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Thursday, December 28, 2006


I scored a Laurel and Hardy double-feature for Christmas. Thank you, Santa!

Man, was it great to spend a couple of hours with the boys again, in two movies I'd never seen before: "Air Raid Wardens" (1943) and "Nothing But Trouble" (1944).

Laurel and Hardy's biographers always point out that the boys were older and slower -- and had less creative clout -- by the time they made "Air Raid Wardens" and "Nothing But Trouble." PAY THEM NO HEED. This is Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and by this time, they had decades of comic chemistry behind them. These later movies are very sweet. Of course they can't compete with the boys' early '30s shorts. What CAN? If you love L&H, you'll love every moment of these films.

"Air Raid Wardens" is a real time-capsule. In it, Stan and Ollie bust up a Nazi spy ring bent on destroying a magnesium plant (or, as Stan calls it, a "Magnesia plant"). There's a gag involving a painting of Hitler. This kind of culture clash must seem so weird to people who aren't used to the frequently jingoistic World War II-era Hollywood movies.

I propose a triple feature of "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror" (in which Sherlock Holmes fights the Nazis), "Invisible Agent" (in which the Invisible Man fights the Nazis) and "Air Raid Wardens."


Anonymous gail jeanne mcgillicuddy said...

well said.

Thanks for keeping that gate closed.

9:48 AM, January 01, 2007  

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