Homeless, penniless and one step ahead of the police, Stanley and Oliver take refuge in the home of big-game hunter Colonel Buckshot while the owner is on safari. When Lord and Lady Plumtree call to enquire about renting the house, Oliver pretends to be Colonel Buckshot, while Stanley masquerades as both butler and maid. All goes as well as can be expected, with Lady Plumtree and Stanley, in his guise as "Agnes," engaging in girl talk, until the real Colonel Buckshot returns unexpectedly. Written by
Paul Penna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Laurel and Hardy are on the run from a police officer yet again. This time they seek refuge inside a mansion. They are getting ready to leave when they hear that the master of the house is leaving for months and has left the house to the butler and the maid to rent out. When the butler and maid leave for a week's holiday, Laurel and Hardy decide to hide out for a bit. However, when two important people come to rent the house, Hardy must play the owner while Laurel has to become both the butler and the maid!
Seeing that the name of the short was the (incorrect) phrase that everyone in the world associates with Laurel and Hardy, I assumed that this short would represent a really good film perhaps one of their best. Sadly it is not, although it is far from a wasted 20 minutes. The opening (with twins reading the credits) was off putting and was quickly fast forwarded by myself. After this we enter into the usual territory, the short picks up once Laurel and Hardy have taken possession of the house and must pass themselves off in various roles.
It doesn't all work as well as it should. Hardy does well trying to find a games room in what is supposed to be his own house, and Laurel is funny as the butler. A running gag involving the mispronunciation of the guest's name results in the regular production of cards! What is disappointing is Laurel as the maid he doesn't do well and the scene with him (Agnes) and the lady of the house chatting is devoid of the blank looks of confusion that Laurel is best at instead it is silly. The conclusion is amusing but there is to much that doesn't quite work as well as it should.
Hampering the material is a real sense of overkill on the production. Every move, look and fall is accompanied with a sound effect or grand sweeping music. The duo needs neither and it only serves to make the jokes appear to be silly or weak like they need the sound effects to make them funnier. Once or twice is cool, or used in the right places, but the overkill here is to the detriment of the film.
Overall this is an OK short but it lacks the inspiration and wit of them at their best. Here many falls and jokes are simply not delivered as well as they have done elsewhere. Sadly the over production only serves to reinforce this.
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