‘OUR RELATIONS’ AND ‘DUAL ROLES’ SHORTS
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Laurel & Hardy and Laurel & Hardy
I’ve banged my head pretty hard! I’m seeing double!
This DVD contains one of my favourite films from the ‘Laurel & Hardy’ series as well as two related shorts. They have one thing in common. Laurel & Hardy play more than one character as they play themselves twice. I love stories that have doubles of the characters we know and love.
I enjoy it when I see how the trouble and the comedy increases with Stan and Ollie meeting their twin brothers; their little boys and their identical wives with put-on female voices in these films. This is a DVD you don’t want to miss as it features ‘Our Relations’; ‘Brats’ and ‘Twice Two’.
‘Our Relations’ is definitely my favourite from the ‘Laurel & Hardy’ film series. It’s a film that doesn’t rely a lot on slapstick, but more on situation and identity crisis as our leads play doubles.
Supporting characters get confused as Stan & Olie get mistaken for their twin brothers Alfie and Bert. This is a lovely little film that I enjoy watching again and again whenever I have the chance.
Stan and Ollie receive a letter from Ollie’s mother who tells them their twin brothers Alf and Bert are dead. But these twins aren’t dead as they come off from the sailing ship, the Periwinkle.
Alf and Bert are asked by their captain to pick up a package containing a pearl ring and meet him at a beer garden. At the garden, they meet Alice and Lily and want to treat them on shore leave.
Low for cash, Alf and Bert go to their friend Finn who has taken their salary for ‘saving’. Finn refuses to give their money back and they end up with no clothes on and get stuck at his place.
Stan and Ollie soon turn up at the beer garden with their wives and are immediately mistaken for Alf and Bert. It all leads to an identity crisis where the Captain hunts them for the pearl ring.
This DVD contains two versions of this film: the black and white version and the colour version. I prefer the black and white version. It is more extended in scenes compared the colour version.
The black and white version has some really funny scenes. When Ollie tries to read the letter from his mother, Stan eats celery nosily and always interrupts Ollie. I couldn’t help laughing at it.
Other scenes that were cut from the colour version and still in the black and white are either scenes to set up characters or places. This includes introducing Alf and Bert and the Pirate club.
This is a comedy classic that works well for Laurel & Hardy as they both play dual roles very well. It is confusing though as the twin brothers aren’t too dissimilar from the original Stan and Ollie.
Alf is just the same as Stan and Bert’s just the same as Ollie. You can the difference between them when Alf and Bert wear sailor outfits whereas Stan and Ollie wear their trademark clothes.
James Finlayson guest stars as Finn, a ‘friend’ of Alf and Bert. Finn is a perfect foil for L&H with his ‘doh!!!’ and funny facial expressions. He’s determined to keep Alf and Bert’s savings in this.
I loved it when he mistakes Stan and Ollie for Alf and Bert and gets his head splattered with mustard, his teeth get smashed and nose get burnt. It’s a treat to see Finny in these ‘L&H’ films.
The guest cast also includes Alan Hale as Grogan, the waiter at the beer garden; Sidney Toler as the Captain and Daphne Pollard and Betty Healy as Stan and Ollie’s wives ‘Mama’ and ‘Bubbles’.
There’s also Iris Adrian and Lona Andre as Alice and Lily, whom Alf and Bert fancy. And there’s Arthur Housman who as plays a funny drunk joining L&H at the beer garden and the Pirate club.
I love ‘Our Relations’ a lot! It’s lovely L&H film and one I’ll always remember. It can still be enjoyed today, even with Stan and Ollie having their feet cemented and falling over the docks.
‘Our Relations’ rating – 10/10
This is another good film where L&H play their sons who look exactly like them.
With clever camera work for its time, this is a pleasant little short film that can be enjoyed over again. There are two versions of this film. There’s a black and white version and a colour version.
‘Brats’ has Laurel and Hardy playing both themselves as adults and as little boys. I loved it when they’re boys; playing building blocks and being very rough with each other like their fathers are.
I loved it when Ollie threatens the two boys to go to bed if they don’t behave. They end up breaking something and their dads are pretty mad about it. The boys get sent up to their rooms.
One moment I found funny was when Stan and Ollie leave the boys’ room and talk about how important it is to be kind to them. Ollie says “A little kindness goes a long way!” And he’s right…!
Ollie goes the long way, when he trips over some roller skates and rides down the stairs to the bottom. Seeing him go down with his legs up in the air was so funny and weird at the same time.
I loved it when little Stanley and Oliver fight out with boxing gloves and they try bluffing to their fathers by sleeping in their beds. They get discovered when Stan and Ollie come back in again.
By the end, Ollie and Stan try to get their boys to sleep. I loved it when Ollie sings “Go to sleep, my baby!” He’s winning to get the two little boys to sleep until Stan interrupts to wake them up.
‘Brats’ rating – 10/10
This is another funny short comedy film where L&H play female versions of themselves.
The female versions of Stan and Ollie are ‘Sis’ and Fanny and they both have put-on female voices. There are two versions of this film. There’s the black and white version and a colour one.
It’s the first anniversary since L&H married each other’s sisters. Stan married Ollie’s sister Fanny and Ollie married Stan’s sister ‘Sis’. They try to celebrate their anniversary before it goes wrong.
I found Laurel as his sister really funny especially when she speaks in that high pitch voice provided by Carol Tevis. She makes her sound so silly and funny whenever she speaks or giggles.
I enjoyed Hardy as his sister, voiced by Mae Wallace. I loved it when they’re on the phone to their husbands. I also loved it when the two wives sort the table and the cake ends up on Fanny.
I found it funny when Stan tries to get strawberry ice cream but it turns out they haven’t any. I learnt more about different flavours of ice cream like tooty-fruity; chocolate and vanilla in this.
I enjoyed it when they’re all at the table, having dinner. The two wives are bickering and insulting each other during dinner. Fanny calls Stan’s sister a ‘hussy’ and Sis gets very upset on it.
My Dad loves this short ‘Laurel & Hardy’ film just as much as I do. It contains some really funny moments and it’s wonderful to see Laurel & Hardy playing female versions of themselves in this.
‘Twice Two’ rating – 10/10
This DVD has been a treat. It contains three of my favourite films with Laurel & Hardy. I love it when they’re playing doubles in these films. This DVD comes highly recommended and is a joy!
”Our Relations’ and ‘Dual Roles’ Shorts’ DVD rating – 10/10
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