Pick and Shovel (1923)

Genres - Comedy  |   Run Time - 13 min.  |  
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Although this Hal Roach one-reel comedy features two very funny men -- Stan Laurel and James Finlayson -- unfortunately, it's not very funny. Most of the gags had been used before, or would be used in the future more effectively. As they would often be in subsequent films, Laurel and Finlayson are at comic odds here. Stan shows up for his job wearing a top hat and tux, only to change into his real work clothes, which reveal he is a miner. In spite of the film's title, Laurel spends very little time with a pick or a shovel and instead hangs around, flirting with the foreman's daughter (Katherine Grant). This, of course, does not please the foreman (Finlayson) one bit, and his fury becomes ever more apparent (as only Finlayson could do). Stan, however, proves his mettle when the mine floods. He saves the foreman's daughter, winning approval all around.