A tribute now to the Laurel and Hardy feature Our Relations (1936).
While still farcical, Our Relations contains one of Laurel and Hardy’s more sophisticated plots – – essentially The Comedy of Errors. In the film, the comedians each play a pair of brothers: a couple of henpecked husbands, and their twins, a pair of less domesticated, trouble-prone sailors. The domestic Laurel and Hardy are under the impression that their no-good brothers were hanged, leaving them all the more nonplussed when the brothers arrive in their town and start causing confusion. It is a most enjoyable ride. Long time Laurel and Hardy fans will appreciate the presence of Jimmy Finlayson and Daphne Pollard in the cast. Movie buffs will also recognize Alan Hale(senior) and Sidney Toler. It also has cuties Iris Adrian and Lona Andre, professional drunk Arthur Housman, and many other recognizable faces from the Hal Roach stock company.
To learn more about comedy film history including Laurel and Hardy classics like “Our Relations” please check out my book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube,
Not surprisingly, given his work at Warner Brothers, Alan Hale made a terrific foil for Stan and Ollie, a change-up from James Finlayson and Charles Hall. It would have been interesting to see them do more work together.