Laurel and Hardy Meet Laurel y Hardy

I thought it would be fun to compare “Chickens Come Home” and “Politiquerias,” which aired recently on Turner Classic Movies.

A shot-by-shot comparison shows that even though they use the same plot and camera setups, the English- and Spanish-language versions differ markedly. Notice that Art Lloyd was the cinematographer in the English version and Jack Stevens did the Spanish-language version. And even though both versions were edited by Richard Currier, they are cut quite differently. The Spanish version uses more close-ups  and there are some gags that only appear in the Spanish version. Most important is a long entertainment sequence at Ollie’s  home featuring Cantu the magician (Abraham J. Cantu) and the Senor Ali (Hadji Ali).

In the English-language version, Ollie’s old girlfriend is played by Mae Bush. In the Spanish-language version, she is played by Rina De Liguoro.

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Cantu the magician in “Politiquerias,” in what appears to be his only film, according to imdb.

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Mr. Ali – a very thirsty man.

Here’s the first seven minutes of both films:

“Chickens Come Home” is missing the MGM lion! image
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“Chickens Come Home”

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“Politiquerias”
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The Los Angeles Examiner appears in a Laurel and Hardy film!
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image Hardy lights a cigar. He later puts the lit end in his mouth by mistake. image
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image Here’s the continuation of the cigar bit in which he puts the lit end in his mouth.
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image There’s the bandage on Stan’s right index finger. image Watch the bandage on Stan’s right index finger.
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The bandage is gone!
image image Now it’s back!
image image Now it’s gone.
image image Now it’s back!
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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Film, Hollywood and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Laurel and Hardy Meet Laurel y Hardy

  1. aryedirect says:

    Fascinating! Here’s an observational tidbit: The reason the image quality of the Spanish version seems so much better is that it is from a 35 mm print. The English language was made from a 16 mm print. Which also explains why the MGM logo is missing. The giveaway? the ‘Film Classics, Inc.” burn-over, which was probably done by the TV syndication distributor sometime in the Fifties.

  2. Lynne Ray says:

    I recorded every Laurel and Hardy short I could find on TCM last week. My husband and I watched “La Vida Nocturna” (Night Life) last night. Stan and Ollie get funnier every time I watch them. And, hearing them speak phonetic Spanish was a real treat! We live about an hour from Mexico, in New Mexico, so we understand a bit of Spanish. What they said and what was in the subtitles did not always match up; another fun aspect of the whole show.

    • lmharnisch says:

      The Spanish-language versions are quite different… And a real treat. I wonder if the boys were tempted to take a few more risks since American audiences would never see these movies. There’s a lot more business involving James Finlayson, the butler, in “Politiquerias.”

  3. Benito says:

    Love this parallel universe stuff. Laurel & Hardy spoke French [subtitled in English] in “Les Carottiers” [1931], a combination of Be Big and Laughing Gravy, recently shown on TCM. Laurel had excellent pronunciation, Hardy only so so. There are long physical humor sequences without dialogue. As usual, the boys try to ditch their pretty wives for some inane reason, get caught, and are kicked out of their houses…

  4. Lynne Ray says:

    My husband and I also saw Laurel et Hardy in “Les Carottiers” (Ben Mankowicz translated it as “Men About Town”, or “Men are Jerks to thier Wives” as I would translate it). Ollie savored pronouncing “boots” as “butt” about 147 times. In the second part, the dog’s name, Laughing Gravy, is translated to “La Sauce Qui Rit” (if my college French from 1000 years ago serves me). I laughed like crazy, anyway. I love Stan and Ollie, but after watching this 1-hour feature, a little bit of them goes a loooooong way…

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