Series: All Stars w/Edgar Kennedy
Director: Hal Yates
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: William Terhune
Stars: Anita Garvin, Marion Byron, Edgar Kennedy, Stuart Erwin
Released: 02 February 1929
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: S-16
Filming dates: September 19-28, 1928
A Pair Of Tights
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"The story of two girls who were born hungry, raised hungry, grew up hungry, and still are..." Cue Anita and Marion in their apartment with some failed attempt to cook some food in a frying pan. Marion's boyfriend arrives at the girl's apartment with his boss. The girls are hopeful that the men will take them out to dinner but their hopes are quickly dashed when they overhear them complaining of how they don't want "to spend any money on these Janes". The boyfriend (Erwin) introduces his boss (Kennedy) as being a "bear with the women" as he tries to set him up with Anita, who gives him an awkward cold shoulder in an awfully long static scene. Eventually after over a minute he asks how she is? She answers simply with "Starving!". As Marion is snuggled by her boyfriend over on the sofa, the boss realises he is not making any impression on Anita and gets up off the piano stool, which tips up and sends Anita crashing to the floor. The gag is reversed a few moments later when the boss tries his luck again with Anita, but fails and ends up on the floor himself.
The foursome go for a ride in the car and decide to stop off at an ice cream parlour. Anita declares that if the men were to pay for ice creams then it would most likely spoil any appetite they would have for dinner. Naturally, the boss is happy to play the cheaper option and cough up for the ice cream cones. So Marion goes in and buys them but they all end up on the sidewalk when the revolving doors hit her in the backside and make her drop them all. The boss pays for another batch of ice creams and Marion goes back into the parlour. Meanwhile a big-eared policeman tells the boyfriend driver to move his illegally parked car. Marion re-emerges from the store but is attacked by a dog. In order to evade it, she holds the ice creams in the air and a large electric fan blows the contents into the boss's face. A third attempt to extract funds from the increasingly skint Edgar Kennedy results in him declaring himself broke but Anita is wise to him and pulls out a dollar bill from his jacket and sends Marion back into the store with it.
Marion is once again attacked by the dog, which she fends off before placing the ice creams on the seat of a nearby parked car; the occupants of which return to sit on them. Marion's boyfriend continues to circle the block to avoid the policeman who is on to them, but they end up crashing into another car. The driver of this car is Charlie Hall who protests by slamming Marion's four new ice creams over Edgar Kennedy's bald head before reimbursing Marion with some money for her to buy some more ice creams. The boss peels off the ice creams from his bead and throws them away - hitting the cop in the face. Marion gets more ice creams but then gets into several prolonged altercations with a boy (Spec O'Donnell); whilst the cop continues his pursuit of the car around the block.
Anita sees the predicament Marion is in with the kid and steps in, assaults him and then takes charge of getting the ice creams. The dispute with the kid escalates to the point of his father getting involved from an upstairs window when he is hit by a flying ice cream. Down on the street, the father, his son, the two girls and eventually Edgar all become embroiled in a tit-for-tat ice cream dropping, plat pot throwing, leg kicking, nose whacking fight which also involves other members of the public who interfere. They all end up in a heap on the sidewalk outside of the ice cream parlour until Marion's boyfriend drives by and picks up her, Anita and his boss and drives off and leaving the frustrated cop in the dirt. The end.
A few contenders here for best scene, but Anita Garvin getting rather assertive with Spec O'Donnell and kicking his ass wins my vote!
• Copyrighted December 10, 1928.
• The two men are billed as "two tightwads - Jimmy Valentine couldn't open their pockets". Jimmy Valentine was an infamous safe cracker of the 1920s.
• The scene where Edgar Kennedy sits down next to Anita Garvin in front of the piano is one continuous static shot which lasts exactly 56 seconds. This is followed by a quick cut to Marion Byron before resuming for a further 20 seconds.
• I still can't be sure which is Marion Byron's biggest distraction - her big bulging eyes or her complete lack of cleavage! Yes I did just say that.
• The original ending featured Laurel and Hardy in a surprise appearance and the story took an odd turn by basically finishing with L&H and ignoring Anita, Marion, Edgar and Stu. Stan and Babe did film their scenes - call sheets exist showing them as part of the cast, as does the script. [see below for both]
• The fate of the 32 ice creams:
-Marion drops her first 4 when the door hits her in the rear.
-Marion loses another 4 when she holds them up to the fan and it blows them away.
-Marion loses another 4 when she places them on the front seat of a car and the lady sits on them.
-Marion has 4 more stolen by Charlie Hall who takes them out of her hands and plonks them on top of Edgar Kennedy's dome.
-Marion loses another 4 when Spec O'Donnell pushes them out of her hands in retaliation.
-Marion drops another 4 when she falls over Spec O'Donnell coming out of the store.
-Marion loses another 4 when Spec O'Donnell kicks her in the rear and they fly out of her hands.
-Anita drops her 4 when Spec O'Donnell drops a plant pot on her head.
What the experts say
• "Decent plot, albeit a bit repetitive at times. Some good comic moments throughout in this solid silent comedy." ~ Lord Heath.
Marion's boyfriend's boss
Ice cream parlour patron
Man in fender bender
Sits on ice cream in car
Passerby knocked down first
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|SHOT ON THE LOT
The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR
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|SHOT ON LOCATION
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Peter Mikkelsen (help and information; call sheet and script)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Pete Gordon)
This page was last updated on: 02 February 2020