Soitenly
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 2272 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline metaldams

  • Global Moderator
  • Egghead
  • ******
  • Posts: 6,095
  • Gender: Male
  • Sugar Daddy in waiting
    • View Profile
Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: October 25, 2015, 07:05:05 PM »
  • Publish
  • http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_228_Laughing-Gravy
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/laughing.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022058/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7mEUGUQv3-k

    Watch LAUGHING GRAVY in the link above

          A film with a fascinating history.  Filmed as a three reeler and released as a two reeler, yet the third reel that was left on the cutting room floor still survives.  Linked above, as well as in the DVD, you get the initial ending, followed by the alternative ending third reel, and the contrast is fascinating.

          Before discussing the different endings, LAUGHING GRAVY is a pretty basic film.  Stan and Ollie live in a little room with a dog, (the title character), who their landlord, played by Charlie Hall, does not want in the complex, so they try to hide the dog.  Slapstick ensues.  It's a bit similar to what Stan and Ollie did with the goat in ANGORA LOVE.  The set itself appears to be the same one used in THEY GO BOOM!, that tiny dismal little bedroom with a kitchen on the side, and when you throw in the snowy outdoor scenes, ala BELOW ZERO, we have in LAUGHING GRAVY that old, early depression atmosphere I can't get enough of.

          The comedy itself is pretty basic, involving lots of falling down, great screams, and great close-ups.  Basic, enjoyable Laurel and Hardy.  My favorite comic bits would be Ollie slipping on the bar of soap, the great close-ups of both Stan and Ollie with black soot on their faces, the epic struggle trying not fall off the icy roof, and Stan moronically yet hysterically asking Ollie, "What happened?" as Ollie fell in the bucket of freezing water.  No all time classic bit, but consistently funny and entertaining.

          Now for the endings.  I am of the opinion they should have stuck with the three reel ending, viewing the released two reel version as an artistic cop out, though perhaps understandable commercially.  The three reel ending really is a very deep and at times dramatic exploration of the relationship between Stan and Ollie, something I always maintain is unique and believable to only Stan and Ollie among comedy teams.  Perhaps it was thought the public wasn't ready for such a big jump at this point, but the basics of it are Stan gets a letter that he gets $1,000 from a deceased relative only if he ditches Oliver Hardy (insert inflation remark here).  This is where the relationship struggle stems from, and while some find it ponderous, I'm completely engaged.  The catch ending in the alternative version is pretty funny as well, I won't give it away.  The ending as released is building gets quarantined, landlord Charlie Hall can't stand the thought of being locked in a building with Stan and Ollie, so he blows his brains out off screen.  Eh, some people prefer this, but I'm more a character guy, so thank God we have both versions to discuss.  As Stooge fans, so many of these shorts have lame, rushed endings.  Imagine if a third reel was discovered in one of these shorts breaking new artistic ground.  This is exactly what we have with LAUGHING GRAVY.

    Theatrical Realease 9/10
    Three Reel Version 10/10





    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

    • Numbskull
    • ****
    • Posts: 766
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 06:06:43 PM »
  • Publish
  • If it makes any difference, and I don't believe it does, I read somewhere that " Laughing Gravy " was prohibition-era slang for booze.  I forget where I saw that, but I've never seen nor heard the term anywhere else.  Since the L & H team was made up of so many Brits and Irishmen, it may be British or Irish slang, but whatever its origins, it seems never to have caught on this side of the pond.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

    • Numbskull
    • ****
    • Posts: 766
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 06:11:50 PM »
  • Publish
  • And, having been on the road for 5 1/2 of the last 6 weeks, I've been dilatory about viewing my new L & H Essential Collection.  Since Laughing Gravy contains actual new footage ( ie unseen by me ) I intend to view it just as soon as I sober up.

    Offline JazzBill

    • Knothead
    • *****
    • Posts: 1,316
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: October 28, 2015, 05:35:38 PM »
  • Publish
  • And, having been on the road for 5 1/2 of the last 6 weeks, I've been dilatory about viewing my new L & H Essential Collection.  Since Laughing Gravy contains actual new footage ( ie unseen by me ) I intend to view it just as soon as I sober up.

    You a truck driver Chief ?
    "When in Chicago call Stockyards 1234, Ask for Ruby".

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

    • Numbskull
    • ****
    • Posts: 766
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: October 28, 2015, 06:22:14 PM »
  • Publish
  • No, a truck driver makes a lot more money than me.

