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Author Topic: Chickens Come Home (1931) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 2235 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Chickens Come Home (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: October 18, 2015, 07:23:21 PM »
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  • http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_137_Chickens-Come-Home
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/chickens.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0021738/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x26gd6k_chickens-come-home-b-w-1931-laurel-hardy_shortfilms

    Watch CHICKENS COME HOME in the link above

    https://archive.org/details/Politiquerias-chickensComeHomeInSpanish1931-laurelNHardy

    Watch LA POLITIQUERIAS in the link above



          I want to start out by saying CHICKENS COME HOME may have the funniest joke ever spoken in a Laurel and Hardy film.  However, it is so subtle I never got it until now.  I won't give it away, but I'll tell you how to find it.  Look at the sign on the door and see what it is Stan and Ollie do for a living.  Remember this.  A few minutes later, Stan accidentally slams the door in Ollie's face.  Ollie then asks Stan where he's been.  Listen to Stan's response, keeping in mind what they do for a living.  I thought about the punchline for ten seconds, and when I finally got it, I laughed so hard I had to pause the film.

          Overall, a good short though I can understand if it's not to everyone's taste being a drawing room comedy more so than a slapstick.  Whatever, I enjoy it.  It's very well written, literate, funny, and engaging.  The basic premise is Ollie is running for mayor trying to reform the town from vice (a credit to Oliver Hardy that in spite of this, I like the character anyway).  A women from his past, played by Mae Busch, has a picture of them together from their younger days that she will get printed in the papers unless Ollie gives her hush money.  The rest of the film is Stan trying to prevent her from getting to Ollie's wife, played by Thelma Todd, and it's well played all around.  If I were casting this, I would have casted Thelma Todd as the woman from the past as she specialized in vamp like characters and had Mae Busch play Mrs. Hardy, but as is, both ladies did a fine job in their roles.  I also like Stan's wife in this one, she's a cute little spitfire that reminds me of a girl I know.  Love the way she breaks out the ax in the end, and her dealings with the gossipy lady who relishes in a being a busy body in everyone's business. Great characters all around in this one...and I forgot to mention James Finlayson as the butler who takes bribe, also a fun little role.

          The line, "Well here's another nice mess you've gotten me into" must have already been a pop culture phrase at this point.  Only the third film it was used, Oliver starts with a "Well," and then Stan finishes the line because he knows it by now!  Definitely a sign of the line's familiarity at this point.  I also love Ollie being referred to as the same apple cheeked boy by both Mae Bush and later Thelma Todd.  Stan's several minute wrestling match with Mae Busch is another highlight, dig the way Stan has the hangar still in his coat the whole time!  Also, any short with Ollie singing is all right by me.

          A very enjoyable film, and I also have to admit it was one of the first films I saw as an adult, which might contribute to its high rating.  While not the slapstick fest of HOG WILD or HELPMATES, this one gets a ten based on a more personalized taste..and man is that joke I mentioned earlier funny.

    10/10



    Offline luke795

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    Re: Chickens Come Home (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: October 19, 2015, 06:27:19 PM »
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  • Chickens Come Home is a remake of the silent short Love 'Em And Weep.

    Offline GreenCanaries

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    Re: Chickens Come Home (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: October 20, 2015, 09:13:53 AM »
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  • I want to start out by saying CHICKENS COME HOME may have the funniest joke ever spoken in a Laurel and Hardy film.  However, it is so subtle I never got it until now.  I won't give it away, but I'll tell you how to find it.  Look at the sign on the door and see what it is Stan and Ollie do for a living.  Remember this.  A few minutes later, Stan accidentally slams the door in Ollie's face.  Ollie then asks Stan where he's been.  Listen to Stan's response, keeping in mind what they do for a living.  I thought about the punchline for ten seconds, and when I finally got it, I laughed so hard I had to pause the film.

    Reminds me of when I heard a Shemp line in CRIME ON THEIR HANDS. He's popping the mints into his mouth, and right before he grabs the diamond, he says, to no one in particular, "With oranges, it's... much harder." I didn't really think anything of nor pay much attention to the line at first, but then I was using the facilities, and I think it was because of Shemp's distinct voice* that the line started rattling around in my head. Thus, I thought about it a bit more... and proceeded to laugh my ass off. Wouldn't surprise me if it was an ad-lib on his part. A bit more "on the surface" than Stan's line (which I agree is great), but it's one of my favorite Shemp lines. (Honestly, I think the visual of someone like a Shemp or a Larry trying to do the mint trick with an orange helps too.)

    * the same reason I love when he says, "Well this will make my Christmas dandy" in HE COOKED HIS GOOSE. Insignificant line, but dammit if the man doesn't he have a distinct voice...
    "With oranges, it's much harder..."

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Chickens Come Home (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: October 21, 2015, 07:36:40 AM »
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  • Wouldn't surprise me if it was an ad-lib on his part.

