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I guess I just never cared much for this comedy duo
I love comedies from the early years of cinema--such as the silents and those that immediately followed. And while I have learned to enjoy and appreciate most of them, I have never really understood the success of Wheeler and Woolsey. While their routines are very energetic, I just have never found them to be very funny or talented. I know that there are a small number of die hard fans out there somewhere that think I am an imbecile because I said this, but with so many funny comedians out there (such as Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers and many others), why watch team that is at best second-rate?
The film concerns a pill manufacturing company owned jointly by the two guys. However, in this film they can't stand each other and constantly argue. And the arguments are terrible for business and drive the employees nuts. Finally, after years of this, they decide to settle the problem--they will wrestle and the loser must be quiet and serve the other like a slave for one year. At the same time, there is a subplot involving some crooks trying to take advantage of Wheeler and Woolsey, but the two are so busy arguing that they never notice. Whether or not this reflected on the relationship the two had with each other outside of films, I have no idea.
While the idea for the film is pretty original and the film never lacks energy or enthusiasm, once again like the other films of theirs I have seen, the jokes tend to be pretty corny and often fall flat. Definitely a "poor man's version" of Laurel and Hardy or the Marx Borthers, though perhaps not as talentless and annoying as the Ritz Brothers.
The film, by the way, was directed by Eddie Cline--a veteran comedian and director of the silent days. If you ever have a chance, try to watch one of his early films--the ones I have seen were wonderful and he is a forgotten slapstick star.
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