Watch BLOTTO in the link abovehttp://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2buvce_la-vida-nocturna_shortfilms
Watch LA VIDA NOCTURNA in the link above
I love BLOTTO, absolutely love it, and it is around this time that most agree Stan and Ollie were starting to get on a roll with their talking shorts. This short feels crisper compared to all that comes before it and is one of their better domestic comedies.
Stan Laurel really does a fine job in the beginning of this short as the husband trying to sneak out on his wife, played by Anita Garvin. I always laugh at the excuse that he would like to go out because he needs fresh air, the delivery by Stan and the innocent excuse in of itself always gets a chuckle out of me. The pacing around Stan does and the set up he makes as he delivers the letter to himself are all great to watch, he does a fine job here. Of course, he gets to work off Anita Garvin in one of her all time great roles. Her angry, domineering wife delivery are great, but what really sets her apart is something I mentioned before....her face. One of the most expressive faces you can imagine, the way her eyes bulge and her mouth pouts when she's in anger is truly wonderful, a shame she only has a few roles left with Stan and Ollie. Also, the way she goes into the gun store and demands a gun - with bullets, is great as well. Oliver is of course fantastic in the phone scene with Stan, forgetting his phone number to ask for much in the same way Shemp does in DOPEY DICKS, and speaking of Stooge stuff, the over the phone eye gouge is sort of pioneered. No gouges, per se, but Stan and Ollie do perform slapstick on each other over the telephone here.
The night club scene is a true classic. Stan and Ollie's laughter feels completely natural and contagious, and I can't help laughing along with them. The idea that they think they're drinking liquor and acting drunk when in reality it's some non alcoholic concoction the wife replaced it with makes their behavior even funnier. Ollie's comment after drinking the false liquor, "You can certainly tell good liquor when you taste it," is another line that always gets a laugh from me, both in content and delivery. Ms. Garvin's facial expressions, combined with the boys laughter, is an all-time favorite Laurel and Hardy moment for me. The ending gag where the shot gun blows up the combustible car is a nice touch.
My mood is not as chipper as it should be after reviewing this film because right after I watched BLOTTO, I watched the Spanish version. In plain Spanish, it's mierda. The laughing that feels so natural in the English version feels forced here because Stan and Ollie are forcing their simple dialogue before it instead of owning their dialogue. Even the way earlier on Stan says "good-bye" has a distinct feel, in Spanish, the "adios" isn't as dynamic. The night club scene, half the set up with the dialogue is taken away and they use lots of acts, like this dude dressed like a women doing some weird pixie routine and an attractive woman doing some snake dance to add time and take away from the boys. No good. The tragic Linda Laredo does a nice job in the Anita Garvin role. She doesn't have Ms. Garvin's expressive face, but her fiery temper gives the role a new meaning. Still, she's playing off actors who were meant to do a role like this in English. Interesting experiment, and I will say one nice thing about the Spanish version. Here, when Stan wants fresh air, Ms. Laredo puts a fan in his face, a nice add on gag. Still, give me the English version ten times out of ten.
Weak Spanish version aside, BLOTTO, in its English tongue its main stars actually speak, is a film old Metaldams has always enjoyed immensely. I can certainly tell a good three reeler when I see one, and yes, I said three reels. The boys, like Harold Lloyd with Roach before them, we're slowly expanding into longer formats.