4. Slipping Wives (1927)

I can’t remember the last time I watched Slipping Wives, but for some reason, I wasn’t really looking forward to revisiting this one. I needn’t have worried – I actually really enjoyed it. Although Stan & Ollie are not a ‘team’ in this film, when they are in scenes together, their on-screen chemistry is certainly evident.

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Ollie plays butler to an artist who is so focused on his work he is neglecting his wife. Stan plays the part of Ferdinand Flamingo, an innocent paint delivery man, who is hired    (against his will) to make the artist/husband jealous.

Within seconds of Ollie answering the door to Stan Slipping-wivesthey are engaged in a comic tussle on the doorstep – a classic L&H skirmish, as is the scene in which the clean shaven Ollie is chasing Stan around the bedroom trying to force him to take a bath.

While the butler’s character doesn’t bear much resemblance to the Ollie that we know and love, Stan is visibly getting closer to perfecting his recognisable mannerisms. Here we see that glorious wide smile and his naive embarrassment at being told to ‘make love’ to the artists wife.

Although Priscilla Dean is the film’s headliner, it is, for all intents and purposes a Stan Laurel comedy, with everyone else playing supporting roles. A particularly memorable scene sees Stan performing the tale of Samson & Delilah in true pantomime fashion, harking back to his music hall roots. All in all it’s an enjoyable farce with a few good laugh-out-loud moments, my favourite being when Stan headbutts the piano.

A step closer to the finished article for Stan, but sadly Ollie’s character still has some miles to go before he becomes our recognisable friend.

What do you think of Slipping Wives? Join the discussion by commenting below…

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