|Page 1 of 5:||    |
|Index||45 reviews in total|
WAY OUT WEST
Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
Sound format: Mono
(Black and white)
Stan and Ollie are robbed of the deed to a valuable gold mine by a couple of fortune hunters (James Finlayson and Sharon Lynn).
One of Laurel and Hardy's most fondly remembered productions, WAY OUT WEST features career-best material, including a chase around the villain's apartment ("Ah-hah!" "Oh-hoh!" "Ee-hee!"), three wonderful musical interludes, and one of cinema's most priceless set-pieces: Stan and Ollie's soft-shoe shuffle outside a saloon as the Avalon Boys sing 'At the Ball'! Director James Horne was also responsible for many of L&H's short films, and his no-frills style is eminently suited to proceedings: Every routine is reduced to its basic components, all the better to 'sell' the gags, both visual and spoken. The film opened in 1937 to a number of lukewarm reviews, but has since secured its place within movie history. A bona fide masterpiece.
NB. The Avalon Boys included prolific character actor Chill Wills among their number (he also provides Stan's 'deep voice' during 'Trail of the Lonesome Pine'), and some of the incidental music was written by Irving Berlin! Neither of these gentlemen are credited on the print itself.
Would you send Mister Laurel & Mister Hardy off to the wilds of the Old West to deliver an important inheritance document to a young lady they've never seen? Probably not. But that is the hinge upon which this whole wonderfully goofy movie swings.
As always, the Boys are a pure joy to watch, whether they are trying to bust into a saloon in the dead of night, scuffling with the bad guys for a valuable scrap of paper or breaking into a delightful soft-shoe dance.
James Finlayson is very funny once again as the Boys' nemesis. Sharon Lynn, in a hilarious scene, gets to tickle Stan silly.
At one point Ollie begins to sing 'On The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine' in his clear high tenor. He had a beautiful voice, warm & nostalgic. Just like the rest of this film, one of Laurel & Hardy's best.
This is truly one of the funniest movies ever made. I'll never look at another block and tackle without a chuckle. And of course that groovy soft shoe shuffle and the Trail of the Lonesome Pine are gems - cinema history. Stan and Ollie weren't just slapstick geniuses. Theirs was a subtle blend of visual, acute observational and surreal comedy that has rarely been matched and never beaten. This film exemplifies their craft perfectly and shows touches of where, twenty to forty years later, the Goons, Monty Python, Tommy Cooper and The Comic Strip were coming from. After seeing this I recommend Sons of The Dessert, their other feature length masterpiece.
Laurel and Hardy really don't have to DO anything to make me laugh. When they are on my screen, I howl. "West" is, in my opinion, their best film. Laurel did the cutting and he put in some sound effects that punch up the action. The spoken lines are hilarious: Stan, speaking to an imposter: "We want to know why you are not Mary Roberts!" The ridiculous dance in front of a blatantly obvious rear-projection screen is a gem. I have this movie on VHS and have run it many times. It does not get old.
There are plenty of great comedies that are better-made, more
innovative, and more artistically satisfying than "Way Out West," but
pound for pound this one has made me laugh the most over the years,
repeatedly and consistently. Great clowns like Chaplin and Keaton made
themselves into Everyman underdogs; the Marxes and Fields were
wise-acre anarchists; but Laurel and Hardy were, simply, overgrown
children: exactly as innocent and cunning and kind-hearted and selfish
and sincere as big kids in suits. They lacked the malice which underlay
Abbot & Costello or the Three Stooges. When they warred with each other
or outside parties they did so from an honest sense of being wronged,
which then escalated to ridiculous and dangerous heights, all with
exquisite timing. Their bouts of exasperation never lasted long; as
they soon as they finished stomping on each other's hats and twisting
each other's noses they would go back to the unquestioning comradeship
of two school-kids who stick together for no other reason than that
they always have and always will.
"Way Out West" is probably their best feature film, thanks to decent production values, a fun use of the period setting, a solid supporting cast, and a great mix of visual and verbal jokes. A river hides a pothole that materializes only for Oliver Hardy; a femme fatale wrests a deed to a gold mine from a helpless Stan Laurel by a dastardly bout of tickling (few things in movies are funnier than Stan Laurel laughing); the duo perform a gracefully silly soft- shoe dance; a thumb proves mysteriously flammable and a hat becomes briefly edible; Ollie's neck stretches out at least four feet before snapping back. Death is discussed: "Tell me, what did my father die of?" Stan, ever-helpful, replies: "I think he died of a Tuesday. Or was it a Wednesday?" Songs are sung, first by Ollie, in his melodious tenor, then joined by a startlingly basso Stan. (A bop on the head changes him to a ladylike soprano.) James Finlayson makes wild puffs and snorts of disgust at the camera. And Stan's exposed leg stops a speeding stagecoach with as much ease as Claudette Colbert's stopped a truck in "It Happened One Night." And Ollie, beaming, and giggling and twiddling his tie to perfection, flirts with a highly disinterested lady by using the immortal line: "A lot of weather we've been having lately." It's all sheer bliss, a great movie comedy.
