In the dead of winter, street musicians Stanley and Oliver aren't getting much business in a run-down neighborhood, and then their instruments are smashed in a run-in with a formidable ...
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After getting lambasted by the Police Chief for the 42 unsolved robberies committed on his watch, Officer Kennedy bamboozles vagrants Stanley and Oliver into a plan to recover his ... See full summary »
On their way to the train station with their wives for a vacation in Atlantic City, Stanley and Oliver get a phone call from a fellow lodge member who tells them a surprise stag party in ... See full summary »
James W. Horne,
Oliver's plans to marry his hefty sweetheart go awry when the girl's father gets a load of her intended groom. They then elope in a tiny car much too small for their combined dimensions, ... See full summary »
Stan and Ollie give evidence which convicts vicious gangster Butch. They plan to leave town and advertise for a traveling companion to share expenses. Butch's girl replies to the advert and... See full summary »
Chimney sweeps Stanley and Oliver go about their job, reducing Professor Noodle's living room to a shambles in the process, while the mad doctor works in his laboratory perfecting his "... See full summary »
In need of funds, Hardy happens to meet an old friend, now a boxing promoter, and volunteers "Battling Laurel" as the team's prizefighter, only to discover their opponent in the ring is a fearsome old nemesis.
Ollie is running for mayor when an old flame (Mae Busch) tries to blackmail him with a old photo ('just the same old apple-cheeked boy'). Stan's attempts to help Ollie keep the blackmailer ... See full summary »
Mrs. Hardy is irate that her husband Oliver spends more time with his friend Stanley than with her. Oliver decides to adopt a baby, hoping that it will keep his wife occupied so that he and... See full summary »
In the dead of winter, street musicians Stanley and Oliver aren't getting much business in a run-down neighborhood, and then their instruments are smashed in a run-in with a formidable woman. Their luck seems to turn when they find a wallet full of money, but are about to lose it to a thief when a passing policeman chases the thug off. The boys treat the officer to a meal, but when Stanley pulls out the wallet to pay, the cop recognizes it as his own. Rather than running them in as pickpockets, he pays his own tab and leaves Stanley and Oliver at the mercy of the gruff headwaiter. Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
This film was simultaneously produced in a Spanish language version, Tiembla y Titubea (1930) with the actors speaking their own lines. Laurel and Hardy read their lines from cue cards on which Spanish was written phonetically. At the time of early talkies, dubbing was not yet perfected. See more »
When the two take off running with the wallet, Hardy has it. After they crash into the cop, Laurel suddenly has it. See more »
Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy told a Lady that they could play "Far, Far Away". She insisted on real far.
By the time of the release of BELOW ZERO (1930), the public was well aware of just what Laurel & Hardy's voices sounded like. Unlike other Comedians, Tragedians and Comedy Teams, the Boys took the New Era of Sound Films all in stride. Unlike others whose voices were deemed to be inconsistent with their screen image, and hence unfit to be used in the Talkies. There would be no going back from this point.
So we now had the Laurel & Hardy'modus operandi, which had been developing for about 4 years by this time. But now we can hear them; laughing, crying and delivering some very fine humor. Verbal humor would be added to the battery of Big Humor Guns. And, thank your Lucky Stars; the voices fit their visual images.
As for our film, we first have to comment on the chosen setting. BELOW ZERO, though it was undoubtedly filmed at Hal Roach Studios in Culver City (?), in Suburban Los Angeles, sunny Southern California. But it really felt Cold!! The falling 'snow', the 'snow' on the ground, the ice topped rain barrels all appears to be the McCoy! And, Brother, here in Chicago, we do know our ice, snow, sleet and slush.
The boys are cast as street musicians who are out on this particular Winter day, bravely and persistently hanging in there. They continually seem to be starting the same tune over and over again, Stanley on the Keyboard and Ollie plunking the Bass Fiddle to the tune of "In the Good, Old Summertime!" And all the while that they played, the snow kept falling, the Winter wind kept a blowin' and their teeth kept a chatterin'.' The one actually opening gag about their playing so long and compiling no gratuities; only to find that they were camped right in front of this one building. Though there was plenty of pedestrian traffic, they all seemed to just ignore the Boys. It was only when they decided to move on; Ollie discovered the placard on the one building which read: "Deaf and Dumb Institute!" This may seem a trifle in bad taste to us; and has been criticized by many. Especially today in our world of Political Correctness, where everyone seems so up tight about everything! In BELLOW ZERO the gang at Hal Roach Studios did a fine job of putting in the right ingredients into the mix. We see the boys engaged in some sort of work and no doing so well. We have the usual interplay, give and take between them. We have their getting in trouble with some tough hood, only to have the Cop come to their aid. But it seems that Laurel & Hardy usually go afoul of the Law and in this they do not disappoint. Finally they get into trouble with the tough restaurateur, ultimately winding it all up with favourite ploy, the Sight Gag, and then it's fade out, music, ending credits.
With the release of BELOW ZERO, the team now had a sound short to use as a barometer for all subsequent Sound Shorts.
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