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|Index||22 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(possible spoilers...)I consider this to be Laurel and Hardy`s funniest short. The dual roles gimmick is fantastic, as it the clever use of oversized furniture. Stan and Ollie effortlessly ooze hilarity and Ollie`s constant chastising of Stan seems to be more evident in this picture than in most others. The dual roles trick was often used by Stan and Ollie, but never with such a hilarious effect. Stan and Ollie are the only two cast members, so it`s up to them to keep the comedy coming. Though this is their funniest short, I did not find it as funny as some of their features, such as Way Out West.
With today being both Stan Laurel's birthday (he would have been 123 on this day!) and Father's Day, I thought I'd rewatch this short he made with Oliver Hardy since it's the only time they play dads. Specifically, both the parental units and their spitting image offspring (sans mustache on the Hardy son) with giant props to emphasize the Laurel & Hardy children being "actual" kids. There's not much split-screen images in having the two play both roles which is just as well as that might have been too distracting. Not completely hilarious but there are many moments of genuine humor that kept me amused throughout. Oh, and it was nice to hear Mr. Hardy sing another song for the occasion, this time being "Go to Sleep, My Baby". In summary, Brats is well worth it for any Laurel & Hardy fan.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Brats" is a Laurel/Hardy 20-minute comedy short film from 85 years ago. It has sound already, but is still black-and-white. This film could also have the title of my review here (actually a quote out of the film) and one would wonder who are the brats in this video, who are the boys? At least the mini versions of Stan and Ollie have the excuse that their age somewhat allows them to be chaotic and immature, but the big ones are at least as bad. This is certainly a fairly unique plot here with the grown-ups taking care of their young selves. Other than that, it's the usual Laurel & Hardy. i think they are always very funny and entertaining to watch with all the chaos they cause. And obviously, a billiard queue in the hands of Ollie is absolutely not a good idea. A bit surprising to see that there are 5 writers listed here for a 20.minute movie. But it's not a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth and it's one of these rare films with the legendary comedy duo that has no other actors in the cast. Good watch, I recommend it.
Brats may be not only be one of the most subversive Laurel and Hardy
shorts ever made but also one of the most subversive black and white
shorts of the 1930's. Focusing on Laurel and Hardy looking after their
young children, making sure they do not wreak havoc on the house while
their wives are away, the short has Laurel and Hardy playing their
younger selves, scaled down in size thanks to an entirely modified,
recreated set with larger furniture. It's obvious that Laurel and Hardy
were simply shrunk down to look the part in terms of physical size, but
it's undoubtedly the harder, costlier way to go about this process
rather than hiring two child actors to play the performers' children.
With this, Brats utilizes Laurel and Hardy's children quite vividly and frequently, not making them momentary, cameo characters, but centering the entire short around them. We see director James Parrott and writers Leo McCarey and H.M. Walker explore the possibilities of having these characters function as children, interacting with their elders and embracing their own level of mischief akin to their parents. The illusion of Laurel and Hardy being child-size comes from modifications in the set design, where oversized furniture, staircases, and rooms were constructed to give Laurel and Hardy the appearance of being small when surrounded by much bigger items. This effect is ingenuous, especially for the time period, and the fact that an easy, albeit less believable, way could've been done for a fraction of the price just shows the dedication of the film crew at hand.
Brats is a lot of fun, heavy on slapstick, but pleasantly so, as we have an original, innovative idea at hand and a nice focus on Laurel and Hardy rather than a bunch of occasionally distracting side characters. The short furthers my opinion that radicalism in film has always been present in a sense of finding out what you can do with the medium and pushing that boundary a bit further, and to see it exercised in a genre that didn't need or call for any enormous technical or production modifications whatsoever shows the power and ambition of those who work on a film.
