Deadbeat Edgar Kennedy won't make payments on
his radio, so the sheriff sends Laurel and Hardy out to retrieve it. Taking a
man's radio in 1929 was worse than seizing his wife or dog, that listening post
a most important article of furniture in anyone's Jazz Age home. $600 million
was spent on radios in 1929, over 80% " bought on time," that is,
monthly payments that added from eleven to forty percent onto original cost of
the luxury. But radio had in fact become a necessity. Without it, you'd be out
of everyone's loop. It made sense, then, for Kennedy to seal his entrance
against Stan and Babe effort to seize the set, '29's public at least able to
appreciate Ed's anxiety if not his honesty.
Bacon Grabbers was always obscure among the
Laurel-Hardys. Blackhawk in heady days offered it on 8 or 16mm, minus the disc
score available to bookers in 1929, latter mattering less for fact the
two-reeler had no dialogue. Robert Youngson never used Bacon Grabbers in
his comedycompilations (anyone know why?). Like Big Business and The Perfect
Day, this too was shot on sunny environ that was L.A. neighborhoods before all of open space
was filled. Nothing conveys bucolic beginnings of filmland like L&H done
outdoors. You can never mind comedy of these and still get a marvelous
travelogue with each. Bacon Grabbers is all roof and ladders and windows
busted, as good a reflection of bungalow living in the 20's as we'll ever have.
There's even Jean Harlow to deliver the finish gag. Too bad this short is
out-of-print DVD-wise. Will these silent Laurel-Hardys ever see light again?
UPDATE --- 6/17/15: Long arm of coincidence brought news of a Laurel-Hardy rediscovery just after this post went up. Seems the long missing second reel of Battle Of The Century has turned up. This is really a find, as that short had survived till now in its first reel only, plus a pie fight from the second that was used (after editing) by producer Robert Youngsonfor The Golden Age Of Comedy. A Greenbriar post on various L&H Battles Of The Centuries from the silent era isHERE.