Call of the Cuckoo

A nice Jewish family live next door to a nuthouse (Laurel, Hardy, Chase & Finlayson are the nutters), no one will buy their house, a trade is arranged, “no questions asked”.

The trade-in is a miswired out-of-plumb scroll-floored perturbation all the way.

A Richard Pryor comedy, Moving (dir. Alan Metter), followed in due course.


Putting Pants on Philip

The savage nephew (Laurel) in kilts arouses a commotion by the sight of him just off the boat on a sunny day in Los Angeles, he pursues an elegant flapper.

Hon. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Hardy) takes him in charge as far as possible, even to a tailor.

Billy Wilder and Richard Lester are among the legatees.


The Battle of the Century

L.A. Pie Co. wares fill in the remainder of a mutilated short on a prizefighter (Mr. Laurel) who misses his chance and a trainer (Mr. Hardy) who sees the profit in insurance.


Leave ‘em Laughing

Mr. Laurel has the toothache, Mr. Hardy gets the extraction, and both are so hilarious with nitrous oxide that a traffic cop takes the wheel and drives them into a mudhole.


The Finishing Touch

Incompetents in the construction trade (Laurel & Hardy).

H.M. Walker’s title card says it all. “Professional Finishers— They can finish, a thing that hasn’t even been started—”

A variant of Bruckman’s Call of the Cuckoo in which the noisy nuts not only shut down a hospital next door but demolish their own project as well.


Feet First

Structurally, a version for sound of Safety Last (dirs. Newmeyer & Taylor).

It begins in a Honolulu shoe store and takes ship for Los Angeles.

A six-month course in personality makes a shoe salesman out of a window-dresser, the cruise he undertakes to impress the boss’s daughter, though he has no ticket or clothing or anything but his wits, carries him in the U.S. Mail to a skyscraper (the sequence is a variant of Never Weaken, dir. Newmeyer).

She’s the secretary, really, and he’s no millionaire, hence the precarious position, which only lands him on his feet to get a contract signed on time.

A comedy of down-at-heels pluck and readiness brought to the test, an immensely funny sequence of gags expressing the theme.


Movie Crazy

There is nothing like it, because there cannot be. Bruckman’s Feet First moves toward it, and Taylor’s The Cat’s-Paw transcends it, but for sheer intricacy of thought and action on the comedy screen, in a new style never witnessed before or since, it takes the cake.

The screen test isn’t seen, it’s acted out by Harold and the other actress he meets, who plays a Spanish lady in a film, then it’s seen.

First sight of Hollywood, getting off the train to watch a movie being made on location, perfectly represented.

Harold Lloyd is Superman, here his two sides are the would-be actor and the man of action, the entire theme of the film.

Jerry Lewis is a great student, and Blake Edwards, and Preston Sturges.

Lubitsch also has original ideas about comedy.


The Fatal Glass of Beer

The snowy night is so fierce it cannot be commented on without a reply.

There is one sure-fire remedy, chucking a worthless son out in it.

The great W.C. Fields is the author of this masterwork.


Horses’ Collars

Curly’s aversion to mice propels him into dynamic exertions after cheese to satiate the identification, this saves the Stooges from hanging by a hornswoggler with a crooked IOU on a lady’s ranch.


Man on the Flying Trapeze

A “delightful fragment” by Gertrude somebody-or–other expressing the theme, a memory expert’s pining for happier times, “before I was married.”

we have what we have not

what we have not we have

up is down

down is out

everyone knew me and I was happy

and we were all happy

is everybody happy

and I bought a big red apple

yes unhappiness is joy