Collars and Cuffs (1923)

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This one-reel Stan Laurel comedy is basically made up of two jokes, but they're done to hilarious effect -- a testament to the talent of Laurel and the others at the Hal Roach studios. Laurel plays a laundry worker (and, for no apparent reason, is wearing a sailor's hat). Not that he's actually doing much work -- he spends much of his time playing cards and annoying the foreman (Mark Jones, playing the type of role in which James Finlayson would later excel). Stan believes he has ripped his pants until he figures out that it's a fellow worker (Katherine Grant) ripping apart collars. Then his pants really do rip but he won't believe it. Finally getting down to work, Stan starts up a washing machine that contains one of the other employees and adds so much soap that it overflows...and overflows...and overflows. Soon everyone is slipping around on the soapy floors in typical slapstick fashion. The soap spreads onto the street causing trouble for many innocent bystanders. The cops come to arrest the person responsible, but because of the soapy surfaces, they can't catch Stan, who doesn't get very far himself.