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A hilarious comedy short involving a landlord scheming to evict his tenants and rent his apartments for more money. How would you like to lose a one hundred dollar bet on purpose to a landlord so you can get a vacant apartment only to find out the building is going to be knocked down the next day. This short is a gem!!!
AMONG THE MANY other problems that post World War II America faced was
a housing shortage. It seemed that situations rooted in the Depression
Era allied themselves with the new phenomenon called "the Post War Baby
Boom" in making life more difficult for the young Adults of "the
Greatest Generation" (our parents) and the Boomers themselves(Guilty!
SO THE ONLY thing that our favourite production team of Hollingsworth (producer), Bare (Writer/Director) and O'Hanlon (Star & co-writer)was to pitch in by making us laugh at ourselves. While this may seem to be a trite and commonplace sort of observation, it does hold up quite well. In every comic situation there is at the core truth. This and the other Mc DOAKES are no exceptions.
OUR STORY BEGINS with Joe & Alice being at odds with their landlord; who is methodically vacating the apartment building ( the "Mc Nasty Arms") in order to do some major remodeling. We find that their electricity, gas and water have been turned off. (No Schultz, there was no Cable Television in 1948).
INCIDENTALLY, WE HAVE noticed that this "Tenant vs. Landlord" altercation predates the situation that occurs on Jackie Gleason's THE HONEYMOONERS sketch some several years later. (Just an observation, not a criticism).
BEING THE HARD headed man of the house, Joe brings in light via an extension cord light and they burn wood and paper in the oven range for cooking. but eventually, in a sort of "Trojan Horse" maneuver, the owner sneaks his summons bearing legal team in to the unit under cover of decorators.
SO THEN THE long process of obtaining a new home is begun. Once again, we are treated to a succession of failed showings of the incredibly overpriced and pathetically inadequate. The rentals run the whole spectrum of disappointing adjectives.
AS FOR THE final scene and wind-up, we find Joe &n Alice sitting at their dining room table with the same gaudy and imbecilic wallpaper behind them. We won't say anymore as that would ruin it for you. Make sure to view it yourself; as the entire series is available on DVD at a very reasonable.
IN PARTING WE'D like to say once again that this is a most highly under-appreciated series. It has certain elemental links to the earliest forms of screen comedy, namely the Silent short subjects made by guys like Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Sennett and Lloyd. Among the series' greatest strengths is its being a leading proponent of the old "Sight Gag"; which is quite all right with us!
So You Want an Apartment (1948)
*** (out of 4)
Joe McDoakes short takes a look at the troubles in finding a good apartment. I'm not sure how many of these "So You Want" films but this one here is about middle of the ground. There are plenty of laughs throughout with the best one coming in the form of a $40 a month apartment. Some of the comedy is too over the top but this film works for the most part.
If you want to view this or any of the Joe McDoakes shorts then your best bet is Turner Classic Movies. They usually play at least one a month.
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