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Author Topic: Helpmates (1932) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 916 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Helpmates (1932) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: December 14, 2015, 07:41:20 PM »
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    Watch HELPMATES in the link above

           A lot of the all-time great Laurel and Hardy films we've discussed so far have the most simple premises.  BIG BUSINESS is simple a Christmas tree sale goes wrong, destruction ensues. With HOG WILD, wife wants to hear Japan on the radio, husband and friend try to install radio, destruction ensues.  With this week's film, HELPMATES, Ollie throws a wild party, house is a mess, needs friend to help clean up before the wife is home....I'll let you figure out the rest.  It's a very simple and satisfying premise done by two comedians capable of milking such a thing for twenty minutes.  The results are glorious, and this is truly one of the all-time great Stan and Ollie films.  Another one to throw into the pile of if you don't like this film, Laurel and Hardy probably aren't for you.

          The main crux of this film falls into the classic idea of Ollie wanting Stan to do something to help him.  That's it.  One of the defining points in their screen relationship explored for the duration of this film.  Nothing more to say since it's so simple, so I'll just mention some favorite parts.  Ollie talking into the camera, yelling at someone for throwing a while party while the wife is away is a great beginning, though I won't give the gag away for those who haven't seen it.  The phone conversation Stan and Ollie have is another highlight, wth Stan's unusual spellings and forgetting he is on the phone by trying to show Ollie where his dog bit instead of saying where it is a high point.  Oliver Hardy gets destroyed in this short.  Soot in the face, flour over his head, diving into a pile of dishes, getting water all over his only suit, that brutal eye gouge, his kitchen exploding and him flying like Ollie taking abuse, here's a little slice of Heaven for you.  Stan's confusion over the not having any sense exchange is another favorite of mine...and that ending!  I won't give it away again, but Ollie's resignation and calmness towards Stan is impressive.

    Another all-time great.  A must see for any comedy fan.


    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Helpmates (1932) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 11:57:38 PM »
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  • This is another that's so good it's impossible to criticize or really even discuss intelligently.  All you can do is list your favorite parts, and we all have the same favorite parts, which add up to pretty much the whole movie.  One unusual thing for me is that Hardy looks about as thin as he ever got.  He's thinnest in Tit For Tat, but he's pretty close here.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Helpmates (1932) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: April 29, 2016, 05:51:59 PM »
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  • This has been one of the more interesting entries.  Blanche Payson is an eyesore and a half, and it makes me wish that they would go more toward talented actresses, rather than just always reaching for the bottle of "Battle Axe" as they do 100% of the time.  Anita Garvin is great because she's a dish (enough for a wolf whistle, at least) but also talented.  I choose talent over gorillas.  Enough complaining about Stan and Ollie's ogreish wives...

    I think BIG BUSINESS is the only one that rivals this in terms of absolute destruction.  Holy cow, did they discover new ways to wreck a house.  A bit predictable at times, but there's nothing wrong with an amalgamation of known tricks.  In fact, that helps make it good.  Stan got away with a little bit much, but he makes up for the unfair dishing of physical punishment to Ollie by being the butt of almost every verbal joke in the short.  They utilize the verbal humor much more than The Stooges.  Not to say the Stooges aren't good at it, but merely that I wish they used a little more in their shorts.

    Definitely enjoyable and one I would not turn down an opportunity to watch again, but not quite that "all-time classic."

    « Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 02:29:43 PM by Paul Pain »
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Helpmates (1932) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 05:22:20 PM »
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  • Yes, this is another film that I think is deserving of all the praise that it has gotten. Much like HOG WILD, it’s another example of a simple comedy that takes place at home, as well as showing that Laurel and Hardy really did not need supporting actors or actresses to keep their comedies moving. Yeah, there are a few of them here, but most of the short is carried by Laurel and Hardy themselves.

    The opening with Hardy at the mirror is a good way to set up the scenario without feeling that they are simply explaining it to you and nothing else. It is interesting to see Hardy berating himself for what he knows was a stupid idea and it works for this set-up. Laurel’s entrance shows a bit of hope at first; Hardy makes it seem like it will be an easy task that they can get done in no time and even have breakfast. Of course, we as the audience know that in a Laurel and Hardy comedy that can almost never be the case.

    The funny thing is that at first, it does seem like it will work. Laurel shows himself as being very effective at washing the dishes, but it’s then immediately ruined by Hardy tripping on to the table. The rest of the short is Laurel and Hardy ruining the household as well as Hardy’s clothes and there are many creative ways they do this, such as when they knock the neighbor out, causing the hose to be aimed at Hardy’s house. Towards the end, we once again get a small sense of hope that this will work when Stan seems to finish up cleaning the house, but then things become even worse than before, both on Laurel’s end and Hardy’s end. It’s one of those things you don’t necessarily have to see in order to enjoy; this shows that just a simple cutaway to the results of the events we didn’t see can be just as effective.

    There isn’t much else for me to add to what else has been said; HELPMATES is another one of those shorts that is supposed to make me laugh and it does its job well. A definite classic.

    10 out of 10