110. Thugs With Dirty Mugs – Tex Avery

THUGS WITH DIRTY MUGS

SUMMARY: A spoof of the great Warner gangster films of the 30s.

WHY IT’S HERE:Tex Avery’s ‘Thugs With Dirty Mugs’ is one of the director’s great classics. Though less discussed than many of Avery’s pictures, ‘Thugs With Dirty Mugs’ is a masterclass in parody and the visual gag. In fact, there are so many extraordinarily inventive and original sight gags on offer here that you can’t quite believe Avery packs them all into seven minutes. The main concept of the cartoon is a parody of all those great Warner Bros. crime movies of the time (the main villain is a caricature of Edward G. Robinson) and this is observed wonderfully but instead of focusing on plot, ‘Thugs With Dirty Mugs’ quickly establishes itself as a series of spot gags with a loose cops and robbers throughline. Spot gag cartoons can sometimes be slow moving or hit and miss but ‘Thugs With Dirty Mugs’ has a ridiculously high hit rate and moves at such a lick that the few misses barely register. I don’t want to spoil any of the gags by describing them here but ‘Thugs With Dirty Mugs’ features one of the best and silliest sight gags in history. Just listen out for the phrase “Take that you rat” and you’ll see what I mean. One of the all-out funniest shorts in the entire Warner library, ‘Thugs With Dirty Mugs’ is a classic which everyone should make the effort to see.

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