Dirty Work (1933)

Viewing Date: 2-12-2003
Posting Date: 7-12-2003
Directed by Lloyd French
Featuring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Sam Adams

Stan and Ollis are working as chimney sweepers in the home of a mad scientist.

One of the nice things about doing a comprehensive survey of fantastic cinema is that I end up watching a fairly wide variety of movies. As it happens, practically every great comedian has ventured into the realms of the fantastic at one point or another, so I get to touch on a lot of them. Unfortunately, it is often not their best work; I certainly hope no one judges the talents of Charlie Chaplin on the strength of HIS PREHISTORIC PAST (though, in all honesty, some of his other works will be represented before all is said and done). This one gives me another chance to touch on Laurel and Hardy, though I don’t quite rate this one with their best shorts. It follows a standard pattern for them; it gives them a specific profession and allows them to wreak havoc with it. The chimney-sweeping scenes are the best parts of this short, though the snidely sarcastic butler gets in a few zingers. The mad scientist plot (he has created a rejuvenation formula) is what causes this short to qualify as fantastic cinema; it is also there primarily to set up the final gag. All in all, this is pretty standard Laurel and Hardy, and that is not a bad thing by any rate.

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