In a week which saw many classics released, deciding on which one to feature for this weeks image was a challenge, but Mike decided on the below for this week, from The Fixer Uppers, recently beautifully coloured for us by Paul Mitchell.
As noted, we are spoilt for choice this week, as Be Big was released on 7 February 1931 and both Wrong again and Blotto on 8 February 1929 and 1930 respectively. The Fixer Uppers arrived on 9th February 1935.
Here are a few observations on The Fixer Uppers…
Stan has a brilliant line in this when speaking on the phone to Mae’s husband, Pierre Gustave: “If you had a face like mine you’d punch me right on the nose. And I’m just the fella that can do it,”
In the image, which we think looks amazing, the painting Blue Boy appears. This coincidentally was a large part of the plot in Wrong Again (1929) having also featured some four months earlier in Early To Bed (1928).
The $50 that Mae Busch offers Ollie to make Pierre jealous would be worth around $950 today. No the wonder Stan said to Ollie “Well, you can do it much cheaper by the week!”
The Fixer Uppers was the last-but-one short subject that Laurel and Hardy made. (If you discount the ‘remake’ of From Soup to Nuts that was tacked on to the beginning of A Chump at Oxford to make it into a six-reeler for the overseas market. More on this next week!) The final entry was of course Thicker than Water later in 1935.
The film revisits the basic plot of Slipping Wives from 1927 in which Ollie suggests a paint delivery man (Stan) should be enlisted to make Priscilla Dean’s distant husband jealous.
One wonders what was in Ollie’s head when he allowed the use of Stan’s ‘sentimental’ verses in the Christmas Cards they were selling; the most ‘touching’ of which is ‘Twas Christmas day in the poor house. And the boys were feeling blue. The boys in grey were fighting. A Merry Christmas to you! “A Beautiful thought”, says Arthur Housman, and the boys have made a sale.
Charles Middleton was perhaps better known as Ming the Merciless in the King Features Flash Gordon Series, but appears with Laurel and Hardy three times as a Frenchman; twice as a French Foreign Legion Commandant (in Beau Chumps and The Flying Deuces), and in this as an artist. He also appears as the social worker in Pack Up Your Troubles when he is the recipient of Ollies splendid line: “How much would you charge me to haunt a house?”
The kiss between Stan and Madame Gustave actually lasts 43 seconds, but due to the Hays Code – which came in the previous year – each shot of them lasts only five seconds before the scene has to cut to Ollie and then back to them for another five seconds. Mind you, Ollies varied reactions, looks to camera and checking his watch just get funnier and funnier!
We hope that you have enjoyed the image and our brief look at this penultimate entry to the sound short series in the Laurel and Hardy catalogue and found the information useful. Please feel free to leave any observations or comments in the box below. We’d love to hear from you and all comments will receive a response on this page.