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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Masterful

10/10
Author: alain-james from France
31 October 2006

Jack Barty is hilarious and performs one of the best pantomime scenes I have ever seen.

Stan, Ollie and Mae Busch all join in to create an incredible pantomime dinner party.

Stan and Ollie are with perfect partners in this film.

The interaction between all the characters is perfect. Barty's speaking voice is also hysterical. It has a bit of English sound, mixed with a deep rasp. His enunciation is sublime.

Sublety abounds. "Madame" (Mae Busch) is perfect as she slides in and out of a sort of schizo-dementia.

You will be glad to see this masterwork and to have in your collection when you need a lift. What great great actors.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Perhaps the most perfect Laurel & Hardy comical short.

10/10
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
15 February 2006

I absolute adore this movie. It's quite a dark comical one but still features all of the typical humor and slapstick moments.

Finally the boys meet some persons who are even crazier than they are. Mae Busch as the widow and Jack Barty as Jitters are some real good crazy and scary persons. They give the boys a hard time and the movie does actually succeed in making the movie tense and unpredictable. Normally it aren't the supporting actors who make a Laurel & Hardy short to be a classic and comical one but this movie is truly an exception to that.

Honestly there isn't a thing that I dislike about this movie so that is why I regarded as the most perfect Laurel & Hardy short. A must-see!

10/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Another hilarious misadventure for Laurel and Hardy!

Author: wishkah7 from Brooklyn, NY. (Where I'm from originally.)
5 December 2000

In this episode they play barbershop owners who write to a rich widow. But Stan's letter is rejected, and still wants to tag along with Ollie. Then, in a dream, they go to her mansion and encounter a kooky butler and Ollie becomes engaged to the widow only to find out later on that she's a homicidal maniac who's killed seven other Olivers and plans to make Ollie her eighth victim!

The funniest scenes were when Stan and Jitters were playing with invisible cards and doing that 'pick a card' trick! And the dinner scene with invisible food was another one of L&H's comical moments! And Jack Barty was hilarious as the crazed Jitters and Mae Busch was totally impeccable as the widow and other characters she played in L&H films, too!

This episode is for any L&H fan to see! I give it 4 stars!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Funny but a weird feel to the final third and poor ending

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
2 January 2003

Oliver and Stanley own and run a barbershop. When Stanley sees an advertisement for male company from a rich woman he tells Ollie and they both write letters. Ollie posts his but hides Stanley. When the woman sees Oliver's letter she plans to take revenge on him for her first love – also Oliver – who broke her heart, just as she has killed seven other Olivers before. Oliver and Stan arrive assuming that they have it made but begin to suspect something afoot.

Can I ever get enough Laurel and Hardy? Probably not! This entry starts really well and is very funny despite tailing off a bit in the final 10 minutes or so. The opening is classic banter between the two men and with some really funny lines and the invisible food etc is all good. However the ending is more physical comedy that doesn't work as well as what went before. And the ending is a real cop out and just felt like they ran out of ideas for what to do next.

The two leads are very funny no matter what and are at their best when exchanging equally foolish dialogue. Barty is OK as Jitters but the whole `invisible' card thing didn't really grab me. Likewise no-one could accuse Busch of giving a subtle, comic or measured performance and just goes all out to leave the audience in no doubt as to her character.

Overall this is still funny but the ending didn't work very well for me and the last 5 odd minutes suffered in the same way. But for the most part I was laughing out loud and was happy to see service as normal.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Little Attempted Murder With Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy

10/10
Author: Ron Oliver (revilorest@juno.com) from Forest Ranch, CA
16 March 2000

A LAUREL & HARDY Comedy Short. Ollie agrees to marry a wealthy widow - not realizing she's a homicidal maniac. She has a curious habit of finding men named "Oliver" and then slitting their throats the night before the wedding. She's killed seven times already; now she plans on making OLIVER THE EIGHTH victim. Locked in her mansion of death, the Boys are in for a night of comic terror...

This little film is somewhat of a change of pace for the Boys, but it's very funny and they lampoon its Gothic mood quite nicely. Mae Busch is lots of fun as the widow.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Sort of like ARSENIC AND OLD LACE morphed into a Laurel and Hardy short!

8/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
10 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This short Laurel and Hardy film deserves a look just because it dared to be different! It is so unlike all their other films because the plot is so very, very dark! Stan and Ollie answer a personals ad concerning a lonely RICH widow who wants to wed. Inexplicably, she chooses Ollie from among all the letters. It turns out that she has already married seven other Olivers and she wants to marry any man with this name. Despite the deal being way too good to be true, Ollie thinks he's got it made,...that is until he arrives at the lady's mansion. There, he finds that the woman and her servant are completely insane! Fortunately, Stanley soon arrives, but he doesn't seem to notice how crazy their host and butler are. When the butler begins shuffling imaginary cards and doing tricks with them, Stan starts to believe it's real. This is pretty cute, however the whole 'imaginary' portion of the film is way, way too long and way over-done. Instead of just relying on this quick routine, they then go to dinner--where all the food and drink is imaginary. Of course, the butler and his lady think it's real and the boys are a bit put off by the dinner and realize they're in for trouble unless they can escape. But, to have this whole invisible food and cards to occupy so much of the film is a mistake--it's like beating a dead horse after a while since it simply goes on too long.

