true L&H silent classic, perhaps the best film they had made to
date. By this time, all the necessary elements in the Laurel and Hardy
universe have fallen into place. Randy Skretvedt points out that this is
their first film to employ their familiar "Us vs. The World" theme: no
matter what the cruel fates have in store for Stan and Ollie, they will
always have each other -- and, frequently, that is all they have.
You're Darn Tootin' is another film that boasts a much-heralded finale, the pants-ripping melee. But, in the manner of Battle of the Century, it is The Boys' antics as orchestra members in the first reel that generate as much laughter as anything else.
JB: There seemed to be a recurring pattern in some of the silents, where the story would eventually lead to a wild mob-scene of leg-kicking, pie-throwing or pants-ripping. It would carry over into some of the early sound shorts (Hoosegow, Berth Marks, Men O' War) but it never worked quite as well as it did in the silents, and eventually it would disappear altogether in their work. I think they eventually discovered that what was really funny about Stan and Ollie was how they reacted to each other, rather than how they could accidentally incite a riot. These mob scenes are hilarious, but when sound came along, and the Boys got used to the intrusion of microphones and adjusted to the different speed of the sound camera, they found the new technology offered other avenues of comedy to explore.
The part of this short that I like best is the eating scene in the boarding house. One of the Mankiewicz brothers (Herman or Joe) once said that to make a great Marx Brothers movie, you needed to stand Groucho and Chico against a wall and let them talk to each other. For me, to make a great Laurel and Hardy movie, you need to sit them down at a table with two bowls of soup and a couple of salt and pepper shakers.