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Author Topic: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 2831 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: March 15, 2015, 06:31:11 PM »
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  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0019079/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
    http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_142_Leave-Em-Laughing
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/leavlaff.html

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KG5lDSzJW_8

    Watch LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING in the link above



          Don't know how many of you guys are fans of the show FRIENDS.  I can tolerate it, but my brother is a huge fan.  Anyway, the Laurel and Hardy poster on that show, pictured above, is from this short.  Considering the popularity of FRIENDS, I think it's safe to say that poster is most seen image of Laurel and Hardy over the past twenty years.

          My overall opinion of LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING is pretty simple.  It's an overall good short, but every idea in it was done better in later Laurel and Hardy films.  The idea of Ollie taking care of an ailing Stan overnight and getting a lack of sleep?  Developed much better in THEY GO BOOM.  The idea of extended laughter between Stan and Ollie?  Works better with sound in BLOTTO.  A crazy multi car traffic stopping slapstick incident?  Done better in TWO TARS.  The reciprocal slapstick done with Charlie Hall?  Too many better examples to mention.  It's not that anything is done badly here, it's just a feeling this a warm up for better things to come.

          From a Stooge perspective, some interesting similarities with I CAN HARDLY WAIT.  Before we get to those, let it be known, surprise, surprise, that Clyde Bruckman was involved in both shorts!  We do get some tooth pulling gags similar between both films, and once they're in the dentist's office, the first dentist struggles with Stan, the actual patient.  When the exhausted dentist leaves to get another dentist to handle this case, Oliver sits in the chair and shows Stan how easy it is to relax.  The new dentist comes in, sees Oliver in the chair and thinking he is the patient, pulls Oliver's tooth out.  Sound familiar?  Replace Stan as Curly and Oliver as Moe.

          One thing that strikes me is how wonderful the close-ups of Stan and Ollie are here.  Those comically pained expressions on Stan's face whenever his cheek gets touched with the aching tooth are priceless as are the close-ups of Oliver as he is lying in bed thinking Stan is wetting the bed like a child on him.  Those faces and their expressiveness are one of the several things that make Stan and Ollie stand out from average comedians.

          I also want to mention once Stan and Ollie are reduced to nothing but laughter, it is Edgar Kennedy and his angry reactions that stand out.  Stan and Ollie are playing one note of laughter at this point, it is Edgar who slowly burns up into anger, getting his pants down in the middle of the street while directing traffic.  Oh, and those classic Hal Roach mud puddles I mentioned in PUTTING PANTS ON PHILIP?  Another great one ends this short.

    8/10




    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: March 15, 2015, 09:33:55 PM »
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  • I would like to participate more in these discussions, but the truth is I've seen very few L&H silents,  the only ones I can remember being Big Business, Two Tars, The Finishing Touch, the Youngson BOTC, and the pseudo L&H A Pair of Tights.  They're all great, but still very hard to find.  I'm guessing that a lot of other potential contributors are in the same boat as me.  I'm pretty good with the talkies, and I hope I can contribute more intelligently.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: March 15, 2015, 09:41:16 PM »
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  • I would like to participate more in these discussions, but the truth is I've seen very few L&H silents,  the only ones I can remember being Big Business, Two Tars, The Finishing Touch, the Youngson BOTC, and the pseudo L&H A Pair of Tights.  They're all great, but still very hard to find.  I'm guessing that a lot of other potential contributors are in the same boat as me.  I'm pretty good with the talkies, and I hope I can contribute more intelligently.

    THE FINISHING TOUCH is next week, really looking forward to that one!

    I do provide YouTube links to these films for those who haven't seen them, though I can perhaps understand if someone were to feel that's not the ideal way to view these shorts.  The irony is when I bought the silent Laurel and Hardy DVD's over ten years ago, they were easier to find than the talkies.  The tides have definitely turned as far as that goes.  The silents are available, but expensive and grouped into nine DVD's.

    The talkies will be discussed in about four months or thereabouts.  I thought about starting there for the very reasons you mentioned, but decided against it at the last minute because the silents are an important part of the story.  Hey, I'm enjoying myself watching these, they're good shorts.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 05:29:38 AM »
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  • I'll give this a shot and see if I like it.
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 09:10:03 AM »
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  • I'll give this a shot and see if I like it.

    Cool!

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 04:07:25 PM »
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  • It was OK.  I am no expert, so I cannot judge their later works, but the music just didn't do enough.  As far as silent films are concerned, I like Chapin and Keaton better, but I will tag along for the ride, say little, and say more when we get to the talkies.

    But I like Hardy better than Laurel.  Laurel is a bit... foppish... for my tastes, which makes sense since he's English :P
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 04:29:43 PM »
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  • I'll agree there.  I know that Laurel was unquestionably the brains of the outfit, but Hardy is the one I watch.  I know that the proposition was at least as impossible then as it is now,  that a comedian deserves the Oscar,  but in a fairer world, Oliver Hardy, solo, should have won Best Actor for Sons of the Desert.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 09:02:07 PM »
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  • It was OK.  I am no expert, so I cannot judge their later works, but the music just didn't do enough.  As far as silent films are concerned, I like Chapin and Keaton better, but I will tag along for the ride, say little, and say more when we get to the talkies.

