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Laughing at Life (1933)

Passed  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  12 July 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 54 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

Easter, a soldier of fortune and gunrunner, leaves his family behind escaping from the authorities and an American detective named Mason. His globe hopping escape leads him finally to South... See full summary »



(original story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis P. McHale / Burke / Captain Hale
William 'Stage' Boyd ...
Inspector Mason (as William Boyd)
Mrs. McHale
Henry B. Walthall ...
President Valenzuela
Pat Collins / Mc Hale
Ruth Hall ...
Alice Lawton
Don Flavio Montenegro
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Prison Warden
Jones (as Guinn Williams)
Edmund Breese ...
Cabinet Officer
Dewey Robinson ...


Easter, a soldier of fortune and gunrunner, leaves his family behind escaping from the authorities and an American detective named Mason. His globe hopping escape leads him finally to South America, where he is hired to organize a band of revolutionaries, unaware that they plan to eliminate him when his job is done. Here, also, he encounters his own son, on track to waste his own life in pursuits similar to Easter's. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »





Release Date:

12 July 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I'll Be Hanged  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Working title: "I'll Be Hanged" See more »


Mrs. McHale: Sometimes I'm afraid you're related to your father.
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User Reviews

Cheap and Cheerful
17 September 2009 | by ( – See all my reviews

The phrase cheap and cheerful was made for Poverty Row programmers like this. Filmed on a shoestring budget, written off the cuff, filmed quickly and economically and churned out at a rate of dozens per month, they have no qualities worth admiring, but they do possess a certain enthusiasm and energy of spirit that at least make it possible to sit through their brief running times.

This one manages to span twenty years in less than fifteen minutes as it introduces us to Pat (aka Captain Easter), played in typical two-fisted fashion by big Victor McLaglen. Watching Big Vic always reminds me of the first car I ever owned – a white '77 Opel Manta; it was weather-beaten and past its best but it knew how to take a knock and kept going no matter what obstacles it came up against. McLaglen's a typically lovable gun-running rogue here who seems to get himself into a jam wherever he goes. And he certainly does go places, as the slowly spinning plastic globe and use of stock footage repeatedly tells us. 1913, 1924, 1917, 1918: the years pass and the globe slowly turns until we reach 1933 and find Pat in the South American state of Alturas.

Pat's adoring wife dies sometime during this whirl of years. Pat knows this because he receives a letter from his little son which beseeches, 'Can't you please come home? Mama died Sunday…' But when Pat returned home he found only a smouldering shell of a house and no people. Of course his sorely neglected son hasn't perished, and fifteen years later they meet up in Alturas, where Pat, now known as Captain Easter, is supplying the weapons to arm a revolution.

Laughing at Life certainly has a large cast for such a small film, but its production values are zero and there are a number of sub-standard performances. McLaglen's the best of the lot, but he doesn't exactly cover himself in glory. Also, the print I saw was atrocious and the sound quality appalling…

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