Sunday, May 27, 2018

'Putting Pants on Philip' is the dawn of a great comedy team

Putting Pants on Philip (1927)
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Harvey Clark, Sam Lufkin, and Dorothy Coburn
Director: Clyde Bruckman
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A young Scotsman, Philip (Laurel), comes to visit his uncle (Hardy) in the U.S. After a series of mishaps involving Philip's kilt, the uncle decides to make him wear pants.

"Putting Pants on Philip" is the birth of the legendary comedy team of Laurel & Hardy. While the personalities of their characters weren't in place, and their trademark costumes were likewise nowhere to be seen, the interplay between them is here... and that is enough to make this film worth watching.

In fact, I have a sense that if this film had featured anyone *but* Laurel & Hardy, it may have been boring indeed. Its thin premise is bolstered slightly by the kilt-wearing Scotsman also being a womanizer whom the uncle must keep a close eye on or he will literally chase attractive women down, but unfortunately almost every other gag is repeated to the point where it out-stays its welcome. Even with the charm and unpredictable energy of Laurel & Hardy, the 20-minute run-time of this short film is about five minutes too long. Once we get to the point of the title event of the film, things pick up, but it's a bit of a slog getting there.

For big fans of Laurel & Hardy, or lovers of silent comedies, this film might be worth checking out. Everyone else might want to view some of their films from the mid-1930s. But... don't just take my word for it. Take a look at the film right now: I've embedded it below for your viewing pleasure!

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