The Dancing Masters (1943)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Romance


The Dancing Masters (1943) Poster

Two bumbling dance teachers help an awkward inventor sell his new invention and facilitate his romance with a beautiful socialite.


6.4/10
849


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  • Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel in The Dancing Masters (1943)
  • The Dancing Masters (1943)
  • Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel in The Dancing Masters (1943)
  • Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, and Trudy Marshall in The Dancing Masters (1943)
  • Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, Trudy Marshall, and Lillian Porter in The Dancing Masters (1943)
  • Oliver Hardy, Robert Bailey, Stan Laurel, and Trudy Marshall in The Dancing Masters (1943)

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17 January 2007 | rbendernyc
7
| Badly underrated film
Up until Fox released these two three-disc sets of Laurel and Hardy's later films, I had only seen the three that had been previously available on video - and "The Dancing Masters" wasn't one of them. I have to say that as a life-long Laurel and Hardy fan I was very pleasantly surprised.

Even taking the considerable negatives into account: rock-bottom production values, chop-shop editing, and an incoherent "narrative," it's downright astonishing to behold this pair so effortlessly mining genuine laughs from such old and cast-away material.

From the "safe combination" routine near the opening to the "wet pants" bit with co-star Bob Bailey, I found this film to be a real treat - and I screened it with a friend who is not a big L&H fan - he loved it. It's the little things Stan and Ollie did - the gestures, the expressions, the glances - that made their style of comedy absolutely unique in film history. Like "The Bullfighters," my favorite among the L&H Fox films, this one has plenty of those moments, and has such a short running time that you can stick it in your player again right away and savor what you missed the first time around. I can't speak for the legions of other L&H fans, but I personally experienced a higher laugh count from this film than from many of their more minor Hal Roach shorts (sorry, Fox-haters).

The only thing I did not like or understand about "The Dancing Masters" was the print quality. As released in this two-volume DVD set, the other five Fox films look to have been pressed from the actual masters, thus providing superlative picture and sound quality. But, this film suffers from a grainy, scratchy picture that even at times grows blurry and somewhat undefined. And, there several jarring "pops" and a lot of low-volume crackling on the soundtrack. Is there anyone out there who knows why Fox couldn't find a better print for release with this otherwise outstanding set?

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