Tit for Tat

Ring a Ding Ding

Tit for Tat (1935)

     Poor Oliver Hardy. Just when I’ve been lulled into thinking Stan Laurel is the greatest thorn in his side, he opens up shop next to an even greater problem. In the 1935 short Tit for Tat, the men establish an electronics sales store next to a grocery. Looking to be kindly neighbors, the men visit the grocery where the conversation hints that one of the men once had a fling with the owner’s wife. He therefore does not desire to be friends.

     The men go about their business, installing new lightbulbs to the store sign. In the process, not only does the bumbling Laurel break a number of bulbs, but he strands his friend on the grocery store’s outside window ledge after propelling a ladder upwards via the basement lift. Greeted at the window by the grocer’s wife, Hardy enters her flat and returns to the ground floor with the lady, leading her husband to suspect an untoward incident. Thus begins the feud that originates in the grocery owner’s insulting of Hardy’s character.

     Going back and forth to each others’ stores, the men fling food, slice up a hat and burn each other with a curling iron. Laurel and Hardy also mock the grocer by eating a marshmallow each time they exit his shop. Eventually, the businessman covers the sweets with alum powder, resulting in some scrunched up faces. Our boys also encase the angry neighbor’s head in lard. What is most absurd about these instances it that no one moves to stop them. Although it is obvious that by taking Hardy’s hat and turning on the meat slicer that the accessory will be destroyed, the men just stand and watch. Although the grocer loads a handful of watches into a blender cup, neither Hardy nor Laurel makes a move to prevent him from grinding them up. On top of everything else, a man has also been stealing items from the electronics shop, exchanging pleasantries with the owners as he goes.

     The comedic duo stuff a lot of nonsense into a half-hour short subject film and prove why they are so well loved and so good at what they did. Tit for Tat might be my favorite of their shorts so far.

About these ads

2 Responses

  1. Laurel & Hardy are a couple of my personal favorites and one of the best comedy teams ever. Try giving “Sons of the Desert” (1933) a try, or “The Music Box” that won an Oscar for best short subject in 1932 …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 507 other followers

%d bloggers like this: