The Hardys, hoping to avoid having the Laurels drop in and spoil their quiet evening, pretend not to be home when the couple inevitably call. But their subterfuge is discovered, and to make the best of it, Stanley and Oliver go out to buy ice cream. On the way, they spot Kate, a woman wanted by the police, jump in the river. They save her, only to have her blackmail them into supporting her, or else she'll claim they tried to kill her. Back home, troubles ensue when the boys try to keep their wives from learning what they've brought home instead of ice cream.Written by
Paul Penna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The amount on the cash register behind the clerk changes from five cents to ten cents as the duo are getting ice cream. See more »
Darling, isn't it wonderful to be alone?
Oh, it certainly is, honey. And what a relief not to be bothered with those Laurels tonight.
Now we can have a nice quiet evening. Nothing to mar our happiness.
[the Laurels ring the doorbell]
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Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were comedic geniuses, individually and together, and their partnership was deservedly iconic and one of the best there was. They left behind a large body of work, a vast majority of it being entertaining to classic comedy, at their best they were hilarious and their best efforts were great examples of how to do comedy without being juvenile or distasteful.
Although a vast majority of Laurel and Hardy's previous efforts ranged from above average to very good ('45 Minutes from Hollywood' being the only misfire and mainly worth seeing as a curiosity piece and for historical interest, and even that wasn't a complete mess), 'Two Tars' for me was their first truly classic one with close to flawless execution. Didn't find 'Come Clean' as one of their best and a bit disappointing compared to their late 1928 and the best of their 1929 efforts, which were among their best and funniest early work. It is still very good and has much of what makes Laurel and Hardy's work as appealing as it is.
The story is extremely slight to the point of non-existence and the first part takes a little bit too time to get going.
When 'Come Clean' does get going, which it does do quite quickly, it is great fun, not always hilarious but never less than very amusing, loved everything with the ice cream and Laurel in the bath-tub is extremely funny. It is never too silly, there is a wackiness that never loses its energy and the sly wit is here, some of the material may not be new but how it's executed actually doesn't feel too familiar and it doesn't get repetitive.
Laurel and Hardy are on top form here, both are well used, both have material worthy of them and they're equal rather than one being funnier than the other (before Laurel tended to be funnier and more interesting than Hardy, who tended to be underused). Their chemistry feels like a partnership here too, before 'Two Tars' you were yearning for more scenes with them together but in 'Come Clean' and on the most part from 'Two Tars' onwards we are far from robbed of that. Their comic timing is impeccable, especially Laurel's though Hardy at the end is one of the pleasures here.
'Come Clean' looks good visually, is full of energy and the direction gets the best out of the stars, is at ease with the material and doesn't let it get too busy or static. The supporting players are solid, especially Mae Busch.
Overall, very good. Not essential or classic Laurel and Hardy, but a good representation of them. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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