A JOB TO DO – CLASSIC SHORTS
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The Music Box and Other Jobs with Laurel & Hardy
This is good collection of ‘Laurel & Hardy’ shorts!
This DVD contains some of the funniest episodes ever made with Laurel & Hardy and they have a theme of Stan and Ollie doing a job. ‘The Music Box’ is my favourite out of the DVD collection as well as for a few others. This DVD will not disappoint you and it’ll not make you stop laughing!
There are two versions of this film. There’s the original black-and-white one and the colour one.
‘Busy Bodies’ a pretty good short film where Stan and Ollie working at a saw-mill. I love how the episode opens with Stan and Ollie on their way to work in the car and enjoying the sunshine in the morning. They play music in the car on a LP record player in the car engine which was funny.
I liked it when Stan and Ollie arrive and play a joke on Charlie Hall. Charlie doesn’t take the joke and gets mad when Stan and Ollie accidentally fall on top of him. Stan pays back on Charlie as he gets him to smoke a cigar in a place where no smoking is allowed. Thus, Charlie gets thrown out!
I enjoyed it when Ollie tries to get a window to open and shut and jams his fingers in it with Stan’s help. Then ensues a funny sequence where Stan tries to get Ollie out of the jammed window but can’t. Even Stan looking at a blueprint doesn’t help him and it’s the wrong blueprint.
Ollie soon is free from the window and he continues with his work. But he gets sawed upon by Stan on the bum of his trousers, which was funny. Stan gets a whack on the head by Ollie with a saw which felt painful for me. But Stan gets back at Ollie as he sticks a paintbrush on Ollie’s chin.
Stan does everything he can to remove the paintbrush off Ollie’s chin. He even gives Ollie a barber’s job with a hose pipe, soap and a sharp razor. Ollie gets the paintbrush off his chin, but he’s soon sent through the chute where all the wood gets shredded and Stan has to rescue him.
‘Busy Bodies’ is a really good ‘Laurel & Hardy’ short film as it has plenty of laughs. I have fond memories watching this short when I was young and it still manages to entertain me to this day.
‘Busy Bodies’ rating – 9/10
This is a silent short film in black and white.
‘Double Whoopee’ is a funny silent film, where Stan and Ollie go to work as bellboys at a posh Broadway hotel. They do their best to be good as bellboys, but they muck it up when the guests leave the hotel and when they’re escorting a lady guest into the hotel and she loses her clothing.
Ollie also gets on a taxi driver’s nerves and it turns out to be Charlie Hall. Ollie blows his bell to call a taxi by accident twice when Charlie in his taxi cab turns up. Ollie also picks on Stan for stealing his money and he gets told off by Tiny the policeman, as he walks by to patrol the hotel.
There’s also a certain Prince and Prime Minister who visit the hotel. The Prince and the Prime Minister end up falling down to the bottom of the lift shaft and they get themselves dirty and filthy. This is when Stan and Ollie use the lift. Those moments make me laugh every time I see it.
‘Double Whoopee’ rating – 8/10
This is another classic short film with two versions – the black-and-white one and the colour one.
‘Dirty Work’ has Stan and Ollie as chimney sweepers. They get to do a job at the house of an eccentric scientist named Professor Noodle. I liked it when Stan and Ollie do the job. It ends with Ollie going up on the roof before he falls through the chimney and ends up in the fire place.
There are lots of moments that I found funny with Stan and Ollie. I found it funny when Stan and Ollie get covered in soot as they go up and down the chimney. It’s painful when Ollie gets fed up with Stan and says the classic line “I have nothing to say!” and he treats him badly with a spade.
Stan and Ollie are led into the house by a butler named Jessop. Jessop is a dreary old soul who works for his master, the Professor. He tends to be sarcastic when he guides Stan and Ollie on where everything is. He’s not impressed with the Professor’s work either when he watches him.
I found the Professor extremely funny. He’s been working on his scientific solution for nearly two years and has reached his breakthrough. He intends to rejuvenate human life as we know it and gets ecstatic when his solution works and he shows it to Stan and Ollie in their grubby state.
Stan and Ollie try out this new solution of the Professor’s, for themselves, on a trout-like fish to make it younger. By accident, Stan bumps into Ollie and he falls into the bath of water with the solution in it. A huge bubble bath takes place and very strangely Ollie returns as a chimpanzee.
I found it funny when Stan tried to talk to Ollie, but he refuses speak to him. “Don’t you know me? Won’t you speak to me?” asks Stan. “I have nothing to say!” Ollie replies. Poor Stan!
‘Dirty Work’ rating – 9/10
‘THE FINISHING TOUCH’
This is another short silent film in black-and-white, where Stan and Ollie are builders.
