Dirty Work (1934)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - UK  |  
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Although this Laurel and Hardy short is quite funny, it's often neglected. The boys, playing chimney sweeps, don't appear right away -- first the stage is set in the laboratory of a mad scientist, Professor Noodle (Lucien Littlefield). He has been working intensely for the past 20 years to create an elixir of youth and he is just moments away from success. At this significant moment, Stan and Ollie arrive to sweep the chimney. The butler, Jessup (Sam Adams), directs them to the fireplace and they go to work while, in another room, Noodle is adding a few drops of this, a half drop of that (he uses a scissors to cut off the last half drop). The professor's work goes far more smoothly than Stan and Ollie's efforts -- in fact, by the time they're done, the room is ankle-deep in debris, and both the boys and the butler are black with soot. Jessup looks at the wreckage and promises that somewhere "an electric chair is waiting." While he is upstairs washing off the grime, the professor proudly appears with his successful elixir and since no one else is around, he decides to show it to the boys. He places a duckling in a big tub of water, adds just a few drops of the potent solution, and the duck reverts to an egg. When Noodle disappears in search of Jessup, Stan and Ollie wonder if there's any validity to what they've just witnessed. They decide to try it out with a fish, but as Ollie stands over the tub holding the full beaker, Stan accidentally knocks him in. The water violently bubbles and churns and finally Ollie emerges -- as a chimp, wearing the inevitable bowler hat. His reply to Stan and the whole situation: "I have nothing to say!"

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Keywords

criminal, employment, gangster, infiltration, jewel-robbery, shop, store, trapped