Berth Marks (1929)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 25 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Laurel and Hardy's second two-reel talkie is made up of a few very simple scenes -- Oliver Hardy goes to meet his partner Stan Laurel at the train station. They have a vaudeville act which involves a bass fiddle and are on their way to their next performance. They just barely make the train and are led to their berth, wreaking havoc amongst the other passengers in their wake. With much difficulty, they undress in their berth. As soon as they're ready for bed, they arrive at Pottsville, their destination, and have to hurry off. Once the train has left the station, they discover that they have left their bass fiddle on board. But the situations aren't important, it's what the boys do with them -- the way Ollie wanders around the station in search of Stan, just missing him several times, and the various contortions the pair try to get into their upper berth -- that give the film its fun. Especially nice is the interchange between the boys and the conductor. When Ollie describes himself and Stan to the trainman as a "big-time vaudeville act," the old man dryly replies, "Well, I bet you're good!" Originally filmed in black & white, a colorized version was released in the late 1990s.

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Keywords

conductor [music], partner, passenger, train [locomotive], vaudeville