    But I like Hardy better than Laurel.  Laurel is a bit... foppish... for my tastes, which makes sense since he's English :P

    Paul, first off, I'm glad you watched, thank you.  Secondly, LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING, while a good film, and even better if one is already a fan, is not Laurel and Hardy at their best. It would be like showing WHAT'S THE MATADOR, or whatever you define as a merely average Stooge short, as an intro.  Next week's film, THE FINISHING TOUCH, is way better.  One thing Laurel and Hardy have in common with The Three Stooges is when tools are in the area, they are in their comic element.

    You also mentioned the music.  Music in silent films can make or break a film.  I own some silent films with several different soundtrack options.

    Also, you mentioned Keaton.  Ironically, when praising Laurel and Hardy (he was a huge fan), he once described the plot of LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING, stating all they need is a simple premise to be funny.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 09:13:31 PM »
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  • I'll agree there.  I know that Laurel was unquestionably the brains of the outfit, but Hardy is the one I watch.  I know that the proposition was at least as impossible as it is now,  that a comedian deserves the Oscar,  but in a fairer world, Oliver Hardy, solo, should have won Best Actor for Sons of the Desert.

    I will keep that Oliver Hardy comment in mind when watching SONS OF THE DESERT.  He was a wonderful actor, there's no doubt.  I believe if he never found his star with Stan, he would've done well in talkies and had a nice little career the way Vernon Dent did as a comic foil for other comedians.  That's the path he was on before he met Stan.  His comic pain screams are the best in the business, he can take pratfalls in spite of his size, and his glances into the camera are classic.

    I like Stan's character too, though I can see how he's not for everyone.  He's a bit otherworldly, but I love the chemistry that character has with Ollie.  The two, for the most part, come across as genuine friends on screen.  The Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, Wheeler and Woolsey...I enjoy them all, but the friendship is not there, it's a very unique chemistry Stan and Ollie had on screen. It's funny, I've been watching a ton of Stan's solo shorts as of late before he teamed with Ollie, and he would change character types in his starring vehicles every other film.  He'd be overly aggressive and hyper one film, then shy and idiotic the next.  This went on for almost ten years!  It's like he needed Oliver Hardy to find his screen character.

    Offline Shemp_is_Awesome78

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 06:51:22 AM »
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  •  Sorry that I haven't been posting in the discussions lately.. I'll try to add contributions to Out West, Putting Pants on Phillip, and Leave 'Em Laughing soon. ( I remember seeing the movie in question on this thread, actually.. It was part of a Hulu collection, and it was probably part of some Robert Youngson compilation that I enjoy seeing.)
    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 Paul Pain

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 01:42:07 PM »
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  • I will keep that Oliver Hardy comment in mind when watching SONS OF THE DESERT.  He was a wonderful actor, there's no doubt.  I believe if he never found his star with Stan, he would've done well in talkies and had a nice little career the way Vernon Dent did as a comic foil for other comedians.  That's the path he was on before he met Stan.  His comic pain screams are the best in the business, he can take pratfalls in spite of his size, and his glances into the camera are classic.

    I like Stan's character too, though I can see how he's not for everyone.  He's a bit otherworldly, but I love the chemistry that character has with Ollie.  The two, for the most part, come across as genuine friends on screen.  The Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, Wheeler and Woolsey...I enjoy them all, but the friendship is not there, it's a very unique chemistry Stan and Ollie had on screen. It's funny, I've been watching a ton of Stan's solo shorts as of late before he teamed with Ollie, and he would change character types in his starring vehicles every other film.  He'd be overly aggressive and hyper one film, then shy and idiotic the next.  This went on for almost ten years!  It's like he needed Oliver Hardy to find his screen character.

    I'd say it's pretty obvious that Moe, Curly, and Shemp were all siblings.  I can't speak for any of the other comic duos you mention... yet.
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    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #11 on: March 17, 2015, 01:49:45 PM »
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  • FWIW, the Ritz brothers were obviously siblings.  The Marxes tried to hide it with all the makeup.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #12 on: March 17, 2015, 03:37:26 PM »
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  • FWIW, the Ritz brothers were obviously siblings.  The Marxes tried to hide it with all the makeup.

    The Ritz Brothers were so obviously siblings that I can't tell them apart...look and behavior wise.  I can't think of another comedy team where I have this issue.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #13 on: March 17, 2015, 09:33:12 PM »
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  • The Olsen twins, maybe.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #14 on: June 28, 2015, 02:06:49 PM »
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  • Having some L&H under my belt, I better appreciate this short.  My secret: I watch them muted.  I thoroughly enjoyed the doctors office, and I have noticed (even without you pointing it out) that Clyde Bruckman is heavily involved in most of these, much as Del Lord is for the Stooges.  Stan and Ollie stay a bit unreasonably high on the laughing gas for an unreasonably long time, spoken as a person who is immune to laughing gas and once had a VERY painful dental appointment as a result.

    And of course, the car-sized mud puddle... 8/10
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Leave 'Em Laughing (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #15 on: April 25, 2017, 09:18:22 PM »
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  • I agree with the consensus here. It's good, but not great. I don't think there's anything that really stands out during the sequences at home or at the dentist, but it's not devoid of humor at all. Stan and Ollie do have funny expressions when they get a chance and there is some nice energy when Laurel is trying to get out of his appointment.

    The best part of this short for me is easily Edgar Kennedy. His overall anger and confusion at Laurel and Hardy as they are constantly laughing and ruining traffic is very entertaining to watch. That mud puddle at the end, of course, helps as well.

    8 out of 10