The Serenade (1916)

Comedy, Short

Plump and Runt are street musicians who are rivals for Florence's affection.

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23 January 2017 | boblipton
| Hardy, Ruge & Bletcher
Oliver Hardy and Billy Ruge are two feuding musicians in Billy Bletcher's oompah band in this typically primitive Vim comedy shot in Jacksonville.

It's about 90% rough slapstick as Babe kicks tiny Billy -- the series was often sold as "Plump and Runt". It was Hardy's first series as a comedy pair, and under director Will Louis, there was little time for the fussy ornamentation that Hardy would bring to his character in later years -- although there is a brief moment, when dealing with the foam of his beer, when you can see the beginning of those moments. Billy Bletcher is fine as always, but Ruge is the sort of comic that was ultimately replaceable: he was small, he could take a fall, but he never developed a personality that kept him an audience favorite. He was gone from the movies by the early 1920s, while the other two kept working.

The remaining bits are Florence McLaughlin as Billy attractive daughter who canoodles with all the boys.

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Comedy | Short

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