard (Sailors, Beware! and Why Girls Love Sailors come to mind), and she gives an amusing performance as the Judge's wife.

    After much debating, I have decided that this delightful little short deserves a little bit better than what I have previously ranked it, so it is clocking in at an 8/10 instead of my rating a year-and-a-half ago of 6.5/10.

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Do Detectives Think? (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #14 on: April 12, 2017, 07:19:31 PM »
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  • I really liked this one. Regarding James Finlayson, I've always liked him and I think he has some pretty good reactions in this one. As for Noah Young, I think he makes a pretty good villain. I find that smile he does when he is about to get Laurel in particular to be really funny. He's overplayed, but I think in a good way that makes it funnier than usual.

    The graveyard scene, of course, is fantastic, and the switching hats gag is a classic. I still like it even when they get to the house. I like Hardy's failed attempt to show off his shooting skills and, once again, Finlayson has funny reactions when it comes to Noah Young's character. Laurel and Hardy also get some moments during the chase as well, such as Hardy accidentally being handcuffed instead of the Tipton Slasher. The scenes in the detective office aren't great, but at least we get some funny H.M. Walker title cards during it.

    I honestly don't have any problems with this short. I think it's a very funny short and am happy to give it a 10.

    10 out of 10