Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Be Big!


Laurel and Hardy, when they are married to women in a film, are always terrified of their wives. And the ladies are always formidable, quite pretty, but quick to pick up a shotgun and go after their mates. Here they have convinced the ladies that Ollie is too sick to go to Atlantic City as they had planned. What they want to do instead is attend a lodge meeting in their honor, at which unspecified but salacious delights are promised. The wives take off, and they start to change clothes. In no time at all Ollie has one of his feet jammed into one of Stan’s boots, and the majority of the movie has them trying to get the boot off. The wives miss the train and come back home, but that’s basically it, and it’s astonishing how many ways the boys can screw up a simple task like that.
At this time in the early sound era, there was no overdubbing. Subtitles were possible, but to really cash in on the huge foreign markets, many studios shot the same film two, three, or even four times, in other languages. The supporting players would be changed to native speakers, but the American stars would read their lines phonetically off cue cards. I wish I’d known that TCM was showing these versions back to back with the English originals. In this case, this film was combined with Laughing Gravy to make one longer film, called Les carottiers in French, and Los Calaveras in Spanish. Wouldn’t it have been fine to see the boys butchering French and Spanish?