JL: Far from their best, but I like it. Another plot-heavy film, but that's what carries it. Unlike their gag-oriented films, you care more about what's going to happen next than you do what's happening at the time. This approach doesn't make for the best Laurel and Hardy, but it does make for an amusing 20 minutes.
Although Rychard Craymer was far from the funniest of their foils, he may have been a more versatile actor. Fin and Charlie Hall are always Fin and Charlie Hall, but Craymer in this film is about as far removed from "'Scuse me, Jitterbugs" (in 1940's SAPS AT SEA) as he can get. It was many years before I realized they were even the same actor, a mistake one would never make with Fin.
Jumping the gun a bit, Craymer in SAPS AT SEA gives a simply a
hilarious performance, well worth whatever the price of admission was
back then. Funny and menacing at the same time. Could anyone else
say the word "jitterbugs" with the same inflection? Walter Long in this
role would have been a letdown. "All right, you mugs, eat them
vittles!" instead of "It looks ssssooo good.... YOU eat it."
Scram! is on a list of shorts, along with Me and My Pal and Another Fine Mess, that are good, amusing, interesting, but never reach their full potential. Halfburners, I would call them. Perhaps a they needed a different director, or a few more gags from the minds of the boys, or a different co-star --- these films are missing something.
Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan