The Fixer-Uppers Written and filmed January, 1935. Released by MGM, February, 1935. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by Charles Rogers. Two reels.

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch, Charles Middleton, Arthur Housman, Noah Young.   

STORY: Greeting-card salesmen Laurel and Hardy encounter a woman blue and melancholy due to her artist-husband's lack of affection. She engages Ollie to make love to her in the presence of her husband in order to ignite his jealous nature. Unfortunately, the plan works too well, and the husband challenges Ollie to a duel to the death.


JL:   The quality of their later Roach features shows they had plenty left in them, but their last shorts were as uninspired and mediocre as can be. I watched this one the other night, right after Brats and Helpmates, so the plodding pace stood out in stark relief. When the best gags are silly greeting card poems, you long for them to start playing with the artist's paints and easels and get something going. I've always wondered if the Marx Brothers writers didn't rip off a gag from this film ("I'll have two beers, too," which turns up in A NIGHT AT THE OPERA), or if it was just a well-circulated stock gag.

JB: It's not amongst my favorites but I do like it.  The best scene is Ollie, and then Stan, hurling insultments at the murderous artist - via telephone, of course.

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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