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Author Topic: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 1284 times)

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Offline metaldams

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One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: November 23, 2015, 08:21:30 PM »
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  • http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_146_One-Good-Turn
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/oneturn.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022227/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x26g12n_one-good-turn-b-w-1931-laurel-hardy_shortfilms

    Watch ONE GOOD TURN in the link above



          An enjoyable Laurel and Hardy film that again, I don't know if I have much to say about.  Is it me or the films?  Well, HELPMATES is coming up soon, so if I'm stumped that week, then it's me!  Well, I'm not totally stumped, I have a few things to say, anyway, and yes, I do enjoy this one.  However, it's just missing that extra something to make it a classic, and I can't point my finger as to what.

          Two things about this short are of interest to me.  One is the Great Depression setting.  Stan and Ollie are outdoors, living in a tent, washing their clothes and drying them on a line in the sun.  Stan accidentally sets the tent on fire, setting up the old warhorse of a gag of trying to put out a fire by running back and forth and throwing drinking glasses of water at it.  A gag I like that will be reprised by the likes of Joe Besser years later.  Charlie Chaplin (Anyone want to discuss his stuff?), pioneered the whole pathos thing in comedy, and this again has his influence, as Ollie laments their lack of material possessions.  I find this to be fascinating stuff.

          The ending is like watching Larry give it to Moe in THE SITTER DOWNERS, but this time, it's Stan giving a slapstick tirade to Ollie!  Ollie has to act more of a jerk than usual to get it, though, the way he accuses Stan unjustly of stealing the old lady's money.  Still the way Stan chops down the building Ollie is in and won't let Ollue leave the building without threatening to chop Ollie himself is interesting stuff, so I suppose Ollie acting the jerk is a good set up.

          Good short overall, just not one of my favorites.

    8/10





    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 12:47:00 PM »
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  • I would venture to guess that this is as broke as L&H ever got, living in the woods and begging for bread.  They were livin' large in Laughing Gravy compared to this.  The ending is good, too.  I think the problem with this one, and it's not fatal, really, is the set-up, the rehearsal of the amateur theatrical.  Too obvious, too corny.  Even dumbbells like L&H should have figured that one out.  But, like I say, not fatal, still a good watch, with a good depression-era vibe: they're literally in the weeds.  This one and some Our Gangs point out that LA in the early '30's was not necessarily a garden paradise.

    Offline BeAStooge

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    Re: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 07:31:25 PM »
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  • The ending is like watching Larry give it to Moe in THE SITTER DOWNERS, but this time, it's Stan giving a slapstick tirade to Ollie!  Ollie has to act more of a jerk than usual to get it, though, the way he accuses Stan unjustly of stealing the old lady's money.  Still the way Stan chops down the building Ollie is in and won't let Ollue leave the building without threatening to chop Ollie himself is interesting stuff, so I suppose Ollie acting the jerk is a good set up.


    Produced for the benefit of Stan's young daughter Lois.  She had become wary/scared of her Uncle Babe because of the films she'd seen.  Stan worked out this plot device as a way of showing her that he was capable of taking care of himself.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: November 26, 2015, 08:26:16 AM »
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  • Produced for the benefit of Stan's young daughter Lois.  She had become wary/scared of her Uncle Babe because of the films she'd seen.  Stan worked out this plot device as a way of showing her that he was capable of taking care of himself.

    You know, I read that before but forgot to post it.  Thanks for bringing that up, it is an net resting story.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: February 28, 2016, 05:55:14 PM »
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  • It was an interesting short to say the least.  It's got a full plot development and stuff.  Yeah, Ollie has to act jerky to get the works, but it was a good short overall.  I can't add much because the preceding reviews have already been excellent.  Gotta love the way Stan botches the auction and acts like a total retard (yes, shoot me PC police) when they're eating the meal the lady prepared.

    8/10
    #1 fire kibitzer

    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #5 on: January 04, 2018, 05:22:46 PM »
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  • 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

    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 07:18:12 PM »
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  • 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!

    CHEERS! [pie]

    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! 


    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 09:37:07 AM »
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  • 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!

    CHEERS! [pie]

    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!

    It is interesting to think that Laurel and Hardy’s real-life families were so close that Laurel’s daughter referred to Hardy as her uncle. This also makes me wonder if the on-screen personality of Moe ever made Larry or Curly’s children afraid of him.

    Offline Tony Bensley

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    Re: One Good Turn (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 11:51:35 AM »
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  • It is interesting to think that Laurel and Hardy’s real-life families were so close that Laurel’s daughter referred to Hardy as her uncle. This also makes me wonder if the on-screen personality of Moe ever made Larry or Curly’s children afraid of him.
    Towards the end of his life, Stan Laurel would say that he and Babe didn't really become that close until their later post war tours in the late 1940s, but I'd say the seeds of a lasting friendship were sown much earlier.

    It would be interesting to know whether any of Larry's children and Curly's oldest ever had any similar fear of Moe.  Being that Curly's younger daughter was little more than a toddler when he passed, I suspect no such fears had any chance to fester within her.

    CHEERS!  [pie]