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Watch 3 Laurel and Hardy Silent Movies

stan-laurel-oliver-hardy-sshh

It’s Saturday, it’s kind of yuck outside, and Pretty Clever Film Gal has a splitting headache. What to do, what to do? I think 3 Laurel and Hardy silents plus some hair of the dog should do the trick.

I’m pretty certain that these are all Hal Roach productions from 1928 or 1929, but I could be wrong and I’m too lazy to check at the moment. If you know better, by all means, lay it on me. Otherwise, just enjoy.

Now… sshhh! Read the rest of this entry

Seven Years Bad Luck (1921)

Max Linder - Seven Years Bad Luck - Pretty Clever FilmsThanks (again) to TCM’s “Silent Sundays” series, I watched my first Max Linder movie, Seven Years Bad Luck. Slapstick comedy typically asks us to accept the outrageous in the name of fun, but in Seven Years Bad Luck, Max Linder engineers a narrative context for the madness, asking us to accept nothing other than that “Max” is a superstitious twit. Where as many of the best silent comedies dwell on the inadvertent or unintended consequences, often stemming from the best of intentions, Max manufactures his own consequences. There’s no marveling at the tenacity as in a Keaton and none of the heartbreaking empathy as in a Chaplin, but there are a lot of laughs at Max unswerving belief in a silly superstition. Read the rest of this entry

The Trickster Imp | Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pryde (1925)

While poking around archive.org yesterday, I came across “Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pryde,” a silent spoof of the perennial “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”I’ve long been a fan of Laurel & Hardy movies. While aware that the due first appeared in silent comedies, I’ve yet to have the privilege of seeing a silent Laurel & Hardy. True, this is Laurel sans Hardy, but this short is a delightful little gem, demonstrating not only the comic flexibility of Stan Laurel, but illustrating a comedic talent poised and capable of translating silent slapstick in the coming storm of sound films. Read the rest of this entry

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