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Author Topic: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 2682 times)

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Offline metaldams

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The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: February 22, 2015, 06:34:15 PM »
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  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018368/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2
    http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_129_The-Second-Hundred-Years
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/second100.html



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

    Watch THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS in the link above

          Well, here we are the first "official" Laurel and Hardy film - I think.  A lot of sources claim this one, others, including Stan Laurel himself, say PUTTING PANTS ON PHILIP, and then when you throw in the release order of these early films, it gets even more confusing!  No matter, whether this is official or not, THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS, more than any film we've discussed so far, feels like a true Laurel and Hardy film.  Sure, since the boys are convicts, their heads are shaved, so they lack the standard look of DO DETECTIVES THINK?, but this entire short revolves around Stan and Ollie and features consistently great comedy.

          Early on, for the very first time, you get the idea Stan and Ollie are friends.  Ollie has a cigarette, and he passes the box onto Stan.  The box is empty for Stan, so Ollie, after gazing at the audience, decides to split his cigarette in half and give it to Stan.  This sharing and kindness is what makes the relationship of Stan and Ollie unique.  Bud Abbott would find a way to con Lou Costello out of his last dime and make him feel bad for wanting a cigarette, Moe would simply gouge Curly in the eye with the cigarette, but Stan and Ollie share.  Now they are not always this well behaved, but they are so enough to make them stand out from other comic teams.

          I do have some favorite bits here for sure.  The assembly line exercise scene is awesome.  I love the way all the prisoners are in synch except Stan Laurel, it makes a very funny visual image and the camera set up reminds me of something Buster Keaton would do.  Again, in this scene, like in WITH LOVE AND HISSES, Stan almost has his feelings hurts and cries towards authority instead of getting aggressive against them, an overgrown man child which no doubt has a tinge of Harry Langdon influence, a comedian Stan admired, (and much later on, teamed with Ollie himself in ZENOBIA).

           Once Stan and Ollie get out of jail by making their convict outfits look like painter uniforms by turning their clothes inside out, all they need to do is walk away and they'd escape.  Instead, whenever they see a cop, they feel as though they must act like painters, so they paint the town, literally.  The city streets, parked cars, lamp posts, windows, buildings, a girl's back side, nothing is safe from Stan and Ollie trying to show the cops they are painters.  Of course they're too dumb to realize they're just drawing attention to themselves, but the slow physical build up to the scene and the carefully timed destruction of property is in its early phase here, something we'll see plenty of over the years.  Oh, dig the great sign on one of the buildings they are painting, "Ice Cream Cohen."  Ethnic humor the likes you will never see today.  Oh, and I love the city streets and neighborhoods in this scene.

          My other favorite bit is Stan and Ollie at the dinner party.  Again, the way Ollie pantomimes to Stan to watch him pick up the olive properly, you can literally hear the talking Ollie do the same.  The highlight here is Stan trying to pick up the olive himself.  Not smart enough to simply use his hand for assistance, his utensil leads the olive all the way across the table and eventually down a ladie's dress and Jimmy Finlayson's eye.

          Overall, a very funny film, and the first truly great one where Stan and Ollie appear together.  This short doesn't get enough credit, but I see no reason not to give it a 10.  There'll be plenty more tens to come.

    10/10
    « Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 07:58:39 PM by metaldams »

    Offline Shemp_is_Awesome78

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 06:24:45 PM »
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  •  Let me add my usual 2 cents about this movie. The plot of this is that Stan and Oliver are in prison, and are planning out escape routes. They disguise themselves as painters, which actually works. At a party, they are thought of as the guests of honor, until everybody remembers that they belong in jail.
     Now, this is a good movie, and it develops what we would come to know as of Stan and Oliver, despite their shaved heads. They're them being them. You can obviously sense a good friendship between the two as Metal noted, which is important in a comedy duo. Even though Do Detectives Think? and Duck Soup did give them a good enough chance to know that there would be a future teaming, now they would know they would be sticking with it. Their screen personalities are fully developed.
     In the beginning, I find it funny when Stan and Ollie are trying to dig an escape route from prison, and water spouts out everywhere. They have to dig up, which Ollie does, only to land in the policeman's office. This scene is a perfect fit for L&H, and also for silent comedy. While this could've been done with sound, it probably wouldn't have been pulled off in sound.
     I have mixed feelings about the next scene. It is a good demonstration of prison comedy, but it just looks like Hardy is trying to play practical jokes on Laurel, which doesn't really fit the team. They don't pull tricks on each other, to get each other in trouble.
     Then, they try to escape and become painters. This is an EXCELLENT scene. They try to get away from the policemen by painting the sidewalk, a man's face, a girl's posterior, windows, anything you can imagine, they paint. This scene is funny because in real life, this plan would not be funny and would be considered a crime. However, the way Stan and Ollie do it makes it funny, they're that good of actors. Also, this is basically the definition of silent comedy in my head. The only thing I would add to this is a tit-for-tat battle with paint, because that would be a whole 'nother level of awesome.
     When Stan and Oliver are mistaken for guests of honor, you know something bad is going to happen. More so, under these circumstances.
     One thing I have to say about the whole chasing-the-cherry gag: While it is incredibly funny, it only lasts for a little bit. It wears off, and becomes continuous after a while to the point where you long for the end of the gag. However, that's probably just my opinion, so..
     Then, Stan and Ollie are shown the prison, the policemen remember them, there's not a happy ending, and we fade out. This movie is a good movie, because it develops many of the signature pieces of what we will see in later Laurel and Hardy silents. I'm going to go with Metaldams and rate this movie a perfect score. You should definitely find 20 minutes to watch this movie! See you in 4 days on the Stooges board to talk about the end of Curly and in 6 days to talk about Putting Pants on Phillip on this board!
    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: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 08:50:21 PM »
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  • I'm going to go with Metaldams and rate this movie a perfect score. You should definitely find 20 minutes to watch this movie!