I enjoyed ‘The Finishing Touch’ very much, as Stan and Ollie try to build a house for someone without disturbing a hospital nearby. I loved it when Stan and Ollie bicker with each other and kick each other in the ‘bots’ or throw planks of wood at each other, causing more noise and disturbances.
Stan and Ollie get watched by Edgar Kennedy as a police officer, who tells to keep quiet and not to make too much noise. I found it funny when they did the sound effects for Stan and Ollie hushing each other. Kennedy gets it rough, since glue-covered planks of wood fall on top of him.
Eventually Stan and Ollie finish the job and get their reward money from the man paying them. But a bird lands on a chimney and the whole house collapses. The man asks for his money back, to which Stan and Ollie refuse. This causes a funny ‘game’ of piggy-in-the-middle between them.
‘The Finishing Touch’ rating – 8/10
‘THE MUSIC BOX’
This is my favourite ‘Laurel & ‘Hardy’ short film from the entire series!
‘The Music Box’ is a brilliant non-stop comedy film from start to finish. There are two versions of this film – the black-and-white one and the colour one. Stan and Ollie are delivery men here as they have to deliver a piano to somebody’s house ‘on top of the stoop’, up a huge flight of stairs.
Stan and Ollie have a hard time trying to get the piano to the top of the stairs, overcoming obstacles such as a woman with a baby; a berating police officer and a ratty old professor who think’s highly of himself. It gets funnier when they reach the house and get the music box inside.
Billy Gilbert guest stars as the Professor in this film. He meets Stan and Ollie on the stairs with the piano and asks them to move out of the way. Ollie suggests he ‘walk around’ and I found it very funny when the Professor is so appalled by this suggestion and says “What, walk around?!”
When Stan and Ollie reach the top, they’re told by Charlie Hall the postman that they didn’t need to carry the piano up the stairs. They could have gone in their horse and carriage up the hill on the road instead. Stan and Ollie are abashed and go back to try again which is very funny.
I enjoyed it when Stan and Ollie try to get the piano into the house. I laughed when Ollie walks into and falls onto the piano and also when Stan brings in a ladder and pokes Ollie in the eye. It was funny when Ollie gets inside the house and Stan whistles to tell him that somebody’s home.
I loved it when the film ends with Ollie telling the Professor to ‘just sign here’ for the piano. Stan gives the pen to the Professor and it squirts all over his face. Stan and Ollie run out of the house.
‘The Music Box’ rating – 10/10
This short film also contains two versions – the black-and-white one and the colour one.
‘Hog Wild’ is another funny episode and concerns the efforts of Stan and Ollie to fit a rooftop aerial. I loved how the episode begins as Ollie demands “Where is my hat?!” and doesn’t realise he’s wearing it already. I also loved the scenes where Stan and Ollie are on the rooftop together.
Ollie always ends up in the pond outside their house. He gets annoyed by Stan’s question, “What did you go down for?!” which was so funny. I also found it funny when, by the end, Ollie climbs up the ladder to his house and he’s on it whilst Stan accidentally drives the car into town.
Ollie’s wife is a pretty fierce woman in this film. She doesn’t help telling Ollie that he’s got his hat on his head and is mean when she forces him to sort out the radio, since she’s fed up with Ollie being ‘too indisposed’. Like many of Ollie’s wives, she hits him on the head with something.
Ollie’s wife doesn’t seem to be swayed or bothered by the fact that Stan and Ollie are causing a mess and ruining the chimney when it collapses into the pond. She’s also not very concerned about Ollie’s well-being. She’s very upset when the radio gets taken away by the end of the film.
It was funny when Ollie’s wife suggests to him that he’d leave the aerial as he’s making a mess of it. But Ollie becomes stubborn as he’s determined to get that aerial working if it’s the last thing he’ll do. Ollie also gets mean with Stan when he’s stressed out, and threatens to ‘break his neck’.
It was funny when Stan tries to get his car going but can’t, with Ollie and Ollie’s wife with him. A tram crashes into the back and scrunches the car pretty bad. But Stan manages to get it moving.
‘Hog Wild’ rating – 8/10
‘HATS OFF’ – STILL GALLERY
This is a special feature of an episode now lost from the ‘Laurel & Hardy’ series. It contains a number of photos and stills of what might have been in the actual episode. It’s a surprise that there happens to be one ‘Laurel & Hardy’ film, but it’s an interesting item on this DVD for fans.
This is a fantastic DVD collection as it contains one of the best episodes from the ‘Laurel & Hardy’ film series. ‘The Music Box’ is certainly a favourite of mine as well as ‘Busy Bodies’ and ‘Dirty Work’. You’re bound to enjoy this ‘Laurel & Hardy’ DVD as it’ll make you laugh so out loud.
‘A Job To Do – Classic Shorts’ DVD rating – 9/10
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