Early to Bed (1928)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Slapstick  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Janiss Garza

1928 was a transitional year for comic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. While producer Hal Roach had definitely decided he had a winning team on his hands, the pair's personalities had not yet been set in stone. Hence the boys would be seen in their classic personas in a film such as You're Darn Tootin', then a few films later they would seem to take a step backwards in Early to Bed. While it doesn't have the best reputation amongst Laurel and Hardy fans, Early to Bed has quite a few funny moments, and the boys do begin the film as their familiar selves. It's only after Hardy becomes wealthy and hires Laurel as his butler do things seem to fall apart. Hardy's drunken, self-centered playfulness bears little relation (except for the child-like sensibility) to the Oliver Hardy we know and love. Laurel, too, seems off, although he's loaded with great comic business -- he's just a little too intelligent. One of the best jokes actually comes from Should Men Walk Home?, a film Mabel Normand made for Roach -- Hardy has a vanity water fountain with likenesses of his head squirting water. Laurel is constantly whacking the heads to get them to work properly, and you know that by the end of the film one of those heads he's whacking is going to be Hardy's real noggin. Early to Bed would probably come off as a much funnier film if it could be seen without the expectations that come along with the names Laurel and Hardy.