Imagine the sheer luck of it. Just as the country is plunging into one of its worst economic downturns in years, you come across a treasure chest – quite literally – just as you are going about your daily job. It could be the answer to all your problems. No more slaving away doing heavy graft for the boss. From now on, it will be fancy holidays, expensive clothes and generally living the high life. Well, as luck would have it, Tam (John Gaffney) and Frasier (Steven Patrick) seem to have stumbled across such a trunk of booty. When clearing out a house – they seem to be removal men – they fight their way through stoor and darkness to discover a large box full of what appears to old records. Almost immediately, they are convinced they can make a fortune from the sale of the ancient vinyl. Their scheme is slightly threatened by the presence of a co-worker who wants in on the sale, but these two likely lads are quick to scupper any plans for a three-way share of the profits. Broken Record is excellent in terms of lighting and sound. Usually a complaint of shorts is that they can often seem clunky or hard to hear. This is definitely not the case here. Director Andy S. McEwan ensures each scene is typically framed by a wide open shot, scaling down to the conversation between the two clueless crooks. The scenes are punchy and funny, with the dialogue punctuated with swear words and typical Glasgow “patter”. The two double-denimed friends exchange quick fire insults as they attempt to concoct a way of stealing and selling the records. The theft itself is straight out of a screwball farce. The exaggerated rubbing of hands with glee, the trips and falls, and the general haplessness of the pair harks back to old comedy duos. Like Laurel and Hardy swinging their ladders and paint cans, the sight of these two men (wrapped in toilet paper balaclavas as they had no other disguise) tripping their way down a path with the box or records in hand is nothing short of hilarious. They are not the brazen burglars they thought they would be. They gaze longingly at their haul; the shiny liquorice black of the vinyl positively gleams in the daylight. Despite the mishaps, they are now confident that they are only hours away from a massive windfall. Sadly, just like their luckless comedy predecessors, Frasier and Tam’s efforts prove fruitless. Tam greets his co-conspirator dressed in a top hat and large white pants – full of joy at just having booked a fortnight in Benidorm – only to be told that the records are for gramophones and that his half of the sales amounts to a comically disappointing four pence. Frasier indignantly pushes the two dirty coppers into Tam’s hand, whilst he closes his eyes and hold out two wide palms, expecting to be crippled with the weight of their yield. Again, it is a mixture of the dialogue between the two and Tam’s vaudevillian wide-eyed distress that makes the scene so funny. This really is an enjoyable short. The rapid pattern of insults and profanities is typically Glaswegian chatter between friends. Although some things go unresolved – such as what happened to their colleague who also wanted a share – it is quick to the point and I genuinely laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of some of the scenes.
Editor at Moviescramble. European cinema, grisly thrillers and show stopping musicals are my bag. Classic Hollywood Cinema is comfort food. Spare time is heavily dependent on a lot of pizza and power ballads.