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Author Topic: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 1588 times)

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Offline metaldams

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The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: March 22, 2015, 07:57:54 PM »
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  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018890/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
    http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_157_The-Finishing-Touch
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/finishing.html

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Xlmghh41yWA

    Watch THE FINISHING TOUCH in the link above



          One thing Laurel and Hardy and The Three Stooges have in common is whenever they are around tools comically destructive results happen.  THE FINISHING TOUCH is the first such film for Laurel and Hardy, and it is definitely a classic.  There's really not too much to say about this one because it's so simple.  The plot involves Stan and Ollie having to build a house for a man by Monday in order to earn $500.  They are doing so across the street from a hospital that involves quiet, so a pretty nurse, played by Dorothy Coburn, occasionally reprimands them, and when she's not, it is the job of a cop, played by Edgar Kennedy, to do so.  Needless to say, all involved get put in several different slapstick comedy situations that involve very little plot and very many failed attempts at building a house.

          Some random things I love about this short are Ollie putting the nails in his mouth, only to fall down in some various way and swallow them.  By the third time he does it, my reaction is, "Oh no, I can't believe he hasn't learned his lesson yet!"  I have no idea how nails digest, but for Ollie's sake, I hope easily, because if not, he's in for some pain.

          Stan Laurel gets some nice bits as well.  Watching him decimate a window sill methodically is fun, and his pantomime skills are wonderfully displayed when he fails to saw a board and keep his hat from falling off his head at the same time.  Of course, at one point the hat accidentally becomes a saw!

          There are also some nice ways gags reoccur.  For example, very early in the film their truck seems to go in reverse and cause comic mayhem, so in order to prevent this, they put a rock underneath the back tire to keep the truck still.  One of the last gags in the film, twenty minutes later, ties into this first gag very well.  There's also several shots of Ollie walking on a plank to get to the elevated porch, and Ollie has the plank break from under him resulting in some very funny falls.  The last time they do this gag in the film there is a great variation on this gag, which I won't give away.  Also, the animated bird flying into and breaking the chimney at the end?  Pure gold.  Another great bit is the super glue falling on Edgar Kennedy, followed by the planks which manage to stick to him.  He looks and moves like some slapstick FRANKENSTEIN monster.

          Overall, just a very funny, simple, and satisfying slapstick comedy with no frills.  If you want to see grown men fall down and find various ways to destroy a house, you've come to the right place.

    10/10





    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 10:14:46 PM »
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  • Bump, because this short is too good not to get a response.

    (Assumes Paul Stanley voice). C'mawn peeeee-pull!  Now I KNOW...you can do better than this.

    Offline luke795

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    Re: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 11:00:20 PM »
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  • I like the first time when Stan takes the board away and then Ollie falls down and brakes the door.  Then the time when Stan takes the box away to put the window in and the Ollie falls down again with nails in his mouth.  The final time Ollie runs across the board with the door and the whole porch falls down is a great scene too.  The final scene when Stan and Ollie remove the rock from under the tire of their truck and then the truck backs into the house and destroys it is the best scene.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 01:23:15 PM »
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  • The dialog cards in this one and some others I've seen have Ollie speaking as a real roughneck.  It must have been a surprise in Unaccustomed As We Are to hear him speak in such a genteel way.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: April 17, 2015, 11:00:04 PM »
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  • The dialog cards in this one and some others I've seen have Ollie speaking as a real roughneck.  It must have been a surprise in Unaccustomed As We Are to hear him speak in such a genteel way.

    I saw a Larry Semon comedy recently, THE PERFECT CLOWN, which had Oliver Hardy as a landlord angrily trying to get his rent.  For the life of me, I could not picture the Ollie we all know and love speaking like the dialogue cards and acting like this character.  Then again, I gotta realize Ollie was a character actor in silent films at this point and not the character actor we all know.

    The mannerisms from a pantomime point of view in most of these shorts feel like pure Ollie, though.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 10:27:55 AM »
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  • No, Hardy didn't change anything, just the dialog cards disappeared.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: June 26, 2015, 01:08:38 PM »
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  • I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

    It was nice to see Dorothy Coburn's hospital pack up and leave.  The moment I saw the sign "Hospital Quiet" and her talking to Edgar Kennedy, I thought "She has no legal right to 'quiet' just because it's a hospital."  Stan and Ollie did a fantastic job with Stan making the tearing sound and Ollie's "16 kilometers!"

    This is the same kind of destruction that makes JERKS OF ALL TRADES great.  10/10
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 05:21:26 PM »
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  • This was definitely an improvement over LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING, thanks to the constant destruction mixed with a very interesting premise of having to do it quietly. Throw in what I considered to be LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING's highlight, Edgar Kennedy, and we get a wonderful two-reeler.

    What can I add that hasn't already been said? Well, I'll start by once again giving praise to Kennedy for his presence. His reactions to Laurel and Hardy once again make for a lot of funny moments. Whether it be simple confusion from seeing Laurel with a giant piece of wood or surprise from building materials suddenly falling on him, he makes for a great occasional break from the leading comedians, who also do a very good job with the material that they have.

    One thing that I really like is how it goes out of its way to build-up certain gags. For example, there's a scene where Hardy is standing on a plank trying to paint the roof and Laurel ends up cutting it. I was expecting him to cut it and for Hardy to fall down right away, but it instead shows Laurel's own struggles with both his hat and the saw. I really like that, as I think it adds a lot of build-up to this gag, as we slowly wait for the inevitable. Another good example of this is the final gag of Hardy walking on the plank to get to the porch.

    Even after they finally finish the house, we still get treated to one final fight, in which Laurel and Hardy try to keep the money away from the owner through various means, including playing a game of football with it, ending in even more destruction than expected. I was laughing throughout and am looking forward to more in the future.

    10 out of 10

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: The Finishing Touch (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 07:36:00 PM »
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  • This was definitely an improvement over LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING, thanks to the constant destruction mixed with a very interesting premise of having to do it quietly. Throw in what I considered to be LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING's highlight, Edgar Kennedy, and we get a wonderful two-reeler.

    What can I add that hasn't already been said? Well, I'll start by once again giving praise to Kennedy for his presence. His reactions to Laurel and Hardy once again make for a lot of funny moments. Whether it be simple confusion from seeing Laurel with a giant piece of wood or surprise from building materials suddenly falling on him, he makes for a great occasional break from the leading comedians, who also do a very good job with the material that they have.

    One thing that I really like is how it goes out of its way to build-up certain gags. For example, there's a scene where Hardy is standing on a plank trying to paint the roof and Laurel ends up cutting it. I was expecting him to cut it and for Hardy to fall down right away, but it instead shows Laurel's own struggles with both his hat and the saw. I really like that, as I think it adds a lot of build-up to this gag, as we slowly wait for the inevitable. Another good example of this is the final gag of Hardy walking on the plank to get to the porch.

    Even after they finally finish the house, we still get treated to one final fight, in which Laurel and Hardy try to keep the money away from the owner through various means, including playing a game of football with it, ending in even more destruction than expected. I was laughing throughout and am looking forward to more in the future.

    10 out of 10

    Nice review.  I may get back to these sometime in the future, but not at the moment.  In the mean time, Laurel and Hardy + hammer and nails = funny.  Pretty much an equation that should be taught to all school children.