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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Another Silent Comedy Nicely Restored


Stan Was A Pest Before He Teamed With Babe

Stan Laurel isn't The Pest's (1922) title character as expected, but presides over deaf/dumb gags, flypaper exchange, and pursuit up the Hats Off steps now a shrine to pratfalling shot there. It's understood that Stan missed pre-L&H stardom for lack of a distinct "personality," though his was sufficient to headline one after another series of comedies in which he led, and that must be acknowledged stardom by whatever measure. Even if Laurel hadn't teamed with Hardy, we could pick him still from clowning's alley, crowded though it is. The Pest may not be a solo best, but it's nicely representative of an extensive lot; Laurel knew gagging and brought trunks to whoever hired his act. Many did after a teens' movie start, Stan seldom at liberty once begun at single and two reeling. Majority of comics moved too fast to develop character, ones grotesque enough wouldn't invite our interest in any case. Sponge-for-gags Laurel didn't risk standing still in early 20's phase where faster meant better, but his stood out at least for being above the average of funny. The Pest is part of Flicker Alley's Saved From The Flames DVD Collection, highly recommended for wide choice of rarities among its three discs.

1 Comments:

Blogger Kevin K. said...

I've got that DVD. My daughter & I almost fell off the couch laughing when Stan was disguised in the tiger rug. But did you happen to notice, in one of the exterior scenes, when Stan was outside a grocery store? It was startling to see a sign featuring the nickname used for Brazil nuts. Trust me, it's not something used so cavalierly anymore.

11:49 AM  

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