The Noon Whistle (1923)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Run Time - 11 min.  |  
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Early on in his new contact with producer Hal Roach, Stan Laurel shot a comic short that had much of the same material as a two-reeler he made the year before, The Egg. Since The Noon Whistle was only one reel, however, the superfluous subplot about the company president being blackmailed was dumped. Most of this picture involves the slapstick antics between Laurel, as Tanglefoot -- the worst employee at a lumberyard -- and the foreman, O'Hallahan (James Finlayson). O'Hallahan has been told to get the lazy workers off their cans and his biggest problem is Tanglefoot. Eventually, Tanglefoot and his irascible boss get involved in a battle of nerves that escalates until one of them gets fired -- O'Hallahan. This was the first of countless times Finlayson and Laurel would work together. In fact, when Laurel formed a comic team with Oliver Hardy, Finlayson would become their most well-remembered onscreen victim. The Noon Whistle bears some resemblance to a later Laurel and Hardy short, 1933's Busy Bodies (which did not feature Finlayson).