The Sunday Intertitle: Raw

Seeing WITH LOVE AND HISSES at Hippfest with an audience and live accompaniment by Jane Gardner was great — it’s nobody’s idea of prime Stan and Ollie, but it’s a perfectly successful laugh-generator on the big screen. The boys are practically a trio in this, with James Finlayson granted a lot of screen time.

Fiona was convinced that Ollie is swearing in the above scene — “You bastard!” she read his lips. The DVD is definitely not sufficiently hi-res to allow me to confirm this.

But I felt sure Ollie mouths the words “Oh shit!” here, when he and his troop, having lost their clothes in a freak bathing and lit match accident, encounter a couple of dames out horse riding. H.M. Walker’s intertitle supplies more palatable dialogue —

(Lots of discretely framed nudity in this one, allowing us to observe how surprisingly buff Stan is in the buff. Ollie plays his sergeant character as very ruddy-faced, but it may just be his natural golfer’s tan, suggests Stephen C. Horne.)

None of which is as striking as the moment in PERFECT DAY, an early L&H talkie, when Edgar Kennedy actually says “Oh shit!” live, on camera, in the miracle of synchronized sound, and apparently nobody noticed in the general hubbub and chaos that is a Hal Roach production.


6 Responses to “The Sunday Intertitle: Raw”

  1. “OH SHIT” would be a perfectly great title for a L&H short!

  2. There’s already SHIT! THE OCTOPUS with Hugh Herbert & Allen Jenkins.

  3. I will never listen to the Buzzcocks “oh shit” the same way again, if I imagine it’s really about Laurel and Hardy. “Oh shit, pride comes before a fall oh shit and once you lose one you’ve lost them all… ”

  4. Seems to sum up the boys’ lot in life…

  5. bensondonald Says:

    Speaking of Roach: Not sure what the availability is over there, but we’re getting a second DVD set of Charley Chase talkies in July. The same outfit has already put out a first set of Charleys as well as the Thelma Todd two-reelers teaming her with Zazu Pitts and Patsy Kelly. Columbia released their Charley Chase product some years back, but those shorts are roughly analogous to L&H’s Fox features.

  6. The Chase silents have even more Leo McCarey elements than the L&Hs he supervised, and are really hilarious. The talkies I don’t find as winning, but they’re still fun. Maybe the comedy of embarrassment will get exhausting if you watch more than three in one sitting, but this sounds like a must-have.

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