In the dead of winter, street musicians Stanley and Oliver aren't getting much business in a run-down neighborhood, and then their instruments are smashed in a run-in with a formidable ...
See full summary »
After far too many break-ins on his watch, an ineffective policeman approaches the unsuspecting vagabonds, Laurel and Hardy, with a preposterous proposition; one that would get him off the hook. But, are the boys up to the task?
It looks like the boys won't need to fish off the end of the pier to feed themselves any longer when Stanley's rich uncle Ebenezer Laurel dies, leaving a large estate. But when he and ... 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 »
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 »
Fight manager (Hardy) takes out an insurance policy on his puny pugilist (Laurel) and then proceeds to try to arrange for an accident so that he can collect. When a pie delivery man (Hall) ... See full summary »
Stan and Ollie are down on their luck and beg at an old lady's house for food. While they are eating they overhear a villainous landlord (Finlayson) threatening to evict her if she does not... See full summary »
In the dead of winter, street musicians Stanley and Oliver aren't getting much business in a run-down neighborhood, and then their instruments are smashed in a run-in with a formidable woman. Their luck seems to turn when they find a wallet full of money, but are about to lose it to a thief when a passing policeman chases the thug off. The boys treat the officer to a meal, but when Stanley pulls out the wallet to pay, the cop recognizes it as his own. Rather than running them in as pickpockets, he pays his own tab and leaves Stanley and Oliver at the mercy of the gruff headwaiter.Written by
Paul Penna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"About how much money do you boys average a street?" "I would say about fifty cents a street." "Here's a dollar - move down a couple of streets."
While not their funniest film, Below Zero is perhaps one of Laurel and Hardy's most artistic. The victims of depression in a snowstorm, there's even a touch of Chaplin in certain elements. The short is still heavily indebted to the silent era, and all the better for it, inspiring greater pathos. The first, and most successful, half of the film contains less than twenty lines in over ten minutes of running time.
Stan's completely gormless expression while playing the organ had me in stitches, as did the inanity of the music. His morbid fascination with the unfortunate and deformed sees them playing in front of a deaf and dumb institute and ending with his belly swollen and distended. In one of their most blatant displays of toilet humour, he also apparently mimes needing to go to the lavatory as the climax. Freudians would even have a field day with Ollie's phallic weapon, while there's also time for a joke about a blind man in there as well.
The second half sees them find a wallet in the street, and treat a helpful policeman to a slap-up meal with the proceeds. Despite this being one of the Laurel and Hardy movies with the most integrity, make no mistake: it is also highly amusing. There's even touches of surrealism with Stan's multi-pocketed wallet, and, while scant, some clever wordplay. Recommended.
7 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this