Laughing Gravy - Contemporary Film Criticism

Charles Barr: "A consistently brilliant film."

Leslie Halliwell: "Pure gold... a masterpiece of timing."

John McCabe: "There is no more stimulating title in the history of comedy film - a personal Stan Laurel contribution. This is Samuel Beckett (who, incidentally, loved Laurel & Hardy) partnered with Salvador Dali."


William K. Everson: "An exact reworking of ANGORA LOVE, LAUGHING GRAVY repeats all of its best gags and extends its violence. Charlie Hall winds up soaked, battered, dirtied, and finally dead by his own hand! ...LAUGHING GRAVY offers a fine array of both typical and well-executed Laurel & Hardy material."

Undistilled Laurel & Hardy, LAUGHING GRAVY is first and foremost endearing. It's also rich in black humor, and allows us the guilty pleasure of watching people we seem to know as friends suffer! And do they suffer! The narrative is punctuated with gags featuring unstressed pain, misfortune, and indignites. One predicament after another is casually paid off by such calamities as a howling storm, bone-chilling cold, tumbling bricks, crashing falls, collapsing beds, freezing water, tossed flower pots, chimney soot, eviction, suicide, and smallpox! Yet oblivious to everthing is the cause of all of it - little Laughing Gravy. During two reels of spectucular mishaps her expression varies no more than the deadpan countenance of Buster Keaton.

The dog is charming, the comedy is biting, and LAUGHING GRAVY is a surprising upgrade of the same material presented in its antecedent, ANGORA LOVE.

-- by Richard W. Bann --