(Review originally written at 1 October 2006)

Although by no means a comedy must-see, "Do Detectives Think?" is a worthy movie from Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, who in 1927 just began working together as a comedy team, for the Hal Roach studio's.

It's a movie that is good thanks to its little comical moments. It's not the sort of movie that is hilarious constantly but it has some great original and funny moments in it that are good for a couple of laughs. It's certainly not the most consistent Laurel & Hardy silent comedy short around but it's an enjoyable one nevertheless, which is also thanks to its fun simple story. It makes "Do Detectives Think?" an above average early Laurel & Hardy movie.

Problem of the movie really is that the comical moments in it are rather stretched out. If only the movie was about halve its running time shorter, perhaps the movie than would had been a better and even more enjoyable one. The movie its flow would at least had been better if that had been the case.

The cast is good. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (who was looking quite thin by the way) already seem to be in their element as the famous comical duo. Also really good was James Finlayson in a great comical role. He steals the show in most of his sequences. Just his looks alone and some small actions is enough to provide the movie with some great laughs and comical moments. Also Noah Young is well cast, as a psychotic killer who tries to kill the judge (the James Finlayson character) who convicted him. The boys play two detectives, with odd names, who are send by their agency to protect the judge but of course everything goes wrong and the boys really mess things up again.

Of course everything about the movie is predictable but it's a well made and originally directed movie. The timing is nice and the movie is well edited which makes most of the comical moments work out really well.

A good enough enjoyable early Laurel & Hardy comedy short, that uses a bit too many stretched out comical moments to prevent this movie from being one of their best works.


About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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