Film Review – HELPMATES (1932)

HELPMATES (1932, USA) *****
Comedy
dist. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM); pr co. Hal Roach Studios; d. James Parrott; w. H.M. Walker; pr. Hal Roach (uncredited); ph. Art Lloyd (B&W. 35mm. Spherical. 1.37:1); m. Marvin Hatley, Leroy Shield (both stock music); ed. Richard C. Currier; rel. 23 January 1932 (USA); BBFC cert: U; r/t. 21m.
cast: Stan Laurel (Stan), Oliver Hardy (Ollie), Bobby Burns (Neighbour (uncredited)), Bob Callahan (Messenger (uncredited)), Blanche Payson (Mrs. Hardy (uncredited)).
One of Laurel & Hardy’s very best shorts. Oliver’s house is in a shambles after a wild party, and his wife is due home at noon. He calls Stanley to help him fix the place up, and the typical catastrophes ensue. Side-splitting sight gags are piled on top of each other as Oliver’s dignity is unravelled by Stan’s dim-witted help and his own pomposity. The final gag is wonderfully ironic.

Film Review – HOG WILD (1930)

HOG WILD (1930, USA) ****
Comedy
dist. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) (USA), Jury Metro-Goldwyn (UK); pr co. Hal Roach Studios; d. James Parrott; w. H.M. Walker (dialogue) (based on a story by Stan Laurel and Leo McCarey (uncredited)); pr. Hal Roach (uncredited); ph. George Stevens (B&W. 35mm. Spherical. 1.37:1); m. md. Marvin Hatley; ed. Richard C. Currier; rel. 31 May 1930 (USA), 25 August 1930 (UK); BBFC cert: U; r/t. 19m.
cast: Stan Laurel (Stan), Oliver Hardy (Ollie), Dorothy Granger (Tillie – The Hardys’ Maid / Girl Lifting Her Skirt by Puddle (uncredited)), Fay Holderness (Mrs. Hardy (uncredited)), Charles McMurphy (Streetcar Conductor (uncredited)).
Vintage Laurel & Hardy short in which Mrs. Hardy insists that Oliver mount the radio aerial on the roof before he goes off gallivanting with his friend Stanley. Inventive slapstick sight gags abound, not least the hilarious closing gag involving L&H’s car becoming sandwiched between trams. Original UK title: AERIAL ANTICS.