Fortunately, this bit is the only negative aspect of the film. The rest of the story is exciting and lots of fun--with a lot of laughs every time Stanley starts talking. His mindless prattle is wonderful--among the best lines in any of their films. If you can speed past the poor section of the movie in the middle, you'll be rewarded by some of the team's better bits.

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Oliver the Eighth

5/10
Author: Jackson Booth-Millard from United Kingdom
12 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are the most famous comedy duo in history, and deservedly so, so I am happy to see any of their films. Stan and Ollie own a barbershop, and Stan reads the newspaper, a rich widow is wanting to meet and marry a man, and they decide to both answer with a letter, but Ollie only posts his own. The rich widow (Mae Busch) reads Ollie's letter, and Jitters the butler (Jack Barty) knows that she will want to murder him, like the seven other Oliver's before. So Ollie shows up at her house, and while Jitters plays with invisible cards, Stan soon shows demanding he gets a share of whatever Ollie gets (he found out that he didn't post his response). After Stan has briefly joined the "card game", Jitters plays the military salute on the trumpet (blowing Stan's hat off) to announce dinner is ready, which turns out to be invisible wine and soup, they are both crazy. Jitters tells Ollie he is to have his throat cut by the widow, so when they are given a bedroom, Stan has to help Ollie by staying awake, but don't worry, when she does eventually show up, it turns out to be a bad dream. Filled with good slapstick and all classic comedy you want from a black and white film, at just over an hour, it is an enjoyable film. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were number 7 on The Comedians' Comedian. Worth watching!

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one of the best

10/10
Author: eff_dee from huddersfield
28 August 2004

i purchased oliver the eighth and the murder casebook together on one VHS tape(when they were first released)and for me they are two of the best short films ever made.they just compliment each other so well.in the murder casebook stan snubbs ollie and heads off to claim his inheritance.this is such a funny film,there is a killer on the loose in the house plus stan and ollie think the house is haunted.it never slows down at all...brilliant.then oliver the eighth,ollie replies to an advert in the paper of a lady seeking a husband,but has to be called oliver.anyway again it is fast and very funny,the lady turns out to be a serial killer who has killed 7 men all called oliver.the butler is a psycho(don't miss where he is serving the soup,class)the part where stan and ollie are in bed together,in my opinion goes down in folklore.especially when ollie thinks he sees a mans hand at the bottom of the bed.....legendary.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Today's Moral: Be careful When Answering Strange Ads

Author: (robocoptng986127@aol.com) from U.S.A
1 October 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

[CONTAINS SPOILERS]

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy own and operate a barber shop in town. One day, Stan discovers an ad in the newspaper from a wealthy widow. Ollie isn't interested, but Stan sees it as an opportunity to not work hard scraping chins anymore and if she was homely, as Ollie said, they could take some of the money and have her face lifted. Ollie asked him to repeat that, so he did in his famous Laurel-fashion, just like in Towed in a Hole, he said that they could take some of the money and have her skinned and wouldn't have to work hard anymore. Ollie thought it a good idea. They would both answer the ad, but Ollie only mailed his. The widow (Mae Busch) was flattered when she discovered Ollie's letter, because he is number 8 in a long line of Oliver's she's married and murdered on the wedding night, due to Oliver #1 walked out on her. So Ollie left to go see her. He meets Jitters, her delirious butler. Pretty soon, Stan shows up after discovering that Ollie had thrown out his letter. He had also swapped the barber shop for a gold brick for when we got back on the gold standard. Not only that, but the man he swapped the shop with threw in some nuts for good measure. Well, they have an invisible dinner, play invisible cards, then Jitters informs Ollie of his pending fate. So all through the night, they must keep watch to keep Ollie alive. He has Stan take the first shift, only Stan fell asleep right away. Stan also finds a shotgun in the closet. He nearly blows Ollie's foot off. The widow nearly cuts Ollie's throat when he screamed awake in the barber chair. It had all been a dream!

A chillingly funny Laurel & Hardy short. Good for the Halloween type of season, or any time. I recommend it, if you can find it.

-

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Better Laurel and Hardy

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
11 March 2008

Oliver the Eighth (1934)

*** (out of 4)

Laurel and Hardy short has Hardy answering an ad in the paper by a woman looking for a husband. What he doesn't know is that she's a psychotic who will murder anyone named Oliver. Again, not too many laughs here but the thing remains entertaining anyways. The gag with the hand under the covers is certainly the highlight.

Our Relations (1936)

*** (out of 4)

All hell breaks loose in a case of mistaken identity when Laurel and Hardy's twins show up. This isn't nearly their best film but there are plenty of laughs throughout the short running time. The segments inside the bar are the highlights but I think the film would have been even better had L&H played the twins differently.

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