A band of Gypsies are camped outside the walls of Count Arnheim's palace. Oliver's wife kidnaps the Count's daughter Arline, then leaves the child and runs off with her lover, Devilshoof. ... See full summary »
Unbeknownst to Stanley and Oliver, their long-lost twin brothers, sailors Alfie and Bert are in town on shore leave carrying a valuable pearl ring entrusted to them by their ship's captain.... See full summary »
Oliver invites his friend Stanley over for a nice home-cooked meal, but Mrs. Hardy wants nothing to do with it and walks out. Mrs. Kennedy, Oliver's beautiful neighbor from across the hall,... See full summary »
Mrs. Hardy is irate that her husband Oliver spends more time with his friend Stanley than with her. Oliver decides to adopt a baby, hoping that it will keep his wife occupied so that he and... 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 »
After getting lambasted by the Police Chief for the 42 unsolved robberies committed on his watch, Officer Kennedy bamboozles vagrants Stanley and Oliver into a plan to recover his ... 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 »
Stan and Ollie give evidence which convicts vicious gangster Butch. They plan to leave town and advertise for a traveling companion to share expenses. Butch's girl replies to the advert and... See full summary »
Stanley's attempts to treat Oliver's cold include dropping a swab down his friend's throat, applying a mustard plaster to his rump, and inflating the air mattress from the gas jet until it has Oliver pressed against the ceiling.
In lieu of back wages, the defunct circus that Stanley and Oliver have been working for pay them off with a flea circus and a trained chimpanzee named "Ethel." Unfortunately, that's also the name of their landlord's wife, and after the boys sneak the ape into their room, the jealous man draws some unfortunate conclusions when he overhears Oliver ordering Ethel to "come to bed." Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
Laurel and Hardy are working at the circus as a pantomime horse. When the circus comes to an end the assets of the circus are split among the staff by way of lottery. Hardy wins Ethel a man-sized ape! Laurel, Hardy and Ethel go off on their way, with Ethel taking a shine to Laurel, however before they do anything else their first problem is to find a hotel that doesn't mind having a monkey for a guest!
I saw this as a double bill with `Their First Mistake'. I thought the former was weaker than their usual work, but I appreciated it more when I watched `The Chimp'. I have never before felt disappointed with a Laurel & Hardy short (and I've seen a few). Usually I am sucked in by their funny, punchy nature and it's so short that it's over before I even consider getting bored! However here I felt uncomfortable from the start the circus set up felt too different from their normal roles to be easily accepted. Also I just found the whole use of the monkey to be poor and unimaginative.
That's not to say I didn't laugh, because I did, but I laughed a lot less frequently that I normally do with their shorts. There are no really good routines after the circus clowning (excuse pun) is finished with and the final punch line can be see coming from the halfway mark! It was a let down because it all seemed quite forced at times and lacking in the free flowing feel that their better shorts have.
Laurel is still good and Hardy works his double takes well, if not as often as he would probably have liked to. The chimp of the title is too obstructive to the dynamic that exists between Laurel and Hardy and is a most unwelcome addition to the duo. The fact that the chimp is more than just a plot device (as the baby was in `Their First Mistake') but becomes a participant is to the film's detriment. The support cast are pretty poor even James Finlayson is woefully underused, not even one trade mark double-take and squint!
Overall this is one for fans only. I'm a fan and I still felt let down. It doesn't have any really strong scenes and the majority is quite ordinary. It is L&H of course, so it is impossible NOT to be funny at all, but this is way off their usual standard. The monkey used to set up basically every scene bar the early ones causes more damage to the onscreen dynamics than good and is the root of this film's weakness. I still laughed but the space between these laughs was way too long.
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