Saturday, December 1, 2018

CAFTAN WOMAN'S CHOICE: ONE FOR DECEMBER ON TCM


Friendly warning: Pour your tea before the movie starts or the scene of domestic bliss around the breakfast table will confuse even you with that one cup!

On second thought: It's close enough to noon for something a little more libatious. Why don't we meet up at Denker's Beer Garden? Everybody goes to Denkers. Mr. Hardy and his good friend Mr. Laurel end up there with their wives, Daphne "Mama" Hardy (Daphne Pollard) and Betty "Bubbles" Laurel (Betty Brown). 

Ollie and Stan

Twin brothers to the prosperous gentlemen mentioned above, Seaman Bert Hardy and Seaman Alf Laurel also show up at Denker's establishment. The two tars were directed there by the Captain (Sidney Toler) of their ship, the S.S. Periwinkle.

Bert and Alf do not have a very good time of it after meeting two refined young ladies Alice (Iris Adrian) and Lily (Lona Andre). The boys don't have enough of the folding stuff to spend on the girls despite just having been paid. Fellow sailor Finn (James Finlayson) is holding their money in crooked trust so they will someday be millionaires.

Bert and Alf with Joe the waiter

Joe Gorgan (Alan Hale) the waiter at Denker's, unaware he is dealing with twins and the twins unaware of each other, has all of the Laurels and Hardys over a barrel. The prosperous town dwellers have been forced to pay up for the earlier indebtedness with the young ladies of refinement while the hapless and perpetually broke sailors have consigned a valuable ring belonging to their captain to the tavern keeper as security.

My, doesn't life get complicated? We'd better hurry with our pick-me-up before that souse (Arthur Housman) starts getting overly friendly. At any rate, we should try and find a nice corner table before things start hopping.

On third thought: Let's head over to a more classy place. Shady characters like the Gangster Boss (Ralf Harolde) and Second Gangster (Noel Madison) only add to the atmosphere of The Pirate Club. Should we sit on the balcony or over by the netting? Oh, look at the fancy birthday cake! I do hope there is no mishap with the confection.

Oblivious twins, jealous women, an irate captain, and gangsters. It's a recipe for mayhem and mirth.

W.W. Jacobs, the author of the famous horror tale The Monkey's Paw, also wrote much humour and it one of those stories, The Money Box, about some poor sailors trying to get rich that was the basis of Our Relations. The story was adapted by Richard Connell, familiar to many as the author of the adventurous tale The Most Dangerous Game. Felix Adler who collaborated on six of Laurel and Hardy's popular features, including Way Out West and Block-Heads was also a contributor.

Our Relations was the only time director Harry Lachman (Charlie Chan at the Circus) worked with the team. Rudolph Mate, the multi-Oscar-nominated cinematographer (Foreign Correspondent) worked on this picture and The Flying Deuces with Laurel and Hardy. Both movies required some movie trickery to put over the laughs.

TCM is screening Our Relations at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 6th in a daytime lineup filled with a generous helping of Laurel and Hardy goodness. In essence, wake up, turn on the television and enjoy!


Remember: Weebles wobble but they don't fall down.


Trivia:

Donald MacBride, Sidney Toler, Sen Yung
Murder Over New York

Our Relations director Harry Lachman would go on to direct the captain in our movie, Sidney Toler in his last four Charlie Chan features at 20th Century Fox.















12 comments:

  1. I know L&H had separate careers before they became a duo in the movies, but once they did, was there ever a movie where their characters weren't joined at the hip? Like, maybe they had separate storylines and didn't meet until the climax?

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  2. I can't think of any plot along those lines. As actors, Ollie made two and a half movies without Stan, after their teaming. By half, I am referring to a cameo.

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  3. Paddy Lee, I rather enjoyed your "tongue and cheek" take on OUR RELATIONS(1936). My favorite comedy team of all-time, bar none. I have watched them ever since I can remember and I never tire of them.

    An interesting possible new series almost came to life during a contract dispute between Stan Laurel and studio head Hal Roach in early 1935. Roach announced to the media the termination of the Laurel and Hardy series and to replace it with a family comedy series called The Hardy Family with Oliver Hardy and Patsy Kelly of the Thelma Todd/Patsy Kelly series as Mrs. Hardy and Spanky McFarland of the Our Gang series as their son. Needless to say, Laurel signed a new contract and Laurel and Hardy continued at Roach Studios. The Hardy Family never came to be and became a "what if?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can let our imaginations run wild with The Hardy Family. Would it be like any other family comedy series or would that cast put it at another level?

      I think in the grand scheme of things the boys' career worked out as it should have for posteriety, and all the love of their fans.

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  4. Hmm...Laurel & Hardy...and Charlie Chan (sorta)...I'm not surprised you like this movie! It's another funny L&H outing with more plot than some of them. I had never heard about the potential Hardy Family series. That would have been interesting, but Stan Laurel would have been horribly missed. Now, if he had played Ollie's brother and Spanky's uncle....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be fun. And a special guest appearance by Stan Laurel as "What's he doing here!"

      Delete
  5. Paddy Lee and anyone else. Any thoughts on the upcoming release of STAN & OLLIE(2018) with Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly. I've read where it is receiving good reviews from special showings.

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    Replies
    1. I think we can listen to those good reviews. People I trust have seen early previews. People who love Stan and Ollie. The one trailer I watched was very impressive.

      Delete
  6. Paddy Lee, that is good to know. Although, we all know, that no one will ever top THE BOYS themselves. Laurel and Hardy were brilliant comic actors. Their enduring influence has never waned and I hope that it never does.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've kept a picture of the boys in their civvies framed and in the living room for years. When they were young, I'm sure my kids thought Stan and Ollie were relatives - with the craziest home movies!

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    2. Paddy Lee, that is a funny story. The picture wouldn't happen to be from YOU'RE DARN TOOTIN'(1928)? Everyone on the street had their pants pulled off, even the policeman.

      My daughter, when she was a youngster, drew a picture of Laurel and Hardy and gave it to me as a gift. The legacy of Stan and Ollie keeps on giving.

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    3. What a lovely and charming gift. When you child knows what you like that means there is a true bond.

      The picture is one of Stan and Ollie at their 1920s off-screen nattiest in bow ties and boaters, looking like a couple of swells. They cleaned up nicely.

      Delete

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