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Author Topic: Early To Bed (1928) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 1236 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Early To Bed (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: April 24, 2015, 08:38:06 PM »
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  • http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018860/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
    http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_140_Early-To-Bed
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/earlybed.html

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=El-p_TVoAH4

    Watch EARLY TO BED in the link above



          You guys know the way The Three Stooges had the occasional experimental film like HE COOKED HIS GOOSE or SELF-MADE MAIDS with varied results?  The same can be said of Laurel and Hardy, and EARLY TO BED is the first film where their characters were fairly established that I would consider experimental.  If you are new to Laurel and Hardy, do not start here, this film is very atypical.  For me, as a long time fan, while admitting this is not a great Laurel and Hardy film, I happen to be one hundred percent fascinated by what I'm watching.

          First off, I should state the most obvious thing in that Stan and Ollie are the only two human actors in this entire film (there's a dog too).  The premise is simple - Ollie runs into inheritance money from his uncle, gets a big house and hires Stan as his butler.  Ollie comes home drunk one night, Stan tries to get a drunk Ollie to bed (to make sure Ollie gets rest, you pervs) - with failed results due to Ollie's childish resistance.  Stan gets hurt Ollie won't let him do his duty getting Ollie some rest, tries to leave the next morning, and Ollie won't let him.

          As I hope I do a good job of explaining above, and has been stated by others, this film is about the relationship between the characters of Stan and Ollie.  One fascinating bit is early on when Ollie finds out he had money, Stan breaks down in tears because he's afraid Ollie will abandon him!  It's as if he needs Ollie!  Still, the relationship, to me, is almost in reverse of what it would be in later years.  One of Ollie's most asked questions of Stan in later years is, "Why don't you do something to help me?"  It's as if Ollie has to always ask for Stan's help.  Here it's the reverse, as all Stan wants to do is help Ollie, and Ollie acts uncharacteristically childish in the way he responds to Stan's help.  Yes, Ollie is drunk, but he acts the same childish way the next morning, when you'd think he would have sobered up by now.

          A completely fascinating film, but I think you have to be a fan first.

    8/10







    Offline luke795

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    Re: Early To Bed (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: April 25, 2015, 10:43:19 AM »
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  • I just like it when they start destroying the house.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Early To Bed (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: April 25, 2015, 09:44:28 PM »
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  • I just like it when they start destroying the house.

    Agreed, and the close-ups of Stan Laurel "foaming" at the the mouth combined with the title card about him needing blood has to stand as one of the more wonderfully bizarre Laurel and Hardy moments.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Early To Bed (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: June 27, 2015, 05:01:34 PM »
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  • The link to this one was pulled for copyright rules as well, leaving me having to watch it in Italian, which I fortunately understood enough (more later).

    This one is only funny because I have watched enough of these to appreciate their individual characters... and it's just weird in this one with Ollie being an overweight man-child and Stan being the straight man on the most part.  Nevertheless, the execution was perfect, but it leaves an odd taste in the mouth.  I appreciate the way Stan initially tried to behave normal to Ollie's immaturity, but he then eventually reaches comedic rage.  Stan using the "foaming at the mouth" to scare Ollie was precious, though.

    Some quotes that got made interesting by the Italian...

    "Ti nominerĂ³ mi maggiordomo" = "I nominate you as my manservant" in the opening park bench scene.
    "Voglio sangue!  Sangue caldo!" = "I want blood!  Hot blood!" when Stan has the frosting on his face.

    Strange... 9/10
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    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Early To Bed (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: June 27, 2015, 05:47:07 PM »
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  • The link to this one was pulled for copyright rules as well, leaving me having to watch it in Italian, which I fortunately understood enough (more later).

    This one is only funny because I have watched enough of these to appreciate their individual characters... and it's just weird in this one with Ollie being an overweight man-child and Stan being the straight man on the most part.  Nevertheless, the execution was perfect, but it leaves an odd taste in the mouth.  I appreciate the way Stan initially tried to behave normal to Ollie's immaturity, but he then eventually reaches comedic rage.  Stan using the "foaming at the mouth" to scare Ollie was precious, though.

    Some quotes that got made interesting by the Italian...

    "Ti nominerĂ³ mi maggiordomo" = "I nominate you as my manservant" in the opening park bench scene.
    "Voglio sangue!  Sangue caldo!" = "I want blood!  Hot blood!" when Stan has the frosting on his face.

    Strange... 9/10

    You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one, and I'm glad you watched this one later.  I made it a point to state in my review not to start here, because I know there are some people on this site not versed in Laurel and Hardy.

    You're also correct about the "blood" line translation as well, that is what is said in English.  Speaking of foreign languages, with the early talkies, Stan and Ollie made several different versions of the same short in different languages with different casts.  Sometimes exclusive gags would even appear in the foreign language versions.  Stan and Ollie literally learned their lines phonetically in the foreign language versions. This was a common Hollywood practice in the early talkie days before dubbing and subtitles.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Early To Bed (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: June 27, 2015, 05:55:29 PM »
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  • You pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one, and I'm glad you watched this one later.  I made it a point to state in my review not to start here, because I know there are some people on this site not versed in Laurel and Hardy.

    You're also correct about the "blood" line translation as well, that is what is said in English.  Speaking of foreign languages, with the early talkies, Stan and Ollie made several different versions of the same short in different languages with different casts.  Sometimes exclusive gags would even appear in the foreign language versions.  Stan and Ollie literally learned their lines phonetically in the foreign language versions. This was a common Hollywood practice in the early talkie days before dubbing and subtitles.

    Well, this one was obviously in English, based on my lip reading, but title cards in Italian was quite interesting as I finished that class over 3 years ago!
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Early To Bed (1928) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 10:59:23 PM »
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  • As far as experiments go, it's not the worst, but there is just a bit of awkward characterization in it that's not just from the fact that it is a role-reversal. For example, there's this one scene where Laurel is crying about how he just wanted to do his job. He does the famous Laurel cry, but it's hard to laugh at because of how the situation is set up and the fact that Hardy actually does seem to realize for a second that he went too far. For a second, it seems like they're actually attempting an emotional moment. However, the next time we see Hardy, he suddenly is in a prankster mood again and we literally get another scene of him pranking Laurel and Laurel reaching another breaking point. It's also a bit hard to laugh at Ollie's pranks considering how malicious it tends to appear. Laurel getting Hardy hurt was usually unintentional and indirect and if Laurel directly hurt Hardy, it was usually after Hardy hurt him (think the ending fight in YOU'RE DARN TOOTIN'). At first you can argue that it's the liquor, but Hardy continues to act this way the next day.

    I do like the idea of the role-reversal, but the way it plays out just does not work for me. Hardy comes off as way too harsh and Laurel seems to be in this weird middle ground throughout the short of being both more assertive while still maintaining his more established character throughout the short. Towards the end, though, there is some good payoff with Laurel reaching his breaking point and I do like the gag of Hardy disguising himself in the fountain.

    If you like it, that's perfectly fine, as it is fascinating to see the role-reversal at all. I just felt that it needed better writing in terms of the characterizations. I give them credit for trying something different, but unfortunately, I think it was a bit of a misfire.

    5 out of 10