John A. Douglas

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DVD Review – Big Business

June 18th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Resurrected Films

“Big Business” (1929) Directed by J. Wesley Home; titles by H. M. Walker; produced by Hal Roach; director of photography, George Stevens; edited by Richard Currier.
Stan……………….…….Stan Laurel
Ollie………………….…Oliver Hardy
Homeowner…..James Finlayson
Policeman……….…Tiny Sandford

Do you want to see a funny movie and I mean a really funny movie? Then search out “Big Business” with Laurel and Hardy. This silent film is only about 19 minutes long and was released in 1929 which makes it 10 years older than me. True movie buffs know that the age, length of a film is immaterial and that the ability of the characters to speak is not always essential.

In the 19 minute span of “Big Business” will give you more laughs than 50 sitcom episodes tied together. In “Big Business” Laurel and Hardy play door-to-door Christmas tree salesmen who run into a home owner (James Finlayson) who wants nothing to do with Christmas trees. Soon the two salesmen and the homeowner escalate their differences into a full scale war. It’s absolutely hilarious.

This structure of having a minor disagreement turn into something beyond anyone’s control was used by Laurel and Hardy in such films as “Two Tars” and “Tit for Tat.” All three of these films are good and worth watching but I have a fondness for “Big Business.”
You might be interested to know that George Stevens, the man who did the photography for “Big Business” is the same George Stevens who directed such films as “Shane,” “Giant” and “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

You will not find “Big Business” on a DVD all its own but instead will be found on many of the compilations of the short films of Laurel and Hardy. It is well worth the effort you make to search it out. Plus it will be more entertaining if you invite some friends and relatives over as laughter is contagious.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Bill

    This is a great review, pertinent because my wife and I recently discovered the joys of silent movies. Last week we watched Clara Bow’s classic “IT,” released in 1927. Doesn’t get much more silent than that.

    I’ve always enjoyed Laurel and Hardy movies, although I’ve never seen one of their silent pictures. So “Big Business” will be a treat.

    Finding a copy may prove a challenge, however. I seriously doubt those new Red Box DVD rental stations carry such gems. Still, we live in the Internet age where anything is possible and silent movies can be obtained with a mere Amazon or Google search.

    Thank you for your review!

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