    This totally sounds like a Shemp ad-lib. 

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Chickens Come Home (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: November 03, 2015, 06:18:37 PM »
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  • Finally watched this last night, and I can get behind your 10/10.  This is so good.  This kind of drawing room farce looks dated today, but CCH is pretty much a perfect example of that kind of comedy and it still works.  Once the action moves out of Ollie's office the pace never lets up.  Even at three reels, the energy and the variety of gags keeps it boiling over for all thirty minutes.

    There are some great casual gags mixed in with the more over-the-top stuff.  I got a big laugh out of Thelma Todd giving Ollie a withering look as she hands him the sheet music for "You May Be Fast but Your Mamma's Gonna Slow You Down" before his recital.  Then I got an even bigger laugh when they cut from the scene where Mae Busch is motoring it toward Ollie's house with a mind to raise hell, and the first thing we see upon returning to the drawing room is a nervous Ollie singing "Somebody's coming to myyyyyy house" (or something like that).

    Another nice gag is the one Metal (finally) caught:

    Look at the sign on the door and see what it is Stan and Ollie do for a living.  Remember this.  A few minutes later, Stan accidentally slams the door in Ollie's face.  Ollie then asks Stan where he's been.  Listen to Stan's response, keeping in mind what they do for a living.  I thought about the punchline for ten seconds, and when I finally got it, I laughed so hard I had to pause the film.

    I like the subtle way they helped the audience connect the dots with this joke.  Stan delivers the punchline, then walks away to reveal the business venture painted on the door behind him.  Even though we'd already seen it at the beginning of the short, it's a well-timed and well-choreographed reminder that helps the audience catch a joke that might have easily been missed (I'm looking at you Metal) (OK I missed it too), without going too far out of the way to draw attention to it.

    Those casual gags are extra little gems betwen things like Stan falling through hotel awnings, cars falling apart at the slightest bump with prudish old ladies inside them, the mind games between Ollie and Finlayson, some WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S style shenanigans with Mae Busch's unconscious body, and the classic two-people-pretending-to-be-one-very-tall-person gag (this time with the added fun of having one of the two people out cold).  Great stuff.  After watching L&H spend an entire reel-and-a-half trying to remove a boot in the last short, it's a pleasure to see so much fun stuff packed into this one. 

    And thank god someone finally had the sense to stomp on that damned slide whistle that plagued the last two shorts.  Hope it was splintered into a dozen pieces.

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Chickens Come Home (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 08:10:58 PM »
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  • So, I’ll admit that after watching the silent version, LOVE ‘EM AND WEEP, I was actually a bit skeptical about this short. Don’t get me wrong; this is definitely the kind of situation I’d expect Hardy to get into. It was mainly the idea of Hardy being successful enough to run for mayor that made me skeptical, since in so many other cases Hardy could never even come close to that amount of success. Yeah, it is weird to see him like that, but I don’t care; this short is funny! There’s a great running gag of James Finlayson constantly agreeing to take a bribe and laughing with Hardy as a result. This laughing is much more tolerable than the laughing in ANOTHER FINE MESS.

    I think it is interesting to note that there is a lot of Ollie and Stan working solo in this film than you’d expect, but in a good way. Ollie is fittingly nervous throughout the party, even crashing into Finlayson at one point (and having to bribe him again as a result), but the real stand out scenes are with Stan in Mae Busch’s apartment. Unlike in the silent version, where they’re at a restaurant and she makes a small scene, here Busch goes all out against Laurel, to the point that his phone calls to Hardy continue to show an increasing amount of distress and that fight outside of the apartment building is just fantastic.

    I guess the one minor problem I have with this short is the same thing metaldams mentioned: Thelma Todd should have played the old flame while Mae Busch should have played Mrs. Hardy, though both did well enough in their roles, especially Busch in the apartment, so I won’t mark the short down at all for it.

    The Spanish version of CHICKENS COME HOME is POLITIQUERIAS. Much like the Spanish version of THE LAUREL-HARDY MURDER CASE, this is extended to feature film length, but unlike the Spanish MURDER CASE, this actually consists of entirely new material. One thing I will give this film credit for over the original is Linda Loredo as Mrs. Hardy, who is much more furious at Oliver at the party and even gets a funny scene where she’s standing outside the door, unbeknownst to Oliver. Besides, this, though, the rest of this is much like the other Spanish versions in that the main actors give weaker performances due to their struggling to learn another language. This is even worse, though, because it’s expanded to feature length.

    Much like in BLOTTO, a lot of filler is added with some random acts performing at Oliver’s party. One of them is a magician who does a decent job, though still feels like a very pointless addition. The other is a professional regurgitator. I honestly do not know what people saw in this kind of act; I just find it really disturbing.

    English Version: 10 out of 10
    Spanish Version: 5 out of 10