Next-Door Neighbors (1930)

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Laurel and Hardy weren't the only comics to employ the "tit for tat" idea of reciprocal destruction in their comedies. Here, two men who are better known as supporting players to Laurel and Hardy star in an amusing tit-for-tat short comedy. Edgar Kennedy plays a composer in need of a little peace and quiet so he can complete his song; his next-door neighbor, Arthur Housman (who was famed for playing drunks), is recovering from a hangover. Between a persistently ringing phone and banging screen doors, they drive each other crazy, and their fury grows over the course of two reels -- Kennedy, the master of the slow burn, tears at what little hair he has, while Housman remains deadpan, but no less furious, throughout. The two of them wind up taking their frustrations out on each other's homes, and as they and their wives storm from one place to the next, they also destroy the handiwork of their equally aggravated landlord (Franklin Pangborn), who is trying to build a picket fence. Before long, the wreckage resembles something you might see on a Laurel and Hardy set.