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Author Topic: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 1866 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: November 01, 2015, 08:02:38 AM »
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  • http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_147_Our-Wife
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/ourwife.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022238/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x26g35y_our-wife-b-w-1931-laurel-hardy_shortfilms

    Watch OUR WIFE in the link above

          Our Babe London weekend continues with Laurel and Hardy's OUR WIFE.  Like with The Three Stooges, this would mark her only Laurel and Hardy appearance.  Upon reviewing more and more of these films, both Stooges and Laurel and Hardy, I'm coming to the conclusion that films fall into three categories - 1.) films that would be funny no matter who you put into it because of the writing and gags that get even better by including superior comedians, 2.) films that are merely OK on their own that are enhanced by superior comedians, yet would be blase with average comedians, and 3.) films that flat out stink no matter what and can't be saved, like SELF MADE MAIDS.  OUR WIFE is one of those films that falls into the second category, and SCRAMBLED BRAINS, minus the doll scene, falls into the first.

          Really, there is no great gag in this film, no creative story, no nothing except watching the pleasure of great comedians do their thing.  Oliver Hardy can only sing like Oliver Hardy as he prepares for his wedding and only Oliver Hardy can scream like Oliver Hardy as he sprays burning insect repellent down his throat.  Stan Laurel, who to me is the highlight of this film, plays dumb better than anyone with his timing and facial expressions.  The flat out confusion he displays in his dialogue scene with Blache Payson is wonderful, nobody else can play that scene like Stan, he's the perfect dimwit.  James Finlayson's unique explosiveness is on display when he sees a picture of his future son in law, Babe London, in a non sexy way, is completely cute and sweet (I actually feel bad for her when she cries on the phone telling Ollie of their predicament), and I want to see her happy with Ollie, and Ben Turpin is, well, Ben Turpin.  Completely forgotten today except by guys like me who review this stuff online every week, Ben Turpin was a huge star back in the day from working with Mack Sennett and supposedly commanded a hefty fee for appearances like this, his shtick was he was cross eyed, something that plays into the final gag of the film.

          So basically, watch this one for the comic actors themselves, nothing memorable beyond that.  The scene that attempts to be the comic setpiece, sticking plus sized Oliver Hardy and Babe London into a tiny vehicle, plays like one of those uncomfortable gags that simply lacks wit, but again, not at BERTH MARKS level.

          Next week we discuss PARDON US, Laurel and Hardy's first feature!  Not since The Marx Brothers have I reviewed a feature film, and unlike said team and The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy had a few years where they were mixing both shorts and features, so there will be some variety as far as that goes.

    8/10


    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 11:34:57 AM »
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  • Excellent review, Metal, lacking only a mention of Finlayson's spectacular * SPOILER ALERT * trip on the carpet sweeper.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 12:28:39 PM »
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  • If any of you want to check out a cool interview with Babe London about OUR WIFE, click on the link below.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-zBMQFinE0E

    Offline luke795

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: November 06, 2015, 08:11:35 PM »
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  • I thought you would do all of the Laurel and Hardy Shorts first and then the films last.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: November 07, 2015, 11:10:12 AM »
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  • I thought you would do all of the Laurel and Hardy Shorts first and then the films last.

    Is there a particular reason you'd prefer it that way?

    Offline luke795

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: November 07, 2015, 12:55:00 PM »
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  • Is there a particular reason you'd prefer it that way?

    I'd do it that way because of my OCD(Obsessive–compulsive disorder).

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: November 07, 2015, 01:50:07 PM »
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  • I'd do it that way because of my OCD(Obsessive–compulsive disorder).

    Hey, then look at it this way - proper release order.

    Offline Seamus

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: November 08, 2015, 07:56:50 AM »
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  • The scene that attempts to be the comic setpiece, sticking plus sized Oliver Hardy and Babe London into a tiny vehicle, plays like one of those uncomfortable gags that simply lacks wit, but again, not at BERTH MARKS level.

    I must have been in the right frame of mind to enjoy this bit when I watched it last night (and this was before my first beer of the night), because it had me laughing from start to finish.  The absurdity of making the car almost impossibly small was so over the top that the scene had my good will right from the beginning.  Whereas you saw this chunk as a slightly improved BERTH MARKS, I saw it as a proto "state room" scene.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: April 17, 2016, 06:05:25 PM »
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  • I immensely enjoyed myself with this one.  Although there are times where Stan is so stupid that I want to punch him harder than Blanche Payson did, I can't help but enjoy his acting skills.  The best moment though is when Jim Finlayson falls down the staircase, and you can tell that he's really just off camera because you can see his shadow moving.  Everyone is pretty good, but the car scene was a bit painful. Thus, for different reasons, I too dole out...

    8/10
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Our Wife (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 10:08:49 AM »
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  • OUR WIFE is good, not great. None of the gags in Laurel and Hardy’s home really stand out with the exception of the last 2 gags: Hardy and the insect repellent and Hardy falling on to the table at the end. James Finlayson once again has a great supporting role. I love his immediate change in expressions as soon as he sees Hardy’s picture; a very funny way to set up a decent premise.

    After that, most of the short moves at a pleasant enough pace. Most of the jokes of Laurel and Hardy at Babe London’s home work pretty well, with the exception of the jokes inside the car. Thankfully, this is not nearly as bad as BERTH MARKS, and it doesn’t go on that long, so it’s tolerable enough even though I didn’t really consider it funny either.

    Ben Turpin and Blanche Payson both do good jobs in their roles and both play off of Laurel pretty well. Otherwise, there’s not much else to add: a funny short that should please most Laurel and Hardy fans, but not really an all-time classic either.

    8 out of 10