Thundering Fleas (1926)
Director: Robert McGowan
Cast: Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase, Joe Cobb
Synopsis: The kids from Our Gang have to attend a wedding, and they bring along their flea collection–which gets loose.
Thundering Fleas is an early Our Gang movie that provides few clues to the reasons behind their enduring popularity (they made 220 shorts and one feature film right up to 1944, obviously with numerous changes of personnel over the years) and is mainly of interest for brief appearances from a pre-Laurel Oliver Hardy, as well as a moustache-less James Finlayson, and a heavily fake-mustachioed Charley Chase. The plot has the gang acquiring a jar full of fleas which get loose during the wedding of the older sister of one of them, although Hardy appears earlier as a cop who loses his trousers to the gang, much to his embarrassment. The laughs are pretty thin on the ground — and fairly obvious, too.
(Reviewed 30th November 2013)