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Author Topic: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 1849 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: October 04, 2015, 05:27:31 PM »
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  • http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_115_Another-Fine-Mess
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/anotherf.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020643/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2j3le6

    Watch ANOTHER FINE MESS in the link above



          Some weeks, I feel like I have so much more to say than the guys at Laurel and Hardy Central and other weeks I feel like they say it better than I ever could.  Let's chalk this week up to the latter scenario, and hey, it makes sense.  Some films inspire certain people to say more than it would for others, and for me, personally, I don't have much to say about this one.  I'll try anyway.

          What it boils down to is the main premise of this film is Laurel and Hardy pretending to be someone they're not, and they just don't do much with it.  Lots of Ollie showing a guy around a house a bunch of rooms he's unaware of.  I mean, that billiard room gag gets old after a while.  So does the butchering of Plumtree's name. Lots of Stan dressing up as a butler or maid, it just lacks wit.  I will say, while I've made it known I'm not a fan of men dressing in drag as comedy, I like it a little better here.  I guess the idea of Stan engaging in girl talk is a little more entertaining than a guy hitting on him, which would happen with so many of these comedies.  It's just that half the time, it's so unbelievable a guy would find half of these comedians in drag attractive, and Stan here is no exception.  Thelma Todd is lovely here, as usual, and her and Stan do their best with what I consider to be tired material.

          This is a remake of what I consider to be the first Laurel and Hardy film, DUCK SOUP.  It is more refreshing seeing some of this acted out through dialogue as opposed to title cards, so this wins out on that front, though it lacks the excitement of seeing history unfold before your eyes. 

          Ultimately, again we have a film where I give this a respectable rating because the comedians involved are fun to watch, and if you threw in lesser comedians, this film would be a real chore.  I do enjoy the histrionics of James Finlayson in this one, think the soundtrack is quite good (the musical scores are getting better and this one syncs up well with the film), and the intro where the twin girls speak the credits was fun.  This way of doing the credits was done in a few other Roach films at the time.

         A lot of people like this film, it even got some audio commentaries on the DVD set.  I'll just chalk this up to not my kind of Laurel and Hardy film, and again, click on the Laurel and Hardy Central link above.  Those guys do a great job.

    7/10

    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 10:22:00 PM »
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  • http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_115_Another-Fine-Mess
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/anotherf.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020643/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2j3le6

    Watch ANOTHER FINE MESS in the link above



          Some weeks, I feel like I have so much more to say than the guys at Laurel and Hardy Central and other weeks I feel like they say it better than I ever could.  Let's chalk this week up to the latter scenario, and hey, it makes sense.  Some films inspire certain people to say more than it would for others, and for me, personally, I don't have much to say about this one.  I'll try anyway.

          What it boils down to is the main premise of this film is Laurel and Hardy pretending to be someone they're not, and they just don't do much with it.  Lots of Ollie showing a guy around a house a bunch of rooms he's unaware of.  I mean, that billiard room gag gets old after a while.  So does the butchering of Plumtree's name. Lots of Stan dressing up as a butler or maid, it just lacks wit.  I will say, while I've made it known I'm not a fan of men dressing in drag as comedy, I like it a little better here.  I guess the idea of Stan engaging in girl talk is a little more entertaining than a guy hitting on him, which would happen with so many of these comedies.  It's just that half the time, it's so unbelievable a guy would find half of these comedians in drag attractive, and Stan here is no exception.  Thelma Todd is lovely here, as usual, and her and Stan do their best with what I consider to be tired material.

          This is a remake of what I consider to be the first Laurel and Hardy film, DUCK SOUP.  It is more refreshing seeing some of this acted out through dialogue as opposed to title cards, so this wins out on that front, though it lacks the excitement of seeing history unfold before your eyes. 

          Ultimately, again we have a film where I give this a respectable rating because the comedians involved are fun to watch, and if you threw in lesser comedians, this film would be a real chore.  I do enjoy the histrionics of James Finlayson in this one, think the soundtrack is quite good (the musical scores are getting better and this one syncs up well with the film), and the intro where the twin girls speak the credits was fun.  This way of doing the credits was done in a few other Roach films at the time.

         A lot of people like this film, it even got some audio commentaries on the DVD set.  I'll just chalk this up to not my kind of Laurel and Hardy film, and again, click on the Laurel and Hardy Central link above.  Those guys do a great job.

    7/10
    ANOTHER FINE MESS is a Laurel & Hardy short that I rather enjoy, not least for the bright sounding music that can be heard throughout!

    You've brought up a fine point regarding the usual hoary plot device of a man being attracted to even the most unconvincing specimen of a "Man Dressed in Drag," and I'm thankful that usual route isn't taken here!  Listen carefully to "Agnes's" banter with Lady Plumtree (Thelma Todd), and you'll also pick up on some rather risque (For 1930) dialogue!

    For those who may be unaware, the original story was written by Stan Laurel's father, Arthur Jefferson, or A.J, as he was often referred.

    I find it interesting that part of a then so recently coined L&H catchphrase (Albeit slightly misquoted!) became the title of this, Laurel & Hardy's second three reel comedy, which in my opinion, was much better than the first (THE LAUREL-HARDY MURDER CASE), in which "Well, Here's Another Nice Mess" was uttered by Ollie.  It was also their only film to get "The Crane Sisters" Talking Titles (An experiment at Hal Roach Studios during the 1930-31 cinematic season.) treatment!