    Offline Signor Spumoni

    • Birdbrain
    • ****
    • Posts: 556
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: October 28, 2015, 08:22:28 PM »
  • Publish
  • Thank you, Big Chief, for telling about the slang meaning of laughing gravy.  I'd read somewhere it meant whisky, and I'm glad to hear it from someone confirmed.  I guess it's like giggle juice, kickapoo joy juice and all the other goofy slang terms for alcohol.  Also, the slang meaning beats my buddy's reasoning as to what it meant in this short.

    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

    • Numbskull
    • ****
    • Posts: 766
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 08:25:53 PM »
  • Publish
  • I can't guarantee anything, it's just something I remember hearing or reading, no idea when or where.

    Offline Paul Pain

    • Moronika's resident meteorologist
    • Moderator
    • Knothead
    • ******
    • Posts: 1,172
    • Gender: Male
    • The heartthrob of millions!
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: November 22, 2015, 05:31:36 PM »
  • Publish
  • This is well worth the 22 minutes.  Yes, most of the short is a talking remake of ANGORA LOVE, but there is much more to this.  We have here deep development of the characters.  Never in short subject comedies are characters developed to such an extent, but we see here a deeper, more dramatic scene that justifies the characters.

    The ending is a bit of a cop out, but Charlie Hall gets his!
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline Paul Pain

    • Moronika's resident meteorologist
    • Moderator
    • Knothead
    • ******
    • Posts: 1,172
    • Gender: Male
    • The heartthrob of millions!
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: June 28, 2016, 07:04:55 AM »
  • Publish
  • Found in my school library in a display of how technology, specifically computers and CDs and the like, evolved over the years.
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline Umbrella Sam

    • Chucklehead
    • ***
    • Posts: 242
    • Gender: Male
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 05:41:15 PM »
  • Publish
  • LAUGHING GRAVY, to me, is a better version of the ideas that they were trying to convey in both ANGORA LOVE and BELOW ZERO. Starting with ANGORA LOVE, which it is more directly related to, the goat in that short was basically just following them around because Stan gave the goat something to eat and ends up getting them in trouble with the law. Here, the dog is clearly theirs, which I prefer, since it is more clearly their own fault for bringing in an animal that doesn’t belong, as opposed to the silent version where they’re basically forced to keep it. I felt BELOW ZERO, on the other hand, was an ambitious, yet overly-cruel short. This meets a nice blend between cruelty and comedy, allowing us to both laugh at the moments we’re supposed to laugh at, yet also feel bad for them during the moments we’re supposed to feel bad for them at. Some gags are carried over from ANGORA LOVE, notably the bath scene, and they transition to sound quite nice. It’s a very well paced film.

    As for the endings, I must admit that I prefer the three-reel ending as well. The first one is a bit too sudden and the reason for the quarantine is never really explained. The three-reel ending is a bit sudden as well, and story-wise, I think it may have made a bit more sense as the ending to THE LAUREL-HARDY MURDER CASE, but still, this does also keep up with the short’s already slightly more dramatic tone and is a pretty emotional scene. Well, for the most part. I do think the closing gag kind of ruined it, but not to the point that I’d mark down the short for it.

    The Spanish version, LOS CALAVERAS, combines both this and BE BIG! into one feature film, which is a pretty odd choice. I could see THEY GO BOOM and LAUGHING GRAVY being combined into a feature, but here, the only connection is one title card. In addition to Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Hall reprises both his roles as the bellhop in BE BIG! and the landlord in LAUGHING GRAVY, and Anita Garvin returns to play Mrs. Laurel. Linda Loredo once again does pretty well as Mrs. Hardy and the few additions they make can actually be pretty funny, such as Hardy being caught in the weight loss belt. I also like how Charlie Hall is suddenly kinder to Laurel after reading his letter; this was something I was expecting in the English version and I thought they took advantage of it pretty well.

    Hardy faking his sickness is weaker in this version than in BE BIG!, but otherwise, the gags actually still do play out pretty well. I guess they must have adjusted somewhat to the foreign language formats as far as comedy goes, even if the delivery in lines still isn’t as good. If you’re curious to see any of the Spanish versions of Laurel and Hardy films, I’d say that this and LADRONES are the ones to check out.

    English Version: 10 out of 10
    Spanish Version: 8 out of 10

    Offline Tony Bensley

    • Puddinhead
    • ***
    • Posts: 281
      • View Profile
    Re: Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #10 on: December 21, 2017, 11:30:42 PM »
  • Publish
  • Across the pond, there is a version that actually contains BOTH endings!

    CHEERS!  [pie]