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Leave 'Em Laughing (1928)

6.8
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Leaving the dentist's office, where Hardy's teeth have been extracted by mistake, the boys, still under the influence of laughing gas, meet up with a traffic cop (Kennedy) and cause a huge ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Charlie Hall ...
The Landlord
Edgar Kennedy ...
Cop
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Storyline

Leaving the dentist's office, where Hardy's teeth have been extracted by mistake, the boys, still under the influence of laughing gas, meet up with a traffic cop (Kennedy) and cause a huge traffic jam. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

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two reeler | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

28 January 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lattergas  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First appearance by Edgar Kennedy in a Laurel and Hardy film. Kennedy would go on to play exasperated cops in several more films with the duo. See more »

Connections

Edited into Dance of the Cookoos (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stan and Ollie live up to the title
24 March 2002 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

The final shot of this Laurel & Hardy two-reeler has been excerpted and used in several silent comedy compilations: it shows Stan and Ollie laughing uproariously in their car as bemused cop Edgar Kennedy glares at them . . . while in the meantime, the car and all three occupants are sinking into a deep, watery mud hole. That shot captures the antic spirit of silent comedy neatly and amusingly. Leave 'Em Laughing itself is an early L&H comedy, made while they were still finding their style, but there are several funny moments en route to that memorable, watery finale.

The film consists of three sequences: the boys in their apartment, contending with Stan's toothache and angry landlord Charlie Hall; a trip to the dentist's office, where they are overcome with laughing gas; and the finale, as they try to deal with traffic -- and with Officer Kennedy -- while helpless with laughter. I like the third part best, myself, but perhaps that's because of the discomfiting tooth pain element of the earlier scenes. In watching the film again recently I notice gags in the first two sequences that are rather cartoon-y, and not in keeping with what the guys would do in their prime. For instance: early on, Stan has a handkerchief around his jaw, tied in two knots atop his head like rabbit ears, and at one point the pain he's feeling is indicated by the "ears" twisting themselves in circles. Similarly, in the dentist's waiting room, surprise is indicated through Stan's hat flying up into the air. This kind of shtick seems more typical of the Mack Sennett Studio, whereas the best comedians on the Hal Roach lot (L&H, Our Gang, Charley Chase, etc.) tended to favor a more naturalistic style with less straining for laughs. It's interesting to compare these gags to the later 'Magic Stan' bits, such as the hat-eating in Way Out West or the thumb-smoking in Block-Heads; those routines are certainly unreal, but they feel intrinsic to Stan's oddness and somehow perfectly natural, not standard shtick which any other comic could do, like the rabbit ear hankie or the flying hat bit.

At any rate, the finale is great fun. I once saw this film at a museum screening, and despite the lack of sound the boys' unstoppable laughter during the final sequence succeeded in getting the audience going, too. That could also be a matter of context: Stan and Ollie are creating a traffic jam, but instead of reacting fearfully they're laughing in the face of the unsmiling cop who doggedly tries to make them follow the rules. It's a rare sequence where Stan and Ollie are openly subversive and don't give a damn about the consequences, and it's downright liberating.


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