Whatever happened to the “slow burn”? That look Moe gave to Curly just before he was going to sock him with a sledgehammer. That peeling mask of disgust and chagrin on Alfalfa’s face when he realized that he’d messed up on “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms”. Again.
Raspberries! Why, I oughta...
You know that look. It was more likely to crop up on a disgruntled sidekick or character actor like Ward Bond or Henry Travers than a star, but every so often you’d see it on James Cagney, on James Stewart, on Ann Sheridan, and Gary Cooper.
It was Acting 101, once upon a time.
Below, here is a scene from “Duck Soup” (1933) with Chico and Harpo Marx, and Edgar Kennedy, who was called “The Master of the Slow Burn.” (Don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the page to pause the music.)