JL: I like this one, though a little trimming wouldn't hurt it a bit. But it's an unrelievedly happy little film, right up to the end where Anita Garvin chases them with the shotgun. I have to wonder, however, how much the cheery background music, which wasn't added until 7 years after the film's release, contributes to the mood. More than any other, I'm curious to see how this one would play without music. This is one short where I really enjoy Stan, and one of the very few in which he is the slightly dominant character.
The background music, added in a 1937 rerelease of the film, helps this
film out tremendously. The pacing and editing in this film is a little
off, but the music often smooths things over. Blotto is a minor classic, the best film they've done since Perfect Day,
and the opening gun to a series of four films where Laurel and Hardy
fully make their mark in talking films. The first half is a
delight, with Stan Laurel showing he can be very funny for an extended
period even without working off of Oliver Hardy. The second half,
in the night club, is Laurel and Hardy at their best. Stan
knocking over the table, the singing waiter making them weep, "you
certainly can tell good liquor when you taste it", the laughing routine
--- it's ten minutes in Laurel and Hardy heaven.
My only caveat is the same as yours - with tighter editing, this one would be perfect.
NOTE: Our original review above implies that Blotto was originallly released without a musical soundtrack. In reality, it did have one. In 1937, Hal Roach rereleased Blotto, and several other films, with new musical soundtracks made up of themes by Leroy Shield and T. Marvin Hatley. - JL, JB
Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan