7/1/16

THE SPEECHLESS LAUREL AND HARDY 2: "DUCK SOUP"



'Duck Soup', made in 1927, is an L&H silent that was thought to have been lost for six decades (apparently a print turned up in Belgium of all places). The title has as little to do with the film as the Marx Brothers 'Duck Soup' has to do with theirs. There the resemblances end. This 'Duck Soup' is rehashed in an L&H talkie from 1930--it's the somewhat labored plot of Stan and Ollie hiding in a house and having to pretend to be the owner (Ollie) and the chambermaid (Stan, natch). As always with the silent L&H's the physical comedy is stressed and the opening of the film has a bicycle/car chase that is nothing but terrific. Done without process shots (except for one, I think), it's by far the highpoint of the film. But the print is mint and the original Vitaphone synchronized music and effects track are delightful. For some reason Ollie wears a heavy beard and Stan--much like Chaplin--actually makes a very attractive woman...

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