A band of Gypsies are camped outside the walls of Count Arnheim's palace. Oliver's wife kidnaps the Count's daughter Arline, then leaves the child and runs off with her lover, Devilshoof. ...
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Stanley and Oliver are mousetrap salesmen hoping to strike it rich in Switzerland, but get swindled out of all their money by a cheesemaker. While working off their hotel debt, Oliver falls... See full summary »
Unbeknownst to Stanley and Oliver, their long-lost twin brothers, sailors Alfie and Bert are in town on shore leave carrying a valuable pearl ring entrusted to them by their ship's captain.... See full summary »
The boys' Army buddy, Eddie Smith, is killed in the trenches in France, leaving his baby girl an orphan. Back home after Armistice, they try to find Eddie's father and turn the child over ... See full summary »
It's 1938, but Stan doesn't know the war is over; he's still patrolling the trenches in France, and shoots down a French aviator. Oliver sees his old chum's picture in the paper and goes to... See full summary »
Barbershop owners Stanley and Oliver both answer a personal ad from a rich widow seeking a husband. Oliver hides Stanley's reply and mails just his own. When Oliver receives a proposal of ... See full summary »
Oliver's in trouble with his wife after missing a payment on their furniture, having given the money to Stanley, who used it instead to pay Mrs. Hardy for his room and board. While doing ... See full summary »
Door-to-door greeting card salesmen Stanley and Oliver call upon Mrs. Pierre Gustave, a woman distraught over her husband's neglect. They agree to her plan to reclaim her husband's ... See full summary »
A band of Gypsies are camped outside the walls of Count Arnheim's palace. Oliver's wife kidnaps the Count's daughter Arline, then leaves the child and runs off with her lover, Devilshoof. Not knowing her true identity, Oliver, with the help of "Uncle" Stanley, raises the girl as his own. Years later, Arline, still unaware of her noble birth, is caught trespassing on the Count's grounds and is thrown into the dungeon. Meanwhile, Stanley and Oliver pass the time playing "fingers" and bumblingly ply their trade picking pockets. Finally, just when Oliver needs his help to rescue Arline, Stanley gets drunk while siphoning wine into bottles. Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
Arline, haven't you forgotten something?
[he kisses his finger and touches his cheek - Arline kisses him]
Stanley, haven't you forgotten something?
[Stan smiles, kisses Ollie's cheek]
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I have never understood the lambasting `Bohemian Girl' has received. It is not the best L&H (I leave that for others to debate, but the lean is towards `Way Out West' or `Sons of the Desert'), but it is far, far from their worst.
The operetta background seemed to work as well for Stan and Ollie as the opera did for the Marxes (`A Night at the Opera'), Mae West (`Goin' to Town'), and the Stooges (`Microphonies'), giving them something different and deliberately starchy to play against.
It is a shame that Thelma Todd died just about the time BG was released. Stan was said to have felt it inappropriate to show her in such a big part with her lurid death which many claim was a mob-related murder still heading the headlines. The Hollywood hush-hush surrounding it may have also contributed to its excising and the sadness was only worsened by its occurrence during the Christmas season and the arrival by mail of presents to various friends (including Stan) after her body had been found. Roach himself (with the bigwigs in his corner) was said to have helped head off the DA's second inquest after Thelma's attorney had protested the suicide verdict another reason, perhaps, behind her severely edited and retooled role. Who begs for a dark cloud?
But how WELCOME to see Mae Busch back! She always worked especially well with the team and gives that extra boost to Ollie in particular that one always got from a Maggie Dumont, Jan Duggan, or Symona Boniface. Mae could play an absolute bitch, and you still loved her. The added reunion with Jimmy Finlayson was great (`Oh, my GOOD eye!' an insider's joke that kills me every time), and we have the bonus of Our Gang's Darla as the adopted Arline. Sweet, without being cloying.
One might decry songs such as `The Heart Bow'd Down by Weight of Woe,' but it's an operetta, folks. There's going to be singing.
And with routines like `the eyes are the windows to your soul'; the fingers bit in the bar; the odd wrap-up gag; the wine bottling; Stan's bass/soprano switch; his search for Ollie's money; Darla's bedtime prayer; the butter churn even something as simple as Ollie claiming to be leaving for a zither lesson and then miming it with his fingers (whereupon Stan suddenly gets it `Oh!') it's all great! What more could one want? They couldn't re-film `Sons of the Desert' every year! Give this baby a chance!
None of the latter day Fox-MGM movies can touch it; not even the best of `Jitterbugs.' `The Flying Deuces,' unfortunately so long in public domain that it appears one is watching it through a pillowcase, is pretty good, but this one seems warmer and cinematically superior. I prefer BG to some of its contemporaries, too. I mean, take `Bonnie Scotland,' with several good scenes sandwiched between the lachrymose bits with the whiney lead. Then look at the highly Roach-edited `Swiss Miss,' which butchers a L&H song and makes us sit through Della Lind and Walter Woolf King (who is decent here, but a far cry from the love-to-hate-him Lasparri (sic)) give me a dubbed Thelma and a nice helping of Mae any day.
Why complain and deride it? It's a pleasant evening, with lots of merriment. And it's Stan and Ollie in their prime, even if not in the best of their films. We should be so lucky as to have another BG filming in Hollywood today. Go jump on `The Big Noise' or `Air Raid Wardens,' if you just want to gripe.
But if you want some fun, pop BG into your VCR and prepare to laugh.
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