    Besides the other memorable bits that you mentioned, I find Ollie's Piano rendition of Chopsticks to be most memorable, also.

    ************SPOILER ALERT!!!!************

    The final shot, in which Stan & Ollie (Actually, their stunt doubles!) get chased out of the tunnel by the train is reminiscent of a similar scene in TWO TARS, a Laurel & Hardy silent short from 1928.

    The one strange element in this short, is Lady Plumtree's disappearance towards the end!  Otherwise, this is a most delightful gem, in my opinion!

    8.5/10

    CHEERS! :)

    Tony

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: October 05, 2015, 01:40:26 PM »
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  • If I'm not mistaken, the caricatures on the poster are by Al Hirschfeld, the greatest caricaturist of all time, who specialized in caricatures on the covers of Broadway Playbills, and who died not so very long ago at age 100.  Want proof of how great a caricaturist he was?  Catch the twinkle here in Ollie's eyes, those could not be anybody's eyes but Ollie's, and then realize that they are only two little curves of ink, with no real delineation of eyes at all.  Sheer genius.  Watch: with my luck it will turn out that these were drawn by Salvador Dali, and I'll be exposed before the world as a you-you.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: October 05, 2015, 05:57:52 PM »
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  •       Tony, I can completely understand how you and others can find this film delightful.  I did at first too but I agree with The Laurel and Hardy Central review that ANOTHER FINE MESS doesn't hold up well on repeat viewings.  Again, they did a better job expressing my feelings on this short than I did!  This isn't really a bad film for what it is and is far from a turkey, it's just one of those films that's not to my taste as much as others.

          Big Chief, I've heard the name Al Hirschfeld before and I'll research both him and this poster later on, but I do want to say this is no doubt one of the better movie posters I've posted on these threads, both in terms of shape and color.
     
          Saying more about the music in this one, the first audio commentary is great and about this subject.  Leroy Shield composed this music.  Apparently, this music was made specifically for this short, as it was for a lot of 1930 and 1931 films.  After this, in spite of Shield's protests, Roach would use the music Shield composed for the 1930 and 1931 films, chop it up, and randomly use it in later films, stock music, if you will.  Financially, a smart move by Roach, artistically, not as much.  Films like ANOTHER FINE MESS have special little musical cues, check it out after Stan and Ollie get locked in the basement.  Great stuff!

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: October 05, 2015, 06:48:08 PM »
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  • Big Chief, pop in the second audio commentary when you get the chance, the poster, and indeed Al Hirschfeld, the artist you correctly identified, get a mention.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: October 05, 2015, 06:54:12 PM »
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  • Oh, Thank God.

    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: October 06, 2015, 10:24:06 AM »
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  • I find the pair of audio commentary tracks for each of the four selected titles for LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION, to be a treasure trove of information!  The other L&H Films that have these are HOG WILD (1930); SONS OF THE DESERT (1933) and WAY OUT WEST (1937).  Perhaps surprisingly, THE MUSIC BOX (1932) doesn't have any commentary provided!

    Another nice bit of commentary from ANOTHER FINE MESS refers to how the version that's on the Essential Collection was stitched together from various sources.  A rather fine job was made of this, in my opinion!

    CHEERS! :)

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: March 04, 2016, 06:51:13 PM »
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  • This was a fairly enjoyable short.  It is leaps and bounds over DUCK SOUP with the actors more than adjusted to sound and more used to their roles.  One must like that all the trouble is caused by Stan saying "Ma'am" to the cop.  But overall, this film would be much better if had been condensed into two reels.  As a three-reeler, it gets tiresome after a while and loses its charm.  The actors do fine, but tired is tired no matter the quality of the actors.

    SPOILER ALERT Complaint: cops on foot would never, EVER keep up with a bicycle.

    8/10
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: March 08, 2016, 01:36:22 PM »
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  • SPOILER ALERT Complaint: cops on foot would never, EVER keep up with a bicycle.
    Fair point, though a lot of impossible things seem to happen in movies!  ;)

    CHEERS!  [3stooges]

    P.S. I'm really glad this site is finally back up and running!  Three days down was too long for me!  [pie]

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Another Fine Mess (1930) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 02:14:08 PM »
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  • Compared to DUCK SOUP, I will say that I find ANOTHER NICE FINE MESS to be slightly better mostly due to the stronger supporting cast, though I do have to side with metaldams in that I think that the film really does not lead to much comedic possibility. A lot of it is more about conversations than any real visual spectacles, outside of the ending of course. The couple renting the room are good for the most part, though they do have this annoying laugh that they try to make as a recurring joke in this short and, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work. Other than that, the rest of the scenes in the house did not make me laugh, but I also can’t really say they were bad either. The short did keep my attention in that I wanted to see how it turned out, unlike THE LAUREL-HARDY MURDER CASE, which has such an interesting premise yet did nothing with it at all. The short basically just consists of a bunch of talking that never really goes anywhere, something apparent from the beginning when they have the title cards spoken aloud rather than appear on screen.

    Still, there are some positives. Anything that’s outside of the house is really fun to watch, particularly with the exchanges with the cops and when Laurel and Hardy are riding the bicycle towards the end, leading to some pretty funny visual gags. In addition, James Finlayson’s presence also automatically helps the short somewhat. Overall, a decent enough effort, but Laurel and Hardy have done better.

    7 out of 10