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Benny, from Panama (1934)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 43 users  
Reviews: 7 user

Jeanette and Eddie get married, but their wedding night is a fiasco. First, their wedding guests follow them, resulting in a police chase, then the guests show up at their apartment, ... See full summary »

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Title: Benny, from Panama (1934)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jeanette Foy
Eddie Foy Jr. ...
James P. Burtis ...
Benny- Sailor
Arthur Housman ...
Drunken, Irate Husband
James C. Morton ...
Morton, the Landlord
...
Little Boy in Sailor Suit (as Spanky)
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Storyline

Jeanette and Eddie get married, but their wedding night is a fiasco. First, their wedding guests follow them, resulting in a police chase, then the guests show up at their apartment, disrupting the building. Then, a rowdy sailor friend of Eddie's shows up, accompanied by a squad of even rowdier buddies and an enormous vengeful mosquito. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Short | Comedy | Musical

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Release Date:

26 May 1934 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

We Came to Pay Our Respects
(uncredited)
Music by Marvin Hatley
Lyrics by Marvin Hatley and James Parrott
Performed by the sailors
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User Reviews

 
Middling comedy from Hal Roach, with elements of Laurel and Hardy
16 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This 2-reeler from the legendary Hal Roach Studios is, honestly, not that great. But it is great fun to seek out those elements in the film that can be thought of as belonging to the modus operandi of Roach films in general, and Laurel and Hardy films in specific (L&H of course made all their classics at Hal Roach).

For example, every sound film Laurel and Hardy made at Roach has, as its soundtrack, selections from a small group of humorous, tinny sounding melodies played by a small brass and string ensemble. The exact same tunes show up in every single L&H movie. Here, the opening credit music and closing music are the same tune, taken from this very collection.

The most notable character in "Benny, from Panama", is the great Arthur Housman, playing the drunk husband who lives on the floor below that upon which most of the action takes place. Housman spent his entire career playing drunks, for me most memorably in the classic L&H short "The Fixer-Uppers".

Other recognizable elements include (1) an enormous Oliver Hardy-sized fall into a bathtub; (2) bizarre physical deformation humor (a literally throbbing big toe that expands and shrinks like a balloon); (3) people walking into walls randomly, and so on, pretty much with the exact pacing and sounds and facial reactions that you would find in any Laurel and Hardy movie.

Of course, this is not accidental. This short was directed by James Parrott, who directed a huge number of L&H shorts, silent and sound, and so it is not surprising that there are so many similarities. Yet these elements are fun to look for. Otherwise, other than a few slapstick gags, "Benny from Panama" is not particularly funny, and the experimental use of a cartoon mosquito to pester and dive-bomb the large crowds of people inside the main room is, though interesting, not really effective effective.


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