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West of Hot Dog (1924)

5.6
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On his way to collect inheritance in the small town on Hot Dog, Stan gets robbed by highwaymen, one of which is the other person who shall attend the reading of their late Uncle's will. The... See full summary »

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Title: West of Hot Dog (1924)

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Cast

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Stan, a tenderfoot
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Storyline

On his way to collect inheritance in the small town on Hot Dog, Stan gets robbed by highwaymen, one of which is the other person who shall attend the reading of their late Uncle's will. The reading of the will states Stan will get everything, including 'The Last Chance Saloon', but in the case of Stan's death, the saloon will be split between Bad Mike and his friend. Stan nows flees town, but gets on Bad Mike's horse, which takes him to Bad Mike's house. Bad Mike and his gang arrive at the house, after robbing the saloon. They soon hear Stan, and an epic gun battle follows, with the town Sheriff not far behind. Written by Paul L

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saloon | sheriff | horse | gun | inheritance | See more »

Genres:

Short | Western | Comedy

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Release Date:

30 December 1924 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

West of Hot-Dog  »

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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

Intertitle: A woman in love acts like a fool. A man in love is not acting.
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Connections

Spoofs West of the Pecos (1922) See more »

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User Reviews

 
How far is that from Brushwood Gulch?
22 June 2008 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

The opening sequence of this two-reel comedy will strike a familiar chord for Laurel & Hardy fans: we find Stan, still working solo at this point, looking dapper but quite out of place in the Wild West as he rides in a stagecoach alongside an attractive young woman. We soon learn that he's traveling to the town of Hot Dog to collect an inheritance from a recently deceased relative; and we're reminded of Stan and Ollie, wearing their tenderfoot derbies and tailcoats, traveling out to Brushwood Gulch to deliver a deed to Mary Roberts. It's a dozen years from WAY OUT WEST, and unlike that film WEST OF HOT DOG is no comedy classic, but this modest effort has its moments and may strike latter-day viewers as an early dress rehearsal of sorts for Laurel & Hardy's 1937 gem.

The stagecoach our hero is riding is robbed by outlaws while Stan, no hero after all, struggles to keep his pants up and is generally ineffectual. The young lady is disgusted with his cowardice and gives him the cold shoulder when they meet later in the town of Hot Dog. But Stan has other things on his mind: he has learned during a visit to a lawyer's office that he is but one of three heirs to the estate, and that the other two are the guys who held up the stagecoach! Stan is the primary heir, but if he should die then the estate will be split between the others. (Sounds like Set-Up City, doesn't it?) In the film's most memorable bit, the other two heirs attempt to eliminate their rival by simply flinging him out the lawyer's office window. Three times in succession we see Stan hurled out the second floor window to the ground below. No, we actually see a dummy repeatedly hurled out the window, then a groggy-looking Stan takes its place at ground level thanks to elementary camera trickery, but the trick is smoothly accomplished and the sequence earns its laughs.

Instead of wasting any more time attempting to kill Stan, who would seem to be indestructible, the bad guys join up with a larger gang and rob the saloon, then head for a remote hideout. Stan, coincidentally, heads for the very same place, where the bad guys attempt to finish him off. Things get rather macabre in this finale, for one by one the outlaws somehow manage to shoot each other while Stan emerges unscratched. (A lot of the comedy in this film is pretty dark: earlier in the saloon, a man killed a card game dispute is briskly dumped through a trap-door, in a bit borrowed from the Roscoe Arbuckle/Buster Keaton comedy OUT WEST.) Eventually, the townspeople come to believe that Stan is a hero entirely because he survived the massacre in the hideout, and the young lady from the stage coach—who turns out to be the sheriff's daughter—is suddenly interested in him. But Stan, now playing the Strong Silent Type who rides alone, strikes a tragic posture and asserts his independence . . . just in time for a closing gag that makes him look foolish again.

As this summary should indicate, WEST OF HOT DOG is a cartoon-y silent comedy with all the weight and depth of the average Ben Turpin two-reeler, but that's not meant as a put-down. It's the cinematic equivalent of a Popsicle, and nothing's wrong with that on a hot summer afternoon. This outing actually holds up better than a number of Laurel's other solo efforts: there's a steady supply of gags and a coherent (if silly) plot, while Stan's own characterization is more appealing than it was in some of his other starring vehicles. Viewers interested in tracing the development of this great comedic talent should definitely give it a look.


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