One step forward and two steps back. That’s how I can only describe the team’s development when it comes to Love ‘Em and Weep. Ollie’s action in this film is very limited indeed, hardly sharing any screen time with Stan at all. Yet, neither is this a ‘Stan Laurel comedy’ either.
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The main starring role of this short was given to Mae Busch, who would become a regular supporting actor of the boys’ ‘true’ L&H comedies in the coming years. Another future regular James Finlayson also takes a major part in the film, playing the part of wealthy businessman Titus Tillsbury. Tillsbury enrolls the reluctant help of employee Stan to deal with an old flame (Busch), who has suddenly reappeared on the scene with an incriminating photo of them both together from years ago.
Stan typically makes a hash of trying to keep her away from Tillsbury’s house (and more importantly his wife) and chaos ensues on her arrival during a house party, at which a thickly mustachioed Ollie and his wife are in attendance. Ollie’s part is restricted merely to an amused witness to the scenes of mayhem and there is not an inkling of the familiar Ollie character in this film. Stan on the other hand seems really to be starting to hone his character. Building on the previous two films, Love ‘Em and Weep shows Stan’s trademark cry in full effect.
This is not a bad film. It has some funny moments, I particularly like the part where Stan falls down the stairs after entering The Pink Pup. Shame not to see more of Ollie, but hey-ho!Along with James Finlayson and Mae Busch, this film also has the first appearance in a L&H film of Birmingham born Charlie Hall, playing the role of Tillsbury’s butler. Hall would go on to appear in 47 of the boys’ films.
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