Saturday, August 23, 2014

"County Hospital" - Laurel and Hardy (1932)

What can you say about Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy that hasn’t already been said? They’re icons of comedy. Sometimes they can be a bit tedious to watch; after all we are used to a much faster paced style of entertainment today; but the roots of contemporary comedy can be found in these old shorts.

The plots are simple; much like the later sitcoms would be. The big difference is in the amount of time when there is no dialogue. Talkies had only been around for about 5 years at the time this film was made, and Laurel and Hardy were still drawing largely on the skills they had honed in silent films for almost 20 years at this point.

Stan Laurel was in the same vaudeville troupe as Charlie Chaplin when they both came over to America and stayed. Chaplin later left; but Laurel remained in America until his death in the early 1960’s. Oliver Hardy had been a football player at Georgia State; I could look it up but I’m being lazy. He was also a skillful ballroom dancer; sought after at many Hollywood functions.

Well, it’s all been written before. Sit down and try to watch this all the way through; if only to see that you are still able to concentrate on something for 19 minutes.

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