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Laurel and Hardy and their wives are due to go away for a trip. However
when Hardy's pals call him and tell him of a party in his honour he feigns
illness and sends them on ahead of him and Laurel. But making excuses to
his wife and getting away with it is only the start of the problem when it
comes to actually getting ready to go out.
In what seems to be more an exercise in patience rather than a short film, the duo go through the motions in a film that doesn't do them justice when viewed along with other shorts. The plot's high point is a sequence where Hardy tries to get Laurel's boot (which he has mistaken for his own) first onto his foot and then, realising his mistake, off his foot. This is the guts of the film and is easily the funniest bit but it isn't very good. It goes on too long and, save the great work in delivery, isn't funny enough to carry the film in the way it is expected to.
The duo try hard and both Laurel and Hardy do their well known thing to the best of their abilities but the material and the gags simply let them down. As real troopers they do their best and they are still worth watching the short for (I can't help but love Hardy's looks!) but they are not well served. The support cast (the wives) are good despite having little of consequence to do it is nice to see Laurel and Hardy given wives who look pretty as opposed to battleaxe types (or themselves!)
Overall I feel that Laurel and Hardy are always worth watching, but this would be a poor place to start. A short film that goes through the motions with no really good gags or high points.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Many of Laurel and Hardy's shorts were domestic comedies that concerned
relatively mundane activities that somehow became hilarious due to
excellent writing, direction and the acting of the team. This film is a
great example, as the plot is paper-thin and yet the film made me
The plot is an early incarnation of the plot that was later used in their best full-length film, SONS OF THE DESERT. Like this other film, the boys want to slip away for some fun with their lodge brothers and Ollie fakes an illness and convinces the wives to go off to Atlantic City without them. Probably the worst moment in the film was Ollies overacting--instead of a sick man, he sounds more like a walrus in heat! But no matter, the women believe the act and Stan stays back to take care of his friend. As soon as the ladies leave, Ollie tells Stan of the plan,...and dumb old Stan tells him he CAN'T go out because he's sick! Well, after finally helping Stan understand it was all a trick, they start to change into their lodge uniforms and believe it or not, it takes them half the film to do this, as Ollie accidentally puts on Stan's boots and cannot get them off. It IS very mundane stuff, but considering how much material they get from just this, it is truly an amazing film.
Like SONS OF THE DESERT, the wives eventually see through the plan and make the boys pay--and boy do they pay!! It's a cute little short and while not their best, it's an excellent example of their work and well worth seeing.
FYI--There is a French language version (LES CAROTTIERS) and Spanish language version (LOS CALAVERAS) of this film combined with LAUGHING GRAVY. Even if you don't know the languages, they are very watchable--especially after you see the English language versions.
Stan, Ollie and their wives are going on a trip to Atlantic City, but when Ollie gets a call from a friend saying a stag party is being thrown in his (and Stan's) honor, he cannot resist. The boys get themselves into their usual bit of trouble, although the laughs here are a bit strained, most notably in the long winded boot sequence which went on entirely too long.
"Be Big" is one of the better short slapstick movies that the legendary
couple made.Like always the story is not as important as the many jokes and
The phone and doorbell of Hardy is hilarious as well as the doorbell of
Still,the biggest laughs come after the wives have left and when Ollie &
Stan put on their boots for the club.These scenes are,although sometimes a
bit long,really funny.
Of course it ends all wrong,but that is typical for these short features.A very nice piece of work. 9/10
Laurel and Hardy are both married in this comedy short. They are about to
take their wives to Atlantic City when Hardy gets a call. The men at the
club will honor Hardy tonight so he must be there. Hardy fakes he is
suddenly ill and he wants Laurel to take care of him while the ladies must
have their fun in Atlantic City. Laurel and Hardy change for the evening
there is some trouble with Laurel's boot on Hardy's foot. Hilarious
sequences is what we get to see.
Although almost the entire short deals with the boots, Laurel and Hardy find enough ways to make us laugh. Hardy takes some nasty falls and Laurel has some nice moments with his stupidity. A very entertaining short.
This particular Hal Roach short with Laurel and Hardy seems to have
worked so well that the idea was later expanded into their classic Sons
Of The Desert comedy.
Stan and Ollie are a couple of henpecked husbands who have planned to take a joint vacation to Atlantic City with the wives. But then Ollie gets a call from a hunt club that he and Stan belong to and it seems as though the gang is throwing them a bash. And since this is a guys only type gathering, they have to ditch the wives.
Ollie fakes a tremendous headache in the usual overactive Ollie fashion and the wives decide to make it a girls only trip to Atlantic City. With the ruse working, Ollie and Stan have to get into their hunting outfits.
