CAUGHT PLASTERED (RKO, 1931), directed by William A. Seiter, is a rare find on television these days. It stars the once popular but highly forgotten comedy team of Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, Wheeler as the dizzy character with a talent for singing and dancing; Woolsey the one with the glasses, cigar and wisecracks like comedian Groucho Marx, but nobody can top the old Grouch. Wheeler and Woolsey play a couple of drifters who help out an old woman (Lucy Beaumont) save her drug store from a crook (Jason Robards Sr.). Dorothy Lee, who appears in almost all of the W&W comedies, once more plays Bert's love interest. They supply the catchy tune, "I'm That Way About You."
I enjoy this movie mainly because I remember it being the very first Wheeler and Woolsey comedy I've seen (back on Turner Network Television in 1989). Some people might refuse to watch these guys today on the basis that they don't know who they are. Unfortunately, because their comedies seldom made the late show lineup on commercial television stations back in the 50s, 60s or 70s, W&W never became immortal as the Marx Brothers or Laurel and Hardy, but when given a chance, one can see how good their comic timing can be and how good these two guys are together. True, their latter films in 1936-37 were not up to par, but if anyone wants to see them at their comedic best, watch either CAUGHT PLASTERED or what many consider their funniest outing, HIPS, HIPS HOORAY (1934). For now, CAUGHT PLASTERED is worthy for film buffs of 1930s comedies. Silly to be sure, but quite funny. Great attention grabber: Check out to the opening credits with cartoon train rolling down the track with the wheels in the persona of Woolsey's eyes and glasses, and that wacky music intro. Wheeler and Woolsey were amusing as comedy teams go, and worth rediscovering today.
Formerly presented on American Movie Classics prior to 2000, it's presently shown, but not often enough, on Turner Classic Movies. (**)
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