Before I start my review, Metaldams, you mentioned the Robert Youngson compilation film. One funny story 'bout that: Robert found the full copy of the movie, but only picked out the pie fight out of the clips used, and he ended up throwing the rest of the film away. If only he had saved the full movie, we would've had a full movie to review!!
Noah Young.. I used to get freaked out by his menacing appearance in this movie. He's almost too menacing.. I mean, Jesus! All those close-up shots of Noah coming at the camera are scary! I used to think that it was a horror movie as a kid! His appearance totally detracts from all the wonderful comedy we could've gotten in this movie.
Stan vs. Noah.. You know who's going to win: Noah. Guess what? Stan actually beats Noah, except Stan messes up which kinda sucks, so then Noah wins, which allows it to be a Hal Roach comedy. In Hal Roach comedies, there sometimes aren't happy stuff, as with actual reality. Except, I was expecting Laurel to win! Come on, Hal!
Oliver Hardy does a great job as Laurel's manager. Something looks off about him, however.. I think he has a bit too much makeup on. BTW, Stan and Ollie seriously have great chemistry in this movie. You would've never guessed that they've only been working for a short amount of time.
Laurel and Hardy's great mannerisms are put to great use in the boxing sequence, especially Laurel: He takes so much time warming up comedically for the boxing match that overall, about half of the footage that is shown in a boxing stadium is actually the match.
Now, for some reason the pies completely take me away from the boxing footage and almost make the movie. Almost 3,000 pies were used, thus making it the biggest pie fight in silent film history.
Among the weirdest of the pie shots is the one where the man gets a pie to the face and falls into a garbage can, and then goes around jumping like a chimp. It honestly makes no sense to me, and I don't understand it. Also, when Ollie takes Stan out of the fight along with himself, Stan has less pies on his face than in the next shot.
Among the best pie shots is the one with Anita Garvin. Her pure embarrassment is just enough to make one laugh. It's a pretty funny shot, which I would easily call one of the best moments of Anita Garvin in a L&H movie.
Also, this pie battle would not have worked in sound because there is hardly any title cards used in the pie sequence. Also, because of the reactions. Certain pie fights would have been better suited to sound because they don't have weird reactions. When I think of silent pie fights, I think of weird reactions. This one has weird reactions, so it's better for a silent movie.
I think I read somewhere that one of the people that gets hit by a pie says h-e- double hockey sticks. However, I think I got that on IMDB and that it probably is not correct.. Oh, who cares?
So, my overall thoughts: A great film, that has a fantastic pie fight and a menacing villain that takes away from a bit of the comedy in the first half of the movie. Although this movie is partly lost, from what I've saw, this movie deserves a perfect score.