The Hardys, hoping to avoid having the Laurels drop in and spoil their quiet evening, pretend not to be home when the couple inevitably call. But their subterfuge is discovered, and to make... See full summary »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 ... 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,
Jilted by his girlfriend, "Jeanie-Weenie," Oliver joins the Foreign Legion to forget, bringing Stanley along with him. They wilt under the scorching desert sun and under the harsh ... See full summary »
Oliver's house is in a shambles after a wild party, and his wife is due home at noon. He calls Stanley to help him fix the place up, and the typical catastrophies ensue. Somehow, however, ... See full summary »
It's the morning of Oliver's wedding to oil baron Peter Cucumber's daughter. While waiting for the taxi to take them to the ceremony, Oliver and his best man Stanley become absorbed in a ... See full summary »
Stan and Ollie are down on their luck and beg at an old lady's house for food. While they are eating they overhear a villainous landlord (Finlayson) threatening to evict her if she does not... See full summary »
It looks like the boys won't need to fish off the end of the pier to feed themselves any longer when Stanley's rich uncle Ebenezer Laurel dies, leaving a large estate. But when he and ... See full summary »
The Hardys, hoping to avoid having the Laurels drop in and spoil their quiet evening, pretend not to be home when the couple inevitably call. But their subterfuge is discovered, and to make the best of it, Stanley and Oliver go out to buy ice cream. On the way, they spot Kate, a woman wanted by the police, jump in the river. They save her, only to have her blackmail them into supporting her, or else she'll claim they tried to kill her. Back home, troubles ensue when the boys try to keep their wives from learning what they've brought home instead of ice cream. Written by
Paul Penna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
James W. Horne does what he does best as a director of Laurel and Hardy shorts with Come Clean, a spry comedic short, which is erect a story and short film on the opportunities that naturally arise from situational comedy. His directorial style, combined with H.M. Walker's writing, is often comprised of coming up with a ridiculous story and continuing to feed its inanity by seeing just how far one could take it. This results in a short that is more than just endless bouts of physical comedy with no real humor whatsoever, but a showcase of two charismatic comedy talents and a screen writing exercise that serves as a fulfilling laugh-riot.
Come Clean may not live up to Horne's other Laurel and Hardy shorts, like Big Business and Thicker Than Water, but there is still an incomparable amount of energy and liveliness within the screenplay and the characters. The short begins by Mr. and Mrs. Hardy wishing they could have a restful, quiet evening in their apartment, but are interrupted, per usual, by the well-meaning but troublemaking Mr. and Mrs. Laurel. After trying to refuse entry, the Hardy's give up and decide to let them in, to which Laurel replies by hanging with his old pal Hardy and the wives are left to mingle in the frontroom. When Laurel and Hardy decide to venture out to get ice cream, they wind up preventing a woman from committing suicide off a bridge, to which she is ungrateful and begins making threats to both men if they dare leave her company. What results is a manic evening between the two men and the shrewish woman, as they try to get back to their wives for a dinner, while preventing the woman from screaming whenever she is unsatisfied with what's happening.
This is the first Laurel and Hardy short I've encountered where little sense is made in regards to the short's narrative or its cause-and-effect relationship. Why would this woman try and commit suicide? Was it all just a ploy to get the attention of someone she could blackmail? Why are Laurel and Hardy's wives so bitter and shrewish themselves? Writer H.M. Walker doesn't concern himself with that information so much as he does try his best to quietly obscure details by making such a ridiculous and wild short film, one that operates with the one-thing-leads-to-another formula of early comedy filmmaking, without so much as clearing up why one thing leads to another.
It's all in the name of comedy, and in that spirit, Come Clean is pretty funny, especially during the last ten minutes of its nineteen-minute runtime, where, per usual, all hell breaks loose and Laurel and Hardy are left to their own thoughtful wits, as lackluster as those often are. Come Clean provides for fun and enjoyment, which is precisely what most of these shorts have been giving me, so far.
Starring: Stan Laurel and Olive Hardy. Directed by: James W. Horne.
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