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Come Clean (1931)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 570 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

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 »

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Title: Come Clean (1931)

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Cast

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Kate
Gertrude Astor ...
Mrs. Hardy
Linda Loredo ...
Mrs. Laurel
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Storyline

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 <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mr. Hardy holds that every husband should tell his wife the whole truth- Mr. Laurel is crazy too.

Genres:

Short | Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

19 September 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El canelo  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Stan signs his name on the note look carefully on the door. You can see a marking which bears a similar resemblance, which would indicate a previous take. See more »

Quotes

Opening Title Card: Mr. Hardy holds that every husband should tell his wife everything - Mr. Laurel is crazy too.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trinity: Gambling for High Stakes (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
No rules, no boundaries, no explanation
17 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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