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Author Topic: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 2514 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: September 06, 2015, 06:55:00 PM »
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  • http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_136_Brats
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/brats.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020708/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x24v9zj_brats-b-w-1930-laurel-hardy_shortfilms

    Watch BRATS in the link above



          Well, we just got finished with a turd of a Stooge short called SELF MADE MAIDS in which The Three Stooges play multiple characters and (basically) all the roles.  Coincidentally, Laurel and Hardy also do a short this week where they play multiple characters and all the roles.  In this case, in addition to themselves, they also play their own sons, and I'm very happy to report the results are better.  Much, MUCH better.  Oh, Laurel and Hardy, like The Three Stooges, will stink up the joint someday as well in this genre, just not today.

           Why does this one work?  Well, for one, no men in drag stuff, instead it's men acting as their own children.  From an acting perspective it works, because as immature as the grown Laurel and Hardy can be, the children Laurel and Hardy seem even more immature, even more believable.  When Ollie gets shot in the butt after the cartoon mouse is on him, his whining and moaning in pain seems even more childish than usual.  Stan not taking blame for hitting Ollie only to reveal a boxing glove on his hand also seems a bit too childish for the adult Laurel and Hardy, but perfect for their children.  Oh, and that little boxing match has me in stitches, especially the way child Stan jumps around like a pixie.  Children Stan and Ollie are a perfect excuse for them to up the ante on the baser side of their characters.

          Another reason why this short works is the technical way it was shot.  Those children Stan and Ollie are believably tiny looking compared to their counterpart fathers.  My guess as to how it was pulled off is pairing children Stan and Ollie with larger furniture and longer camera shots, giving them a smaller appearance, but I don't know this for a fact. I can't think of what else it could be, though.  Clearly, at one point, Ollie chases Stan up a dresser drawer table much bigger than him and falls through two dresser drawers in the process.  In addition to being hysterical, it's a great visual effect.  Let's face it, Hal Roach had a better budget than Columbia shorts, I can't imagine Columbia pulling this off, not to mention the level of destruction you see in these Roach shorts, the flooding of bathroom water being a great example, and the short two weeks from now being an even better one!

          I absolutely love seeing Oliver Hardy sings the two mini me's to sleep.  Ollie had a great tenor voice, hearing him sing gives me the same pleasure I get when Larry takes the violin.  Great when these guys use their outside talents, and in those days, you were expected to be an all around entertainer.  Stan, on the other hand, can't sing, but hearing him interrupt Ollie as he tries to join in is funny nonetheless. 

          An incredibly fun and original short, easily a 10.  I leave you with this classic quote from Stan, which Oliver shows a respectful look of sincere belief after Stan bellows it.

    "You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be led."

    10/10






    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 08:50:52 PM »
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  • I have an idea in the back of my head that the oversized sets were built for a movie called The Devil Doll.  I have no idea how I know this, and I may be dead wrong.  Someone, actually anyone, would know more about this than me.  You can see the gags in the pool game coming a mile, and they're still funny.  Ollie's legs-up skid down the stairs is one of the oddest stunt effects ever.  I get the feeling that they should have dubbed in a howl of pain, but maybe forgot.  Still good, though, the whole thing, and I'm now watching these on my birthday present, The Essential Collection.  I get the feeling that some of this footage was rescued just in time.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: September 07, 2015, 06:45:59 AM »
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  • I have an idea in the back of my head that the oversized sets were built for a movie called The Devil Doll.  I have no idea how I know this, and I may be dead wrong.  Someone, actually anyone, would know more about this than me.  You can see the gags in the pool game coming a mile, and they're still funny.  Ollie's legs-up skid down the stairs is one of the oddest stunt effects ever.  I get the feeling that they should have dubbed in a howl of pain, but maybe forgot.  Still good, though, the whole thing, and I'm now watching these on my birthday present, The Essential Collection.  I get the feeling that some of this footage was rescued just in time.

    THE DEVIL DOLL, a film I love, was released six years after this.  Still, both use the miniature people effect on big sets, so I see how you can think this.

    You're right about Ollie's legs when he's skidding down the stairs, very strange looking!

    Offline Signor Spumoni

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: September 07, 2015, 02:50:36 PM »
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  • THE DEVIL DOLL, a film I love, was released six years after this.  Still, both use the miniature people effect on big sets, so I see how you can think this.

