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Laurel and Hardy, Vol. 4 [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Crazy Like a Fox
Oliver Hardy -- who would soon join up with Stan Laurel to make a winning comic team -- has a walk-on in this Charley Chase two-reeler. A father (William V. Mong) wants his daughter (Martha Sleeper) to marry the son (Chase) of an old friend. Since she has never met the young man, Martha decides to run away, and at the train depot, she meets Charley, who is on his way to meet the girl his father told him about. He doesn't realize Martha is his intended, and vice versa, and they fall in love. To get out of the arranged marriage, Charley decides to act crazy in front of the girl's parents. The uncomprehending father obligingly tries to match Charley's nutty behavior. Eventually Charley realizes that these are the parents of the girl he loves, and he becomes sane rather quickly. Originally, Hardy had a much larger part, in which he was shoved into a fountain a number of times, but all that landed on the cutting room floor. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Oranges and Lemons
During his early days working for the Hal Roach studios, the plots to Stan Laurel's comedies were as interchangeable as their titles -- Pick and Shovel, Collars and Cuffs, Gas and Air, and this one, Oranges and Lemons. They all seem to involve Laurel as a laborer who spends more time flirting with a pretty girl (usually Katherine Grant, who plays Little Valencia here) instead of working, and who constantly annoys the foreman (this time around it's Eddie Baker, going by the unlikely name of Orange Blossom). Laurel's character here is known as Sunkist and, as might be guessed by both the characters' names and the film's title, he works in a citrus grove. The foreman, fed up with Sunkist's behavior, chases him into the packing plant, where much mayhem ensues. There's some funny business on a conveyor belt before Sunkist traps his antagonists (the number has grown as he has wreaked havoc) and breaks for lunch. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Bromo and Juliet
Charley Chase will do just about anything to marry his sweetheart Madge (Corliss Palmer) in this amusing two-reeler. So she promises herself to him -- providing that he play Romeo to her Juliet in the Shakespeare/variety benefit show she's holding. He agrees, though reluctantly, and once he's in costume it's easy to see why he balked -- the tights make his toothpick legs seem even skinnier. With the use of some sponges he gives his legs some shape. But when he has to pick up Madge's inebriate father (William A. Orlamond), it looks like he may never get to the show -- a cab driver (Oliver Hardy) won't let them go until he gets the forty dollars the old man owes him, and when Charley tries to sell some bootleg liquor to raise the money, he's forced to drink it. But after being chased by the driver and a cop and running through sprinklers (making his legs even more ridiculously shapely than before), Charley does arrive -- intoxicated to the point of insensibility. He proceeds to turn the show into an crazed melee -- but instead of being its ruination, he's the hit of the night. Madge is delighted with his performance and tells him, "There were times when I imagined you had really been drinking!" ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

West of Hot Dog
Before teaming up with Oliver Hardy, comedian Stan Laurel starred in a number of very funny parodies. He burlesqued Rudolph Valentino's Blood and Sand with Mud and Sand and Monsieur Beaucaire with Monsieur Don't Care. Here the Western West of the Pecos undergoes a comic transformation. Stan plays an eastern wimp who is headed West to claim an inheritance. But the stagecoach he is on gets held up and his silly behavior in front of the bandits does not impress the girl (Julie Leonard) who is also a passenger. When he arrives in town to hear the reading of the will, he discovers that the other heirs happen to be the bandits, who will get full possession of the estate in the event of Stan's unfortunate demise. Of course the bad guys try to make sure this happens as quickly as possible. Stan leaves town to save his life, but his hiding spot is invaded by the bandits, who have just robbed the saloon. Somehow -- more through the villains' ineptitude than from any bravery on Stan's part -- he rounds up the bad guys before the posse arrives. The girl from the stagecoach turns out to be the sheriff's daughter, but now that she is willing to be Stan's girl, her father wants nothing more to do with her. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Mud and Sand
This slapstick parody of Rudolph Valentino's Blood and Sand really put Stan Laurel on the map as a film comedian. While no Valentino, Stan is quite handsome as aspiring toreador Rhubarb Vaselino. When he enters a bullfight and lays three bulls to waste, his reputation is made. He weds his childhood sweetheart Caramel (Julie Leonard) and at the height of his career he is paired with the greatest bull in all Spain. But before the fight he ruins his marriage by his involvement with a wicked vamp. He goes on to defeat the bull but he is felled at the height of his victory when he's hit by one of the hats thrown into the arena -- a spurned young lovely has put a brick in it. Obviously the plot wasn't much to speak of, and the gags were the thing, along with Stan's inimitable timing. This was one of a series of comedies he made for producer Gilbert M. "Bronco Billy" Anderson -- in 1923, the comedian would move over to Hal Roach's studio where, after a few years, he would team up with another comic actor by the name of Oliver Hardy. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Oliver Hardy
    Oliver Hardy
  • William V. Mong
    William V. Mong
  • Martha Sleeper
    Martha Sleeper
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