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  • "Done in Oil" (1934) is a pretty funny Thelma Todd/Patsy Kelly entry in which Thelma tries to pass herself off as a French artist with Patsy gumming things up for her pal as usual. There is a lot of uninhibited '30's humor which may not be up to today's PC standards, but it was another era and they were able to get away with it. Adding to the shenanigans is the hilarious Arthur Housman doing his trademark drunk character. Housman was a regular on the Hal Roach lot and appeared in several Todd/Kelly shorts. TCM runs these from time to time, and anyone who is a fan of the delightful Thelma Todd (like me) will want to check this one out. She was a true beauty as well as a seasoned comedienne, appearing with comic greats Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chase, Buster Keaton, Wheeler and Woolsey and The Marx Brothers. It's good to see so much of her work becoming more readily available.
  • Done in oil (1934)

    ** 1/2 (out of 4)

    Funny Hal Roach short has Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly playing roommates who are about to be thrown out of their apartment unless they can come up with rent within a couple days. A drunk decides to try and sell some of Thelma's paintings by making her pretend to be French. Soon three men from the art galleries come by and nothing goes as planned. This isn't the best short in the Todd-Kelly series but there are enough laughs to make it worth viewing if you're a fan of the series. The politically incorrect police would have a field day with this short but while the stuff with make you cringe I must admit that it also made me laugh. I guess it's rather silly to say something made you cringe but laugh at the same time but I've come to except the fact that this type of "humor" was found to be okay in 1934. The offensive side of the story has the three men wanting to meet the "Southern cook" so this causes Kelly to dress in blackface and come up acting in various stereotypes. Yes, this isn't done in good taste by today's standards but there's no question that Kelly gives it her all and manages to be rather funny through it all. Todd also manages to get a few laughs as she tries to be French and Arthur Housman plays the drunk fairly well. The movie is going to offend quite a few people not only for the blackface stuff but there are jokes aimed at the French and Indians as well. If you're able to not take this stuff too serious you should have a good time.
  • MartinHafer24 April 2007
    I recently got an email from an IMDb user who disagreed with my negative opinion about Patsy Kelly. In many IMDb reviews, I have described her as one of the most unfunny and obnoxious "comediennes" in film history and I WISH I had seen DONE IN OIL before I responded to this user--this would have clearly proved my point! Yes, this comedy short is THAT bad. Not only is the entire thing unfunny, but towards the end it even made me cringe--as Kelly appeared in black-face dressed like a very, very stereotypical black servant. While this sort of characterization was more acceptable back in 1934, it still wasn't funny--regardless of how offensive it was.

    By the way, in the scene where Kelly is painting a picture, if you watch carefully, you'll see that the picture keeps changing due to very, very sloppy editing. She'd paint something and then only seconds later, a DIFFERENT painting was shown. This happened again and again.

    Sloppy, tasteless and unfunny. What a waste of time!