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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Speaking of Laurel and Hardy . . .

... as we were over the past few days, they were at their best with the right comic foils. Jimmy Finlayson, Edgar Kennedy, Billy Gilbert, and Charlie Hall were among the best of the men they worked with. Among the women were Anita Garvin, Thelma Todd, and Mae Busch.

Busch was an Australian-born singer and actress who worked in American vaudeville before appearing in silent films with Erich von Stroheim and Lon Chaney, but her mercurial nature led her to the Hal Roach studios as the talkies came in.

This is a scene from Laurel and Hardy's first sound film: "Unaccustomed as We Are," from 1929. Overlapping dialogue and a wonderful musical gag (no overdubbing!) are among the innovations Stan Laurel helped craft for the screen.

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