Saturday, 21 April 2018
The Music Box (1932)
One of their best known and best loved Laurel and Hardy films, The Music Box is a perfect example of them taking a simple idea and getting the most from it.
The pair play deliverymen who have one job, which is to get a box containing a player piano to the house of its new owner. Unfortunately, the house in question is at the top of a very long flight of stairs indeed, and they also must contend with obstacles like a vengeful nanny, a bad-tempered policeman and their own blissful incompetence.
The film is perfectly structured with the repeating joke playing like variations on a theme, and, rather than being unconnected from each other, link together to set up a new hazard for the duo.
The box itself is as sometimes as much of a star as the Stan and Olly, seemingly possessing a sentience that gives their efforts an air of people trying to wrangle a difficult wild animal.
The Music Box went on to win the 1932 Oscar for Best Short and remains a brilliant example of Laurel and Hardy at the height of their powers.