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Archive for the ‘Stan Laurel’ Category

Jitterbugs

11 Aug

Jitterbugs – Directed by Malcolm St. Clair. Low Comedy. Laurel and Hardy indulge in a mission to con some grifters. 75 minutes Black and White. 1943.

* * * * *

Drolleries from beginning to end, many of them depending upon welcome improbabilities. Engaging in multiple disguises, the dignified duo moves from scrape to scrape, and who can deny them a smile? Not me. Vivian Blaine makes her film debut, all of 21 but quite at home in her craft and her medium. An excellent bonus feature accompanies the picture, and you’ll be a lot wiser after it, for Randy Skretvedt knows all there is to know about Laurel and Hardy and so much more – he knows about everyone else involved in the film, and his observations are cogent. For instance, he talks about Bob Baily who was dragged into the film from Radio, for there was a war-time dearth of young leading men in Hollywood. Skretvedt points out that Baily, who was very successful in Radio and went back to it after The War, actually gives a radio actor’s performance, meaning that his entire performance is vocal — and it’s true. I could hear it, once I was  told. In any case, it’s lovely to see these two clown around again, Oliver Hardy this time given the lion’s share of the acting opportunities as he plays a variety of scenes, performing a two-man orchestra, making mad Southern Colonel love to the great Lee Patrick, and dancing about with wild abandon more than once. What a dainty dish to set before a king! Can you resist it? I couldn’t.

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