The Whole and the Half

A whole week, half the films. No, that’s not why this blog post is called The Whole and the Half, it’s what Laurel and Hardy is called in Norway, thus the name I know them by. But it is fitting since I haven’t been able to see a whole lot this week, but still, I did manage to see all of the Laurel and Hardy oscar films, except “The Rogue Song” from 1930, sadly a now lost film.

The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929)
Kicking of the week is this MGM cavalcade film from 1929 showcasing their biggest stars. It includes dance, songs and comedy skits, including The Whole and the Half as magicians. It really show when bookended by other segments that they truly are in a league of their own. While the other comedy skits are dated, The Whole and the Half are 100% fresh. Ironically, Norma Shearer stars as Juliet in a Romeo and Juliet segment that is leaps and bounds more entertaining than the feature length film she would star in later.
Nominated for best picture in 1930.

The Music Box (1932)
A simple premise. The Whole and the Half must get a piano up a flight of stairs. It takes them 30 minutes and the result is comedy gold. The supporting characters are as funny as The Whole and the Half themselves.
Winner of best short subject – comedy in 1932.

Tit for Tat (1935)
Not as good as The Music Box but a fun time none the less. This time they are shop owners declaring war against the neighbour shop after being insulted by him. The best line “I’ve never been in a position quite like that before!” is the highlight of the film. You know why when you see it.
Nominated for best short subject – comedy in 1936.

Way Out West (1937)
I had totally forgotten that my mom had this movie on VHS when I was little, so I knew the movie by heart when I watched it again. It was great, but I don’t know if it is the fond memories or the movie in itself. Either way, I had a great time.
Nominated for best music score in 1938.

Block-Heads (1938)
And lastly, the very last studio picture starring The Whole and the Half. Starting of with a hilarious premise that could be a whole movie in itself, but only lasts for the first ten minutes. Plenty of clever gags and the chemistry between the leads are as good as the other films. Great stuff!
Nominated for best music score in 1939.

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