17 June 2006 | krorie
Whoever rocked Mickey's cradle....
This is one of Hal Roach's delightful comedy shorts from the early days of the Great Depression. Hal Roach had achieved success with the "Our Gang" (The Little Rascals) and the Laurel and Hardy shorts. From an artistic standpoint, the Laurel and Hardy series, including several feature films, are among the best ever made by Hollywood or anyone else. Still, the other shorts made my Roach also deliver the belly laughs.
In the Boy Friends series, Roach basically recycled his "Our Gang" kids after they had grown up and were no longer the cute little tykes the audiences loved. Mickey Daniels and Mary Kornman were members of the original "Our Gang" cast. They cut their teeth on Hal Roach's brand of slapstick and were still able to deliver the goods. Mickey could take a pratfall with the best of them. He had a goofy laugh that has to be heard to be appreciated, similar to the neighing of a horse blended with the hew-haw of a jackass. Mary Kornman describes him best when she tells her girlfriend, "Whoever rocked Mickey's cradle certainly overdid it." Adding to the fun are the antics of the other two boyfriends, Grady Sutton with his corn pone accent and David Sharpe, who went on to a career in B pictures as both actor and stunt double.
Though the Boy Friends series has been overshadowed by the "Our Gang" shorts and today largely forgotten, they are still entertaining and at times hilarious. "Call a Cop!" is one of the best in the series, filled with marvelous sight gags, including a variation of the Keystone Cops.
Following a slam-bang opening involving a wild car ride to the police station, "Call a Cop!" centers on a supposed burglar in the two girlfriends' house when a cat knocks some plates off the mantel. The three boyfriends are called on separately by the young ladies for help. This leads to all types of shenanigans involving mistaken identities and uproarious slapstick directed with his usual finesse by one of the Hollywood greats, George Stevens. It is non-stop laughter all the way with a Marx Brothers surrealistic-style ending not to be missed.
"Call a Cop!" is family entertainment at its best. The kids should enjoy it as much as the adults.