This was certainly an interesting one, but in a good way. The beginning is pretty run-of-the-mill, though that’s not a bad thing. There are some genuinely funny gags thrown in there, notably with Laurel’s attempts to put out the fire with a small cup. The misunderstanding is actually pretty interesting and I do like the acting from both James Finlayson and Mary Carr during their rehearsal.
The ending, though, is the big standout moment. Seeing Stan get revenge on Ollie is a different change of pace, but does work in terms of the story and unlike in EARLY TO BED, it doesn’t feel like a total betrayal of character. Hardy’s a bit more mean than usual, but it’s still something I could see him doing, especially in this kind of situation, and I think Laurel has bottled up so much abuse from Hardy that this was an understandable breaking point for his character.
There’s some good comic destruction in this and it does a great job standing out, though I still think there are better shorts. Still, I’d enjoy seeing this at least a few more times in the future.
9 out of 10
I thank that interesting parallels could be drawn between Stan's daughter Lois having complained about being scared of Uncle Babe due to his onscreen mistreatment of her father, and Stan's character finally having had enough. To me, Stan's snapping, especially given the unjust element of Ollie's mistreatment in this instance, is most credible.
On the print that's included in The Essential Collection set, are two unfortunate elements. One is the somewhat ragged condition of the print (Complete with image tears!) that I assume all home video versions suffer from to some degree. However, for me, it is the garish looking original Title Card that is the negative stand out! Was the regular title card graphics designer off sick that day, or what? "One Good Stomach Turn" describes it for me - BLEECH!
The short itself I find to be quite enjoyable, and at the same time, appreciate its depression era references, which aren't often that overt in the Hal Roach shorts, at least verbally. I also find Mary Carr's performance especially endearing.
For me, ONE GOOD TURN is a solid 8 out of 10!
P.S. I've included a screenshot of the original ONE GOOD TURN title card, taken from Dave Lord Heath's "Another Nice Mess" (lordheath.com) website!