    You're right about Ollie's legs when he's skidding down the stairs, very strange looking!

    This never fails to get a big laugh from me because those false legs look so peculiar and funny.

    I don't know what the oversized sets and props were built for originally, but I remember seeing some of them in Our Gang comedies from the silent era.  Also, I remember Stan and Ollie appearing in a cameo as babies in "Wild Poses," an OG talkie.  IMDB says that some sets for "Brats" were used in Wild Poses."

    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 09:55:38 AM »
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  • The "legs up down stairs" gag is redone with Arthur Housman in the Roach musical short BENNY FROM PANAMA (1934).

    t=16m4s
    "With oranges, it's much harder..."

    Offline Signor Spumoni

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: September 09, 2015, 10:34:45 AM »
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  • The "legs up down stairs" gag is redone with Arthur Housman in the Roach musical short BENNY FROM PANAMA (1934).

    t=16m4s

    Thanks, GC!  I enjoyed seeing this gag used again; it looks to be the same footage.  Having watched the whole short, I'd say this was the highlight.  The animation was well done, though.

    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: September 10, 2015, 10:19:20 AM »
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  • I love this short, also!  However, I do wish that Region 1/A could also get a proper release of the version of BRATS that includes the original title cards and credits, although the gag cards are recreations.

    The way the Ollie sliding down the Stairs gag was pulled off, was a successful workaround to Stan Laurel's prior notion that the actual sight of somebody falling down the stairs wouldn't be funny!

    CHEERS!  :)

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 05:56:14 PM »
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  • Will be watching this tomorrow... expect a review from "The Heartthrob of Millions"! :)
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    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 06:23:45 PM »
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  • Will be watching this tomorrow... expect a review from "The Heartthrob of Millions"! :)
    Looking forward to your review, Paul!  I think that you'll really enjoy it!

    CHEERS! :)

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 07:38:29 PM »
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  • Looking forward to your review, Paul!  I think that you'll really enjoy it!

    CHEERS! :)

    I second that.  Even though I didn't finish these reviews, at least a new fan was made, so it was worth it.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #10 on: April 19, 2016, 11:50:39 AM »
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  • This was well worth my time.  In fact, I believe it goes on my list of "Go-to Comedy" because it is so good.  I am genuinely impressed with the effects, especially the scenes where Big Stan and Ollie were in the same frame as Little Stan and Ollie.  Keep in mind this is 1930.  Highlights: when Ollie flips the checkerboard, Ollie eating the "marshmallow," Stan smashing the class, Little Stan dumping Little Ollie in the tub, Ollie's singing, etc.

    It's fun to see Stan and Ollie get to just pound the snot out of each other with no holds barred: young Stan isn't much different from adult Stan, although he might be a little smarter.  I notice how the dialogue amongst the children is diminished to hide the timbre of the adult voices, which makes it funnier when Ollie asks "Why don't you do something to help me?!" in his normal tone after getting buckshotted in the can.  My only complaint is that Stan could never really beat
    Ollie, and it irks me a little when movies about 99.9999% of the time depict the idiot beating the smarter person.  It'd be like the Tampa Rays winning the world series.  The other thing that irks me a little in these shorts is how Stan's stupidity almost always results in Ollie being the one hurt; I much prefer the 3 Stooges where there's about a 50/50 split in Stooge follies coming back and hurting the idiot making the mistake.

    It is clear how wide the budget differences are in these are versus Columbia shorts, but this merely opens more plot possibilities.  I like that there are few recycled plots aside from silents being redone as talkies.  All in all, a very good collection of short subjects.

    10/10

    Anyone notice how similar a moustache-free younger Oliver Hardy and a younger Joe DeRita look alike?
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Brats (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #11 on: November 12, 2017, 11:18:40 AM »
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  • Well, I don’t have a lot to add about this short. It’s incredibly funny and very creative for the time. As Paul mentioned, the effects where they’re all on screen together are very good for the time and there is just a certain charm to seeing the young Laurel and Hardy interacting with these much larger objects. I particularly love young Hardy’s screaming after getting shot. As mentioned by metaldams, it’s much more childish than usual, but in an over-the-top funny way. The adult Laurel and Hardy also get some funny moments, particularly when they’re playing pool. Hardy gets to show off his wonderful singing voice for the first time and the ending when Hardy opens the bathroom door makes for a very funny visual gag. Definitely worth checking out.

    10 out of 10