Starring: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Directed by: James Parrott.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With the mothers away, Stan and Laurel are child-like men who must take on two child-like children. The blind leading the blind, as they say, and it would be nice to see what the mother's reactions will be when they return home to find out what this terrible foursome has done to their castle. It's an effort to get the kids to play nice, or as Stan says, "If you must make a noise, make it quietly!". With the help of giant sets to make Laurel and Hardy look like children, this excellent comedy short ranks as one of the best of their films, short or feature length, and has enough verbal and visual gags to appeal to even the pickiest of audiences. A closet full of toys, a giant overflowing bathtub, a bee-bee gun and a sudden dose of pain creating medicine down the back of little Ollie's p.j.'s are amongst the plot devises used to create laughs. Mothers be warned; If you have a set of husbands like Stan and Oliver and two children even worse, do yourselves a favor. Hire two sets of baby sitters-one for the children and one for the grown-ups!
Whilst the quite well known 'Our Relations' is the main feature on DVD
5 in the Complete box set, I actually think that much shorter 'Brats'
has more of the pair's classic slapstick than the others and is
'Brats' has Ollie & Stan creating havoc around and on a pool table, whilst the brats in question are two little boys (impish Stan & Ollie again) with everything, including the furniture made much bigger to make them appear small. At one point an animated mouse appears to have been drawn onto the film's negatives, the creature being on Ollie's back whilst Laurel gets a gun to shoot it off. The tiny pair then take a massive bath that overflows, disastrously (of course) then they undertake a boxing match - Stan flailing about with huge boxing gloves always looks funny. Adult Ollie then sings them a lullaby that goes on to sound more like an opera!
Stan and Ollie try to spend quiet evening at home while the wives are
out but find their quiet constantly interrupted by their children, also
played by Stan and Ollie, who are definitely chips off the old
It is obvious that a great deal of time and money was lavished on this short, as evidenced by all of the over-sized props and furnishings constructed to create the illusion of the boys as, well, boys. It also seems as if more attention was given to the photography of this short as well. Technically, across the board, it was there best sound short to date.
There is essentially no real plot -- only a series of Stan and Ollie's adult diversions being interrupted by younger Stan and Ollie's childish antics. The gags, for the most part, consist of the simple slapstick at which Laurel & Hardy excelled, but the novelty of the situation gives it a fresh perspective. The humor also builds toward a large, climactic gag.
A novelty, yes, but a classic. A must see for people interested in the team.
I loved this movie... it was really funny and clever. Mostly I am writing this because I had noticed a couple of possible errors in others' comments here, and so I wanted to respectfully point them out: In reply to the comment from "planktonrules" about the tub faucet's turning itself off: I don't think the water was supposed to look/sound as if it actually shut off --- I think it merely stopped making its rushing noise of coming out of the spout because the water level had become as high as the spout. In reply to the comment from "Theo Robertson" about the grownup men and their boys only once appearing in the same shot together: actually, there was a scene in the very beginning of all four people in the same room, but they are far enough away that you can't see their faces all that well. Maybe in that shot, the two children were just young actors made up to look enough like Stan and Ollie to pass as their kids for just that one brief sequence?
** (out of 4)
Laurel and Hardy play themselves as well of their kids in this attempt at humor. I really didn't laugh too much at this because the effects of them being kids just didn't work. The kids were a lot more annoying than anything else.
Beau Hunks (1931)
*** (out of 4)
Four reel comedy has Hardy's girlfriend break up with him so he drags Laurel to join the Foreign Legion. The look of the film is quite good but overall this is more charming than funny, although the ending has some good laughs. Jean Harlow is the girlfriend in all the pictures.
This is certainly the best of the shorts where Stan and Oliver play dual
roles . Fair enough Stan plays Stan the child in much the same way as he
plays Stan the adult but Oliver plays his child role in a slightly different
way ( Almost like the kid at school who loves getting his fellow pupils into
trouble off the teacher ) and it`s a memorable change to see him without his
It`s easy to work out that the primative technical challange of having Stan and Oliver appear was children was simply done by building an oversize set and having the duo dress up as children and it`s interesting to note that apart from one short sequence ( Where the children are in bed so you don`t get to see their faces in close up ) the adults and children never appear in the same shot . It`s painfully obvious however that the mouse that appears is a badly animated effect
Watching this in 2004 there`s a lot of politically incorrect material which would have the do gooder brigade up in arms if it was made today . Children with airguns shooting at mice , a cat getting hit with a roller skate and worse of all an adult threatning to break childrens necks , but it is Stan and Ollie so we can forgive anything in one of the duo`s best remembered and funniest shorts
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