Thicker Than Water Written and filmed June-July, 1935. Released by MGM, August, 1935. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by James Horne. Two reels.

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Daphne Pollard, James Finlayson, Charlie Hall, Bess Flowers.

STORY: Stan is a boarder in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Hardy. After some bickering about rent payment, Stan talks Ollie into withdrawing the family savings in order to pay off their furniture. After withdrawing the money from the bank, The Boys happen by an auction house where they are trapped into bidding on a grandfather clock and wind up blowing their wad of cash. The clock is promptly destroyed by a passing truck. When Mrs. Hardy learns of the situation, she brains Ollie over the head with a frying pan. He is rushed to the hospital, in need of a transfusion. Stan donates his blood to the cause, and The Boys wind up sharing blood and exchanging personalities.


JL:  Their final short was probably the best of the last batch, but it still seems a far cry from the days of Hog Wild.  Great domestic silliness at the beginning with the business at the table, followed by some dishwashing fun.  Daphne Pollard biting Ollie's finger floors me every time. It's a very well-paced film, which may be its saving grace. There's not a dull moment, even if the gags themselves aren't particularly memorable.

JB: As a goodbye to shorts, it is okay.  It moves at a steady pace, has good dialogue, a great dishwashing scene, enough bad guys and gals making the Boys lives miserable and a weird but wonderful ending.  My favorite moment in the short is when the nurse says that they took too much blood out of Ollie, and the head doctor tells them to reverse the flow. When the nurse leaves, the doctor grumbles something like "Why do they come to me for everything?". Now there's a hospital I have confidence in!

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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