Pardon Us: Paroled

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Well, here's another (and quite a bit shorter) nice mess you've gotten me into!
Original Movie Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1931
Original Running Time:
70
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
38
Time Cut:
32
Subtitles Available?
Brief Synopsis:
Laurel and Hardy's first feature recut as a (rather long) short.
Intention:
Although a massive fan of the legendary duo I never warmed to this film, the result of filler; a subplot that makes me (and likely any modern viewer) cringe and a scene that makes me wince! By removing these items I aimed to make a more enjoyable presentation of the great comedic talent within.
Additional Notes:
Posthumous apologies to June Marlowe, whose name was kept in the opening credits but whose role (the Warden's Daughter) was deleted from this edit.
Special Thanks:
Many thanks to Dwight Fry for previewing this edit and making some helpful suggestions.
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
I simply aimed to remove items that detracted from my viewing experience, the excision of which having no effect on the continuity of what remains behind.

Sourced from PAL DVD, slowed down from 25 to 24 FPS and exported at 768x560p H265.
Cuts and Additions:
• Cut Stan’s “Amos 'n' Andy” comment as they are being led to their cell.
• Slightly trimmed sequence of Stan fumbling about in the bunk.
• Removed 15-odd minute block after solitary confinement conversation, Stan and Ollie no longer escape and hide out in disguise (the aforementioned cringeworthy scene).
• No more "Farm in Michigan" song, filler.
• No more dentist scene, this sort of thing makes me wince!
• Trimmed the scene where the Warden discusses the Tiger’s planned riot with the guards to remove redundant dialogue. Repeated a section of music to smooth over a cut, some dialogue played over a (slowed-down) insert shot of Laurel and Hardy eavesdropping is slightly softened to aid the impression of them listening through the door.
• Removed seven seconds during dinner, where Tiger openly suspects Stan of betraying him.
• Removed first instance of Stan and Ollie entering the cell block during the riot (where Tiger comes at them with a knife), to avoid the second (concluding) instance from becoming repetitive (in the original version it also begs the question why Tiger does not immediately dispatch them when they come in the second time).
• Removed Warden's daughter/fire rescue scene that was added in reshoots and variably included on older cuts of the film and a bit of a distraction from the main action in my opinion. Also, if this this praiseworthy act took place shouldn’t it be mentioned when the Warden hands Laurel and Hardy their pardons?

I originally also removed Stan and Ollie from the scenes where they eavesdrop on the Warden and their subsequent short-lived hunger strike, reinstated on the encouragement of Dwight Fry and on reflection I missed the callback to their first talking scene together in "Unaccustomed As We Are" a couple of years earlier.

User reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0(3)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(3)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(3)
Narrative
 
9.7(3)
Enjoyment
 
9.7(3)
(Updated: June 10, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
It is SSOOO nice to see fellow editors take on older movies and this is certainly a Stal and Olli entry that massively benfits.

THE AV score reflects that this is not an HD edit but is not a downgrade on the best available source to date. as Noted by the previous reviewer, the source material contains many inherant issues like jump cuts and poor edits...THEY ARE NOT the work of this editor. It should also be noted that their removal or improvement are virtually impossible since these movies tended to be scored 100% and so any trims etc need to be very carefully judged and executed. I for one only noticed on audio segue and that is an impressive feat indeed, hence th high edit scores for video and audio.

The narrative on this would be a 4 unaltered, and this is agin a huge improvement. The 9 reflects that despite being still a tad slow, the fact is that it is stil imeasurably better (oops, I did measure it) than the orginal and thus my enjoyment , which for the original would be a 5, and this a 7, is elevated to an 8 simply because I did not expect the improvement to be so impactful.

All told, a former plodding slow trudge is now brisker and enjoyable and feels like a 3 reel short, as it should always have.

Magnificent work
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0
(Updated: June 02, 2022)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Be warned: this edit is filled wall-to-wall with bad audio cuts. Why, then, am I giving it a ten in the audio editing department? Because all those terrible cuts are in the original film, and sadly there's no way around them. For first time viewers, this might paint the wrong picture about Paranoid Android's remarkable editing skills, so a clarification is due just in case.

Other than that, this is a much stronger version of one of Laurel and Hardy's weakest films. All the funny stuff remains (the classroom scene has me in stitches every time) and the filler and terrible decisions are gone. Just by removing the whole plantation segment the movie would inmediately improve quite a lot (it makes one think: it is so easy to seamlessly remove that it was likely designed that way, but for opposite reasons to the ones we have today - for us it is cringeworthy racism, but back in 1931, with the Jim Crow laws sadly still enforced, certain Southern states would remove anything depicting black people. Sigh!) but this goes further than that and also deletes jokes that fell flat and scenes that killed the pacing. While the rescue of the warden's daughter is not a bad scene by itself, the climax is just so much better paced without it (the rescue was never supposed to be there anyway, for some reason they took it from an alternate language version, slapped it here, and called it a restored cut. Oh well).

If only the film was released this way back then, no doubt it would be considerably better regarded today. Kudos to Paranoid Android for making this, and for giving us another fanedit of a classic movie. Precious few of these are made overall, sadly.
Owner's reply June 03, 2022

Many thanks for the review, I really hope that a better-quality source will become available someday but am not holding my breath.

Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 2 0
(Updated: June 05, 2022)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
A small review to praise the edit. I think turning Pardon Us/Jailbirds into a short was a great idea. It brings out the best of the humour and Laurel and Hardy's comic performances. I think the best cut made was trimming down the solitary confinement scene as it goes on far too long in the original, perhaps the ending of that scene could have been trimmed down further?

Overall it's a much more enjoyable experience due to the pacing and therefore the gags come at you one after another. Not bad for a 1931 film that still manages to make you laugh in the 21st century. That's the magic of Laurel and Hardy.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 1 0