    Good review, and listen to this man, folks.  Only 20 minutes of your time, and there's a YouTube link up there for a reason.  Laurel and Hardy newbies, I challenge you, click the link, watch and review, even if you just want to tell me these guys can't carry The Three Stooges jock straps.  Who knows, maybe you'll enjoy this.

    Some fun trivia.  The head shaving of this film led to Stan Laurel's wild hairdo.  As Stan's hair grew back, it grew back in the haphazard hairdo that became his trademark, so he decided to keep it that way.  Also, CALL OF THE CUCKOO, shot very shortly after this, has Stan and Ollie bald because of this film.

    Offline Shemp_is_Awesome78

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 02:47:47 PM »
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  • That's right. 20 minutes of your time, and believe me, it's worth it. Metaldams, thanks for all the links, by the way! I did not know that little piece of trivia. I thought it happened before L&H, when he had a solo career in silent films.

    (On a totally unrelated note, tomorrow I'll try to comment on the Marx Bros. films with Zeppo in them, because tomorrow happens to be Zeppo's birthday!)
    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 Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 07:46:11 PM »
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  • Their hair is still very short in Hats Off ( at least from what we see in the stills, since the actual film is lost ) which should be a clue to the order of production.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 08:07:19 PM »
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  • Their hair is still very short in Hats Off ( at least from what we see in the stills, since the actual film is lost ) which should be a clue to the order of production.


    Release date wise, HATS OFF is after this short and before PUTTING PANTS ON PHILIP.  This was also the filming order, which is not always the same as the release order, as I've come to learn in the past few weeks.  1929 will be confusing because some talkies were released before some silents!  I'm still debating whether or not to do all the silents first then talkies or mix them around and do strict release order.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 08:20:02 PM »
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  • Yeah, that makes sense, that would give their hair time to get back to normal for PPOP.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: June 28, 2015, 04:24:22 AM »
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  • Another dead link, but this time with no potential replacement part.
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    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: July 09, 2015, 11:57:16 AM »
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  • Well, I got to watch this one today.  Not much to add here.  But one cannot help but laugh when Stan and Ollie are shaking everyone's hands.
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #9 on: July 10, 2015, 10:29:28 AM »
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  • Well, I got to watch this one today.  Not much to add here.  But one cannot help but laugh when Stan and Ollie are shaking everyone's hands.

    Just curious, where did you see it?  I'm still having trouble finding an online link presently for this short.  Did you use a streaming service or do a better search than me?

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #10 on: July 10, 2015, 01:31:19 PM »
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  • A different person posted it on Youtube in response to the other one being dropped.  Fortunately, most of these SHOULD (but more often than not companies ignore this illegally) be public domain... by the time I'm 45 years old.

    While it lives:
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #11 on: April 11, 2017, 06:13:51 PM »
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  • I'll start by saying that I agree about that opening with the cigarette, which does give a better feeling of their friendship than in DUCK SOUP. Highlights of this short include the prison workout scene and the part where Laurel and Hardy go around painting everything in sight, including the engine to a car. My favorite part, though, is when Stan and Ollie arrive at the party and Ollie is kissed on the cheeks. Ollie's reaction is just priceless to me, expressing both confusion and anger at the same time over this random guy kissing him, and when he kisses James Finlayson, he nods his head almost out of vengeance.

    James Finlayson feels surprisingly wasted in this. Every now and then he has a reaction and there's the part with the olive, but otherwise he doesn't really do a whole lot. I also am not too fond of the olive gag either as I think it goes on for a bit too long. However, the short was definitely a big improvement over DUCK SOUP and hopefully it will continue to get better from here.

    9 out of 10

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #12 on: April 11, 2017, 06:18:40 PM »
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  • I'll start by saying that I agree about that opening with the cigarette, which does give a better feeling of their friendship than in DUCK SOUP. Highlights of this short include the prison workout scene and the part where Laurel and Hardy go around painting everything in sight, including the engine to a car. My favorite part, though, is when Stan and Ollie arrive at the party and Ollie is kissed on the cheeks. Ollie's reaction is just priceless to me, expressing both confusion and anger at the same time over this random guy kissing him, and when he kisses James Finlayson, he nods his head almost out of vengeance.

    James Finlayson feels surprisingly wasted in this. Every now and then he has a reaction and there's the part with the olive, but otherwise he doesn't really do a whole lot. I also am not too fond of the olive gag either as I think it goes on for a bit too long. However, the short was definitely a big improvement over DUCK SOUP and hopefully it will continue to get better from here.

    9 out of 10

    It's cool reading your reviews.  What struck me about these Laurel and Hardy silent is how much I enjoyed them upon reviewing them.  I always knew I liked them to an extent, but not as much as I do.  Keep watching them, it's a cool journey.  Maybe one of these days I'll get back to finishing this once Paul Pain finishes the Keaton stuff and can watch talkies again.

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Second Hundred Years (1927) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #13 on: April 12, 2017, 06:51:26 PM »
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  • It's cool reading your reviews.  What struck me about these Laurel and Hardy silent is how much I enjoyed them upon reviewing them.  I always knew I liked them to an extent, but not as much as I do.  Keep watching them, it's a cool journey.  Maybe one of these days I'll get back to finishing this once Paul Pain finishes the Keaton stuff and can watch talkies again.

    Thanks. I'm definitely looking forward to them.