Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Friday, August 29, 2008


PARDON US (1931). Director: James Parrott.

Laurel and Hardy are caught selling beer during prohibition and are sent to prison. An added complication is that Stan's loose tooth makes it sound as if he's giving everybody – from a roughneck cellmate to the prison warden – a Bronx cheer or “raspberry,” with the expected results. Eventually the boys are forced to join an escape and wind up on a nearby plantation in black face. James Finlayson plays the prison teacher and there are a lot of effective character foils in small parts. Oliver Hardy does a fine rendition of “Lazy Moon” during the plantation sequence. This is minor Laurel and Hardy but the boys are as good as ever, and there are some genuinely amusing moments.
Verdict: No pardon required. **1/2.

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