Personally I find it hard to believe that some hoity toity outfit would even have Laurel and Hardy as members let alone as honored guests at a party. But leaving that aside, most of the film from this point on is taken up with Hardy having managed to squeeze into Laurel's boots by mistake now trying to get them off his feet with Laurel's inept assistance.
I've never seen one gag milked so successfully for a film, granted it's just a short subject. Seeing poor Laurel struggling to get those boots off Hardy's feet, dragging him around the apartment and wrecking half of it is hilarious.
Who could have known that in reality the title Be Big referred to Ollie's feet.
A LAUREL & HARDY Comedy Short. The Boys are all set to
their wives for a weekend in Atlantic City when Ollie discovers
that the gang at the club are going to hold a stag party in
honor that very night. Feigning a terrific nervous headache,
gets Stanley to agree to send the wives on ahead by
themselves. Now Ollie & Stanley can dress for the party
except for the little matter of Stanley's boots on Ollie's feet.
the wives find out they've been tricked, the Boys had better
face their wrath like grownups and BE BIG!
This is a very funny film, relying almost entirely on slapstick humor - one has to wonder how Ollie could take those falls without seriously hurting himself. Watching him strain to get Stanley's boot off his right leg is genuinely exhausting and will make all fat men ache in sympathy.
This is far from being the best Laurel & Hardy short, even though it
surely does have its moments.
It's a bit of a disappointing entry, in the long series of Laurel & Hardy shorts. There is almost absolutely no story present and the movie relies too much on funny sounds and too many long comical sequences. I mean watching a couple of minutes how Olie tries to get his boots on and off gets a bit tiresome after a while.
Still I don't rate this movie poorly, since I was still more than amused by it all. Especially Stan's stupidity never seizes to amuse. There also are a couple of moments in the movie that makes it definitely worth watching. Of course the timing is perfect and the chemistry between the two boys is amazing to watch. They really feel each other and make some of the sequences work better than scripted. They even make the predictable moments in the movie work- and funny.
To some it might be a disappointment but the movie has got more than enough entertainment in it, to make it a movie that's well worth to watch.
Not the finest moment for the duo, particularly on a technical level. The
direction and editing are all over the place (often using long shots for
reactions) and even in the newly restored version the sound quality is
Basic plot seems to read as a try-out for Sons of the Desert, with Stan and Ollie duping their wives so they can go to a stag party. Though in the case of this short they never quite make it there. Most of the slapstick sequences feel oddly laboured and contrived (Ollie at one point taking over twelve minutes trying to get a boot off), not least because they're all backed up by an overstated musical score.
I've got a new theory: the funniness of Laurel and Hardy is directly proportional to the length of Stan's hair. In the amusing Chickens Come Home-, made the same year, he sports a large quiff, yet here it's just medium length and not as extreme.
Not awful, but Be Big! feels more like a formula filler rather than any great step forward in their career.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Be Big" features our two heroes happily about to go on a vacation to
Atlantic City with their wives. The bags are packed, they are on the
verge of leaving for the train when the phone rings, for Ollie. It is a
lodge brother, telling him about a "surprise stag party" being underway
in their honor.
I would be perturbed at this last-minute invitation. I also wouldn't want to cut short a vacation trip with my wife. I should mention both Stan and Ollie have good-looking wives in this film, and are presented as having no reason to NOT want this vacation trip.
But Ollie decides to go along, so he feigns illness and, despite acting like a wounded moose, convinces his wife and Stan's to take the train as planned. "Stan can stay and take care of me. Tomorrow, I'll feel fine and we can join you then." The wives go along with this non-sense and head off to the train station.
The boys now need to change into their hunting outfits for the stag party. Ollie tells Stan to go (across the hall) to get his outfit and they can change together. Ollie is next seen struggling to pull on a boot. With Stan's help, he finally gets it on, only to learn that he has squeezed Stan's boot onto his foot. They now spend several more minutes struggling to take it off.
Virtually half of this entire short film deals with the struggles with the one boot on Ollie's right foot. They wind up pulling off curtain rods and causing other havoc in the apartment. The finish, which naturally involves the wives returning and discovering the hoax, has some gunshots which truly destroy the apartment, without, of course, harming any people.
The boot antics could have been amusing if trimmed to two minutes or fewer. But around 12 minutes or more of this was so tedious I found myself just wanting it to end. If they had tried different tactics, it might have worked, but the vast majority of the time simply had Stan trying to get into a position to pull the boot off. Way too repetitious to be funny for even one-eighth the length of the bit.
This makes it one of the least-funny Laurel and Hardy short I've seen. Sorry to have to give it a 3.
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