Monday, September 12, 2011

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum for a Laurel and Hardy afternoon

Okay, I'm finally mostly back in the real world (from Burning Man). At least back enough to get back to the movies. Last Sunday was the monthly Laurel and Hardy talkie matinee at Niles

FISH HOOKY (1933): The Our Gang kids decide to play hooky and go fishing instead of going to school. Little do they know instead of school they have a field trip to an amusement park. And the truant officer is chasing them anyway. A lot of the charm is that the truant officer and the teacher are both played by former (silent era) Our Gang kids, as well as little Joe Cobb showing up as a teenager.

THE HOOSE-GOW (1929): In one of their early talkies, Laurel and Hardy find themselves in prison, despite protesting their innocence. No luck, they're on the work detail and cause all sorts of mayhem. Especially when the Governor (their longtime foil Jim Finlayson) shows up to inspect the camp. No spoilers, but you know they'll turn just about anything into a really messy fight.

Then a brief intermission, and the feature

PARDON US (1931): In fact, Laurel and Hardy's first feature film (that just sort of grew until it was feature length). Laurel and Hardy are back in prison (get the theme--back to school = back to prison), this time for selling bootleg booze to a cop. They get into all sorts of trouble with the toughs there, mostly due to Laurel's loose tooth that makes him give everyone the raspberry. Jim Finlayson shows up again as the teacher (literally, prison = school). The boys escape, go on the lam, hide out in blackface as cotton pickers (yikes!) and eventually get hauled back, just to become accidental heroes. Hilarious.

Total Running Time: 94 minutes
My Total Minutes: 247,659

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