Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DVR-TiVo-Or whatever recording device strikes your fancy-alert!

No Boy Friends shorts this week, but TCM will be running a true-blue gem from their vaults starring “the Boys” themselves (sorry, Rick): Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy in the 1931 two-reeler One Good Turn. This short is one of my favorite L&H outings—vagabonds Stan & Ollie come to the aid of an old woman (who generously cooked them a meal in exchange for their doing some work around her place) when they overhear her nasty old landlord (Jimmy Finlayson—who else?) threaten to evict her from the premises. What our heroes do not know is that Fin, the old woman (Mary Carr) and several others are part of a little theater group and were rehearsing a play in her living room—and as might be expected, the wacky complications ensue.

What makes Turn so enjoyable—I’ll admit that its premise is as corny as Kansas in August—is that in the second half, Stan comes into possession of a wallet stuffed with lucre and Ollie becomes convinced that he swiped it from the old dame. So when the truth about the rehearsal is revealed, Ollie is left with a lot of hen fruit on his face…and Stan decides a comeuppance for his pal is in order. Falling-down funny stuff—directed by Columbia serial king James W. Horne and featuring Billy Gilbert, future director Gordon Douglas, Dorothy Granger, Snub Pollard and the usual Hal Roach suspects.

One Good Turn will be shown at approximately 7:03am EDT this Saturday (October 17) on Turner Classic Movies, right after Freaks (1932) and before The Devil-Doll (1936) (hey! It’s a Tod Browning double feature!). Actually, if you were to set your DVR to record Freaks at 6am you’d be assured of getting Turn—'cause if you haven’t seen Freaks by now you really should. (I bought a copy of Freaks in Region 2 form a few years ago because it was actually cheaper than buying a Region 1 copy!)

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