Saturday, September 7, 2013

Unaccustomed As We Are (1929)

Directors: Lewis R. Foster & Hal Roach

Writer: Leo McCarey

Composer: (stock music) Milton Ager, William Axt, Jack Yellen

Starring: Stan Lauel, Oliver Hardy, Edgar Kennedy, Mae Busch, Thelma Todd

More info: IMDb

Plot: Oliver invites his friend Stanley over for a nice home-cooked meal, but Mrs. Hardy wants nothing to do with it and walks out. Mrs. Kennedy, Oliver's beautiful neighbor from across the hall, volunteers to help out, but the boys' bumbling soon has her dress on fire. Her husband, a policeman, investigates the ruckus just as Oliver gets the now partially-unclad Mrs. Kennedy hidden in a trunk. Kennedy's boasting of how he handles his own womanizing backfires when his wife pops out of the trunk and blackens his eye. Meanwhile, Mrs. Hardy has returned and wonders what all the noise is coming from next door.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Sure.

I recently acquired the Laurel & Hardy Essential Collection DVD set and I thought it was about time that I dove into it.  I've seen very little L&H over the years but I always laughed at what I saw.  I'm a HUGE fan of the Hal Roach Studio output (especially the OUR GANG/LITTLE RASCALS shorts - I was weened on that stuff) and I have a very large collection of silent and early talkie comedies.  This one, the first on the disc, is a good example of keeping it simple.  It's largely confined to one room and three characters.  L&H are great at prat falls.  I'm not familiar with Mae Busch's work (only her name), who plays Hardy's wife (her first of many in that role), but she's funny.  There's a bit where she starts bitching royally and Hardy puts on an record and her cadence begins to match that of the upbeat tune.  Funny stuff and well played. Thelma Todd had great comedic timing and she was crazy hot.  That's right, she needs to have my babies.  In this picture she once again shows how priceless she was.  And then there's the 'appears to be in everything' Edgar Kennedy.  It's funny because the picture opens with Hardy introducing Laurel to Mrs. Kennedy and the first thing I thought of was Edgar being her husband because in the Our Gang shorts he played a cop named Kennedy.  Sure as shit, in the last few minutes Edgar shows up as a cop.  Classic. 

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