This one is a bit of a mixed bag for me. There are some moments that are too slow, but overall the short is still decent. The opening comes across as a weaker version of the opening of SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME? and unlike that short, this doesn’t have the shot of Hardy trying to jump over the fence. Gertrude Astor seems like one of the weaker Mrs. Hardy’s; I never really feel like she ever gives much outside of mild frustration. Linda Loredo also makes her only appearance in an English Laurel and Hardy film and does fairly well as Mrs. Laurel, though she’s a bit more limited than usual in what she’s allowed to do.
The ice cream bit is pretty good, helped by the increasing frustration of both Hardy and Charlie Hall. I do have to agree, though, that the whole portion of the story involving Mae Busch was pretty annoying. This could have easily been explained and Hardy even tries to at first, but chickens out for some reason. The whole suicide portion just feels too real; Busch’s more dramatic acting here is way too out of place for what’s supposed to just be a simple two-reel comedy. Also, we never really get an idea of what exactly Mae Busch did to warrant her arrest. Oh, and her screaming gets really annoying.
Still, even after Busch arrives, I do think there are some comedic portions that work. I do like Laurel and Hardy trying to drown out the music and the energy throughout the last few minutes does really come through very well. The ending is alright, though I personally prefer John Lennon’s version in A HARD DAY’S NIGHT (“torpedoed again, eh?”
A decent, but flawed efffort.
7 out of 10