Laurel & Hardy in BLOTTO (1930) – A hostile wife negates much of the laughter


So here’s this woman (Anita Garvin) married to a man she obviously has nothing in common with. But nevertheless she won’t let him go out with his friend when she herself has nothing better to do with him. And when her husband sneaks out on false pretenses, she quickly makes her way to the local gun shop for a rifle and ammunition. I’m no psychologist, but wouldn’t you say she has issues?

Unfortunately, we’re meant to accept such behavior as quid pro quo in Laurel & Hardy comedies. The premise is that Stan manages to sneak out for a night on the town with Ollie, holding a bottle of what he thinks is his wife’s bootleg liquor. Unfortunately, Mrs. Laurel got wind of the situation and replaced the booze with cold tea, tabasco, and other assorted droppings. So she’s so eager to catch her husband in a lie that she dumps a bottle of Prohibition hootch to catch him? Wouldn’t you say she has issues?

The nightclub scene does yield some laughs, as Stan and Ollie get into one of their infamous laughing jags. But then there’s that wife, sitting right as rain, waiting for the chance to blow off some steam as well as that shotgun. Wouldn’t you say…

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