Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cinéma Inhabituel for January 15-22

A Guide to the Rare and Unusual on TCM

By Ed Garea 

It’s a short column this week, with only one feature worth your time and effort. Hopefully we’ll have better luck and more films next column.

January 18

8:00 pm Laurel and Hardy Shorts in English, Spanish, and French (MGM, 1930-31): Directors: James W. Horne and James Parrott. Cast: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Leave it to TCM to place a new twist on an old story. They’ve simply taken four Laurel and Hardy shorts and follows each with its foreign language version. In this case, Chickens Come Home is followed by the Spanish language PolitiqueriasBlotto with its Spanish version, La Vida Nocturna; Be Big! and Laughing Gravy are combined into the French language Les Carottiers (loosely translated as The Chiselers).

It’s fascinating to see Laurel and Hardy speaking phonetic French and Spanish. Okay, so it’s rather slow and poorly accented, but it is interesting nevertheless. Plus, the Spanish versions are padded with a bit more material so some find it racier than the English language versions. If you are a Laurel and Hardy completist, you’ll definitely want to see these wonderful shorts. And even if you’re not, this is a time capsule kind of glimpse into an era where foreign languages were spoken instead of being dubbed.

For other Cinema Inhabituel films, click here.

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