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Stanley and Oliver are trying to spend a relaxing night at home playing checkers, but the antics of their mischievous sons keep interrupting their recreation. Exasperated, the fathers send their misbehaving offspring to bed and start in on a furniture-destroying game of billiards. Upstairs, the kids continue to cause a ruckus and leave the bathtub faucet running full force. Finally, Oliver asks if they'll go to sleep if he gives them each a drink of water, then heads for the bathroom door. Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
Enjoyable routines and the gimmick of them playing two roles pays off
With their wives out for the night, Laurel and Hardy are left to look after their sons. However, not having enough trouble simply trying to enjoy their games of draughts and pool, the two children are just as much of a handful as their dads.
As with many of their best shorts, the plot here is simple and allows for several extended sequences around the same theme. Here we have several good sequences none of which would make the short it itself but together they work. The gimmick (for that is what it is) of Laurel and Hardy also playing their sons works quite well although in the scenes where the adults and children are separate it doesn't really matter who is who as it's very much a case of `like father like son'.
The sequences are nothing you haven't seen before but the delivery of them is good and the short doesn't really dip more than once. That `once' is where Hardy sings. I enjoy his voice and always liked the features where he got more of a chance to sing a proper song, however here it goes on for a little longer than it should. The punch line is good but I really had hoped for more. Because it had been built up for about 3 minutes before it actually arrives I had been pumped up and then was a bit deflated by the actual delivery but this was a minor flaw as I found the majority to be of their usual standard.
As adults or kids Laurel and Hardy are great. In all honesty there is no significant difference between their delivery as kids or adults but this doesn't matter. This is a fine example of their abilities as the two of them are the only people in the film they carry the film and hold 100% of screen time. I know this must sound easy in a 20 minutes short but I feel that it only appears easy because they make it all look so effortless.
Overall this may be a little gimmicky but it works very well. I am probably a little jaded seeing adults playing kids etc in one form or another in recent movies but here the film moves past the gimmick and delivers classic Laurel and Hardy just in two separate strands which come together in a flood of chuckles by the end.
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