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Author Topic: The Finishing Touch-Laurel and Hardy
Richard Bock
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 239
From: El Cerrito,CA,USA
Registered: Jan 2010


 - posted December 09, 2012 10:47 PM      Profile for Richard Bock   Author's Homepage   Email Richard Bock   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cleaned off a Standard 8mm Blackhawk print of The Finishing Touch with some FilmGuard and the print shone through. but what really shone through was this production. This is a 1928 Hal Roach silent. Directed by slapstick great (Clyde Bruckman) and supervised by a giant of American comedy (Leo McCarey)Hardy is at his physical best here. I can't believe how well the fat man moves. Diving, running, jumping and crashing. Laurel a well tuned vaudevillian captures moments that are truly a wonder of nature.

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In this little gem of a film, the boys are building a house for 500 bucks. Across the way is a hospital with a nurse who comes across to complain to the cop played by Edgar Kennedy to tell them to Keep Quiet. It's so funny to see them try and build a house and tippy toeing at the same time. And they do this throughout the film. This is a fine slapstick movie. The violence is so funny as it culminates in a rock fight!

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These cats were off the wall. Serious belly laughs if you're in the mood for the likes of the absurdist anarchic genius of-Laurel and Hardy.

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted December 14, 2012 04:37 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is one of their all-time best, but you would never know it from reading the standard L&H books throughout the years. Barr gave it 2 stars. Everson said it "disappoints." What movie were they actually watching?

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Jonathan Trevithick
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 569
From: Gold Coast Australia
Registered: May 2012


 - posted December 14, 2012 05:53 PM      Profile for Jonathan Trevithick   Email Jonathan Trevithick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a 16mm Canadian TV print with a music track. Although it's not my favourite silent Laurel and Hardy, it comes a close second for me after "Two Tars".

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Tony Stucchio
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 625
From: New Jersey
Registered: Dec 2005


 - posted December 14, 2012 10:38 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is actually a more typical "L&H" comedy than either TWO TARS or BIG BUSINESS.

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Joseph Randall
Master Film Handler

Posts: 437
From: Wyckoff, NJ, USA
Registered: Jun 2015


 - posted February 06, 2017 06:24 PM      Profile for Joseph Randall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just watched my Blackhawk Standard 8mm print of this. I agree that this is a very funny short -- one of their best silents.

My copy appears to have been originally mounted on 2x200 foot reels, since midway through there is a splice and the picture is suddenly printed a bit light. Overall, the picture quality is excellent -- very sharp with good density in the first half. There are some negative marks in the pre-print, but since it was obviously made from a source close to the original it is hard to complain. The first half of the film has original inter-titles, while the second half has Blackhawk replaced ones.

My copy does not have Gert Frobe in it. [Smile]

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 6872
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 06, 2017 06:32 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My son has this from Blackhawk on Standard-8. (Yes: 2x200')

The thing I love about it is you just KNOW when they wedge that rock under the wheel of that old dump truck that this factor will be returning with a vengeance some time before the end of the film!

-it's Laurel and Hardy: basically destiny.

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Joseph Randall
Master Film Handler

Posts: 437
From: Wyckoff, NJ, USA
Registered: Jun 2015


 - posted February 06, 2017 08:23 PM      Profile for Joseph Randall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Critics of Laurel and Hardy like to say that they telegraphed jokes. What the critics don't realize is that this was done intentionally. You just know that Ollie will never make it across that plank of wood, no matter how many times he tries.

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 6872
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 07, 2017 06:31 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What I find with them is when they do something like this, I start to anticipate the results and that adds to the joke too. ("All Hands: brace for collision!")

Even many viewings down the road it still works. ("OK..here it comes!")

Just once in my life I want to see Oliver Hardy standing up on a roof and NOT have a chimney get destroyed. How about at the end of at least one film they park the Model T Ford, polish the radiator a little and walk away leaving it completely intact!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Gary Crawford
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 978
From: Manassas, VA. USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 07, 2017 07:23 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Steve,
That would be a good joke.....once.... having Stan and Ollie do everything right and have no mishaps....it would have the audience in suspense, waiting for the catastrophe . But I'd favor one huge last scene when EVERYTHING collapses in a frenzy of disaster and destruction. (which is usually what happens to MY project)

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 6872
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 15, 2017 11:47 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sometimes I think the collector's price of a restorable Model T Ford would be a lot lower if it wasn't for Stan and Ollie.

-in their day they thinned the herd quite a bit!

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10082
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted February 15, 2017 11:54 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Very True Joseph, and being that you expected it to happen, the Lad's tended to not only achieve but go well beyond your expectations.

Even simple gags. one in Blockheads, i have always liked. Stan comes to Ollie's aid, as a tenant is giving Ollie the business, and Stan "telegraphs' that he is going to punch the tenant, and even signals which hand he is going to use, and then punches the fellow with the other hand, laying him out.

The Lad's could do so much with so little and I still feel to this day, that they are the greatest comedy team that ever existed.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Joseph Randall
Master Film Handler

Posts: 437
From: Wyckoff, NJ, USA
Registered: Jun 2015


 - posted February 15, 2017 07:56 PM      Profile for Joseph Randall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree Osi. We will never see their like again.

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 6872
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted February 15, 2017 08:08 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They were quite a pair. On screen, even when they were abusing each other you knew they were always friends anyway. Even in the midst of one of them whacking the other with anything from a frying pan to the side of a saw blade, you saw that loyalty come out as soon as a third stepped in between and picked on either one.

I read a biography of both of them a few years ago. I've never seen another like it. It began with these separate chapters on their youth(s) and all of a sudden there was this merger of stories and there was no separation until Ollie died.

-they had many wives each, but they were the team that stayed together.

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All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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