It's Prohibition, and the boys wind up behind bars after Stan sells some of their home-brew beer to a policeman. In prison, Stan's loose tooth keeps getting him in trouble, because it ... See full summary »
It's Prohibition, and the boys wind up behind bars after Stan sells some of their home-brew beer to a policeman. In prison, Stan's loose tooth keeps getting him in trouble, because it sounds like he's giving everybody a rasp- berry. But it earns him the respect of The Tiger, a rough prisoner, and the boys manage to slip away during The Tiger's escape attempt. They disguise themselves in blackface and hide on a cotton plantation, but are recaptured when the warden happens by. Back in the big house, they find themselves in a hail of bullets, caught between the state militia and gun-toting prisoners, when The Tiger tries another escape. Written by
Paul Penna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's first feature-length film. Producer Hal Roach had wanted to use some of the sets left over from MGM's big-budget prison picture The Big House (1930) to do a prison-movie spoof, but discovered that it would be too expensive to make as a short subject. See more »
The lighting rig shadow can be seen as the migrant workers exit the cotton fields. See more »
[Stan and Ollie are wearing blackface]
They'll never recognize us in a 100 years. For once in your life you've hit up on a good idea.
A practical idea.
What about the tooth? The buzzer.
Oh, I fixed that too. I vulcanized it.
I vulcanized it. I put some chewing gum in there and it don't buzz any more.
You're actually using your brain. That's what comes from associating with me.
What do you mean associa-
Tut tut tut tut.
Tut tut tut tut?
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Plot and structure wise it is light but it produces plenty of memorable and hilarious scenes
Laurel and Hardy are shopping for ingredients for their next get rich scheme making and selling liquor during prohibition. Of course when Laurel sells a bottle of beer to a policeman, there is only ever going to be one outcome and the two finds themselves on the way to the big house. Locked up with a mean spirited collection of fellas, Stan and Oliver take their chance to escape and find themselves wanted men on the run.
Having just watched the very structured "Our Relations" it was noticeable when I stepped back into the much looser Pardon Us. The basic plot is no more than a nail on which to hang a series of comic scenarios and, as such, it works because it is pretty funny for the majority. The story is pretty weak but it does allow for a solid spoof of jail clichés as well as a pretty un-PC but funny scene where the boys try to pass themselves off as cotton pickers. Despite not having this flow to it, the film does have a couple of good stand out scenes that will please everyone with their typical silliness and mix of looks and double-takes.
Laurel and Hardy are both on form and are served to their strengths well. Finlayson is wonderful in a great classroom scene and he got the biggest laughs from me with a master class in slow burns and double takes. Long is enjoyably tough as The Tiger while Lucas is a good warden. The support cast are roundly good even if they are mainly there to carry the scenes rather than the comedy. The musical numbers are obvious but still good with Hardy getting a good chance to show off his baritone talents.
Overall a thinly plotted affair but one that delivers quite a few memorable and hilarious scenes, connected with generally amusing moments.
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