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Mud and Sand (1922)

5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 229 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 2 critic

Rhubarb Vaselino lives in a small village, when he and his friend, Sapo, enter a bullfighting contest, Sapo dies, but Rhubarb kills three bulls and becomes a local hero earning money. Two ... See full summary »

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(as Gil Pratt)

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(titles)
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Title: Mud and Sand (1922)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Mae Laurel ...
La Paloma aka Pavaloosky
Julie Leonard ...
Caramel (as Julia Leonard)
Leona Anderson ...
Filet de Sole
Sam Kaufman ...
Humidor
Wheeler Dryden ...
Cuspidor
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Storyline

Rhubarb Vaselino lives in a small village, when he and his friend, Sapo, enter a bullfighting contest, Sapo dies, but Rhubarb kills three bulls and becomes a local hero earning money. Two years later, he is living in Madrid as a national hero , when he becomes involved with Filet de Sol, and his lover finds out, he must fight the most deadliest in Spain, in the last bull fight of the season. Written by Paul L

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Release Date:

13 November 1922 (USA)  »

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Mud and Sand  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the titles in this story have a different font than the others. That's because they were added in later, to replace the original titles which had gone missing over the years (legend has it they were processed with inferior chemicals and were the first parts of the films to deteriorate). See more »

Goofs

The writing on the chalkboard outside the bullring change between shots e.g. the numbers of bulls killed written next to the names appears and disappears. See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing Credits- Moral: If you want to live long and be happy - cut out the bull! See more »

Connections

Spoofs Blood and Sand (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stan throws the bull at Charlie's half-brother
12 August 2007 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Before Stan Laurel became the smaller half of the all-time greatest comedy team, he laboured under contract to Broncho Billy Anderson in a series of cheapies, many of which were parodies of major Hollywood features. Most of Laurel's 'parody' films are only mildly funny, and even less funny for modern audiences who haven't seen the original movie which Laurel is parodying. Fortunately, 'Mud and Sand' lampoons a movie which is still well known: 'Blood and Sand', starring Rudolph Valentino. 'Blood and Sand' was released only nine weeks before this parody, giving you some idea of how quickly Broncho Billy's movies were ground out, edited and distributed.

Various sources (including IMDb) state that Stan Laurel's character in this film is named Rhubarb Vaselino, with a final 'o'. I've screened a print of 'Mud and Sand' with the original titles (in Hobo type font), so I report that Laurel's role is actually cried Rhubarb Vaseline, with an 'e'. But I agree that 'Vaselino' is funnier. Laurel copies the elaborate sideburns which Valentino wore in 'Blood and Sand' (he should've made them longer!), and there's a parody of Valentino's dressing scene from that movie, which made female movie-goers swoon in 1922. A señorita named Carmen in the original film is parodied here as Caramel (a girl I'd like to sink my teeth into).

This movie (like the original) apparently takes place in Spain, yet there's a Prohibition gag. Laurel uses a distinctive hat-tipping gesture here which could have become a trademark for him (like Hardy's distinctive necktie twiddle), but I've never spotted it in any other Laurel film. There's some amusing dialogue: Rhubarb Vaseline tells the other matadors to 'Save a bull for me.' When Vaseline becomes a successful toreador, a lackey tells him 'The bull is without, sir' ... which is funny, but I was disappointed that Laurel didn't reply 'Without WHAT?'.

There's one funny moment here which almost certainly wasn't planned, when Vaseline shows up for the bullfighter auditions. Laurel swaggers into the bullring, and -- before you can say 'corrida querida' -- he tosses a bull over the fence, where it lands with a thump near the other auditioners. The bull is obviously a fake, but the gag is funny anyway ... and, aye, there's a title card with a joke about 'throwing the bull'. The serendipitous moment occurs when Laurel repeats the gag, and Vaseline slings a second bull over the fence. This one lands on its butt, and balances upright for just an instant before toppling. VERY funny! If somebody planned that gag in this quickie comedy, I salute the unknown gagsmith ... and the tech man who rigged the bull to land in that position. More likely it happened by luck, and the director and editor were smart enough to keep it in.

During the silent era, whenever Hollywood made a big-budget feature film which was set anyplace where the people don't speak English, it was a common cinematic device to show a piece of text or an inscription in the local lingo, then dissolve to a shot of the same text in English. I was surprised that this low-budget comedy spent the money to copy that device here: we see a notice-board outside the corrida with a message in Spanish, then it dissolves to the same text in English. Unfortunately, the photography in this cheapo movie is so dark that the effect is wasted.

The actresses in this movie are attractive ... including Broncho Billy's wife Leona Anderson and Stan Laurel's common-law wife Mae Dahlberg; the latter briefly does a pretty dance. (Mae had danced in Stan's vaudeville act.) I was surprised to spot Charlie Chaplin's half-brother Wheeler Dryden in a brief role, since Chaplin had nothing to do with this movie. In 'Mud and Sand', Laurel gives a funny performance that's quite unlike his later familiar Stanley character ... but this film is much less funny than his brilliant work with Oliver Hardy. My rating: just 3 out of 10. TRIVIA NOTE: Twenty-three years later, in Stan Laurel's very last American film -- 'The Bullfighters' (1945) -- he again played a Spanish bullfighter (with his Spanish voice post-dubbed). Coincidentally, that film used stock footage from 'Blood and Sand': not Valentino's movie, but the Tyrone Power remake. 'Mud and Sand' is funnier than 'The Bullfighters', but not much.


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