Stanley and Oliver try unsuccessfully to keep their pet dog, "Laughing Gravy" hidden from their grumpy landlord, who throws the pooch out into the snow. The rescue and further attempts to hide the dog result in mayhem, which is interrupted by the arrival of a registered letter informing Stanley that he's inherited a fortune from his rich uncle. There's one catch, though: he has to renounce his friendship with Oliver, who the uncle characterizes as a "nitwit."Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
The title and the dog's name is a euphemism at the time for liquor. Prohibition was still in effect when this film was made in February of 1931. See more »
When the boys are on the snow-covered roof, something gets Laughing Gravy's attention and he walks off the set-up out of camera range. After a brief cutaway to Charlie Hall, he's back right next to the boys. See more »
Opening Title Card:
Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy stuck together through thick and thin - One pocketbook between them - Always empty
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Opening credits prologue: Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy stuck together through thick and thin -
One pocketbook between them - Always empty - See more »
Abbott and Costello, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Morecambe and Wise, The Two Ronnies, Pete and Dud a.k.a. Derek and Clive, The Blues Brothers, Matt Lucas and David Walliams etc, etc these are just a tiny percentage of comedy double act's, the comedy duo's, that throughout the age's have entertained us all. Each with their own twist and turn of a gimmick that set's them apart, but in the final solution following, at times, the tradition of smart-aleck and buffoon.
However, there is just one pair that set themselves very much apart from the herd, originators and comic geniuses that no one has surpassed, surpassed by either skill, wit and personality the late, great Laurel and Hardy, British born Stan Laurel (1890 - 1965) and his American counterpart Oliver Hardy (1892 - 1957).
Their first outings were of the short silent movie variety, consisting of at least two reels in length, a reel being often around ten minutes long, this first short together was to be Slipping Wives (1927). Their first talkie was Unaccustomed As We Are in 1929, the advantage that both Laurel and Hardy had over most of their silent movie companions were that they adapted very well to this new genre. The Music Box (1932) won them an Academy Award for best short film, their only such Award.
Yet again, the famous Hal Roach Studios had a part in the making of Laughing Gravy, along with the writing credits to H.M. Walker (1885 - 1937) who with a vast order of merit as writer of dialogue and title creator for works for many of the silent, and not so silent, era's shorts. A snippet of Laurel and Hardy titles that includes Night Owls, Another Fine Mess, Below Zero, Brats and Our Wife. Directed too by one James W. Horne (1880 - 1942) whose career started out as actor way back in 1913, then progressed to writer then director of many, many shorts and full-length movies.
Then what about poor Laughing Gravy? Well, he, or more be it to the point she, went on to work with Laurel and Hardy twice more in Pardon Us (1931) and The Bohemian Girl (1936) as well as working in other Hal Roach (1892 - 1992) productions.
Laughing Gravy was filmed between the 2nd and 18th of February 1931 and released April 4th of the same year, and it is here, in this studio setting, we find this enduring duo shacked up in lodgings, one dark cold winter, and of course with their tiny pet dog Laughing Gravy, who has been sneaked into said bed-sit. It's in this predicament that poor old Laughing Gravy is finally found out by the mean spirited Landlord, with the assistance of the bungling and inept pair in the room above, of course.
So begins the absurd battle to retrieve this poor unfortunate mutt from the grasps of the freezing, howling winds and heavily snow ridden night. This is typical Laurel and Hardy starting out with good behaviour that very quickly turns to fanciful farce, with the ever blundering pair digging that inevitable hole so far deep that only sheer stealth and luck could bring them back over the edge and back to normality. Laughing Gravy is a wonderful insight into the world of this dynamic comedy duet, their antics and slapstick timing, and our joyful laughter at their own hilarious and often painful expense.
It is the ever-comic mental and physical abuse, which Oliver has to suffer, and suffer in silence, by the hands of his slimmer partner Stan, that makes this pair an extremely unfortunate accident-prone comedy act. It is Oliver's camera baiting, his looking directly into the audience and pleading for sympathy and understanding, and in this technique, this interacting with the audience, that has been turned into a powerful tool that both enhances the comedy and draws us into the plight. This alone, has Laughing Gravy warming our hearts to the duo's plan of action and its dire and hysterical results.
Around a week after initial shooting, extra scenes were added, a third reel, an extra ten minutes that does deviate from the first two reels, but non the less is just as funny in conjoining all three reels nicely, albeit a story in itself. This third reel had been lost for some decades, until the 1980's, and is now available as a full package. If sought out in the right places, the three different versions of Laughing Gravy, the original English language release two reeler, the three reel foreign language version (in English too) and now, the whole three reel's in 30 minutes of glorious computer generated colour can now be squandered at our leisure, for always.
Another fine mess? On the contrary, a fine comedy feast with lavishing of laughter and gravy.
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