Carl Schenstrøm and Harald Madsen were the leading pair of 'Fat and Skinny' comedians in the movie world until Laurel and Hardy came along. While their characters never shed their movie-comic trappings -- ill fitting costumes, weird mustaches and bad hats -- they remained enormously popular and continued making films until 1940 -- two years after their first and best director, Lau Lauritzen Sr. died and two years before Schenstrom, the skinny one died.
Kinowelt, which has had success with its Laurel & Hardy DVD set has produced a seven-DVD set of the comedies, under the name "Pat und Patachon", the names they were known under in Germany. I have issues. The versions are cut down (this one is 48 minutes instead of the original run time of 90 minutes) and a voice over tells you what is going on -- in German, which, alas, I do not speak. These are apparently TV versions made in the late 1960s or early 1970s and it is difficult to judge what is missing -- although a lot of the continuity is definitely lost.
This one was shot in England for British International Pictures and it shows. It begins with the two comics running a dilapidated bus, with a sequence of beautifully performed bone-breaking slapstick and continues as the two of them get their hands on a flying carpet. The camera-work is also better than most of their Danish work -- lots of moving shots where appropriate, and special effects, It is a pleasure to see these two perform as they rarely seemed to be in their other works.
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