Way Out West is unique in two ways. Not only is it the only Western
Laurel and Hardy ever made, but it's the only feature with a title card
reading, "A Stan Laurel Production." It also has one of the oldest
plots since movies first flickered onto the screen, that of a daughter
inheriting a gold mine from her father, which Laurel and Hardy have to
The boys have come west to give the deed to Mary Roberts (Rosina Lawrence), a present from her late father Sy. She works for Mr.Finn (James Finlayson), who runs the local saloon with his wife, singer Lola Marcel(Sharon Lynn). Together they plot to steal the deed from Mary. As Laurel and Hardy have never seen Mary, Lola pretends to be her, full of sweetness and light. Stan is his usual tactful self.
Lola: Tell me about my dear, dear daddy. Is it true that he's dead?
Stan: Well we hope he is, we buried him.
Later, when they meet the real Mary Roberts, the boys are determined to get the deed back. As Stan tells Ollie, "We'll get that deed back or I'll eat your hat!"
A running gag has the two crossing a lake to get in and out of town (on the Roach lot, this was known as Lake Laurel and Hardy). Stan crosses without incident, but Ollie manages to find the deepest part every time. As he sinks into the water, only his hat is left, floating on top.
Meanwhile the boys almost succeed in getting back the deed, but Lola corners Stan in a locked bedroom and tickles him until he hands it over (a very funny scene). Chased out of town by the sheriff, they contemplate their next move (Ollie has fallen into the lake again so his wet clothes are drying on the line). Ollie reminds Stan about the statement he made regarding a certain hat. He then forces Stan to eat it. At first he begins to cry, but after a while he gets a big napkin, sprinkles some salt on it, and begins to enjoy it. Ollie quickly pulls it away, but as Stan goes to check on his clothes, Ollie takes a bite and chews. He spits it out, disgusted. Although Ollie is disdainful of Stan, he's also a little jealous. After all, if ignorance is bliss, Stan must be ecstatic.
Just as he used his thumb as a pipe and smoked it in Blockheads, Stan is able to light a candle with his thumb in this film. All through the movie, a jealous Ollie tries to do it; when his thumb finally goes on fire, he's so terrified Stan has to come blow it out.
Way Out West is also one of their most musical pictures, featuring a duet on "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" and a great dance scene. Ollie had a fine voice, having been trained as a singer early in his career. In fact, as wonderful as their singing and dancing is, it's amazing that it occurs so infrequently in the films.
One problem that somewhat spoils the duo's great dancing is that, for some reason, it was filmed on a sound stage with obvious back projection. The only time back projection should ever be used is when someone is riding in a car or train. But even that can go terribly wrong if not done carefully. The worst back projection I've ever seen is when Lauel and Hardy are driving in the car at the end of County Hospital. It ruins what would otherwise be one of their finest shorts.
Laurel & Hardy travel out west to Brushwood Gulch to keep a promise to an old prospector . On his death they must take a locket and the deeds to a valuable goldmine to his daughter. When they arrive at the saloon where she works, the saloon owner sees a chance to get rich and gets one of his dancers to pretend to be the daughter, Mary. When they discover their mistake the pair try to get the deeds back but are driven out of town. They plan to return that night and rob the safe of the deeds and return them to Mary.
I have been watching plenty of Laurel & Hardy shorts recently but it's been many years since I saw anything longer from them, so it was with great joy I saw this in the TV schedule and settled down to watch it. My first observation as a short watcher is that it is surprisingly close to the consistency of the shorts, even if it is over three times longer than those. The plot is detailed enough to provide several really good routines but also plenty of really enjoyable gags.
Of great enjoyment to a fan of the shorts were several comic scenes that showed them to be more than just funny men. The soft shoe shuffle is the oft-quoted favourite and is quite amusing but the songs are all enjoyable without intruding on the comedy in the way some films of the time did. The most pleasurable aspect is Hardy's voice he is a charming baritone and is really surprising. Laurel is good too and the pair are cool on `Trail of the Lonesome Pine'.
Both Laurel & Hardy's delivery is impeccable and the routines and gags are only made better by their talent. Finalyson is excellent and for me is easily the king of that double take/squint thing that he does so very well! Lynn and Lawrence are both OK but are really secondary characters behind the men.
Overall fans will rightly love this film and it may also win over some who have yet to experience the pair. It has music, dance, routines and gags all delivered by the great duo themselves. What more do you need?
This western spoof is almost as good as "Sons of the Desert" and that's
saying a mouthful. Both films are two of the funniest ever made by
Hollywood. The debate amongst film buffs as to which one is better will
undoubtedly go on till the demise of movies so just lean back and enjoy
both of them.
While "Sons of the Desert" has the bonus of Charlie Chase adding even more mirth to the picture, "Way Out West" has two bonuses: Chill Wills and his Avalon boys who aid Stan and Ollie in two of their finest song and dance routines, and the king of the double take James Finlayson as Mickey Finn (a moniker that would have made W.C. Fields proud), who appeared in many Laurel and Hardy shorts. The talented Rosina Lawrence as Mary Roberts is also an added attraction.
Stan, Ollie, and their mule, who almost steals the show toward the end when being accidentally hoisted upstairs by a rope and pulley, are to deliver a deed for a gold mine to an orphan whose guardians are determined to steal the mine from her once they are informed unintentionally by Stanley. The slapstick and funny lines fly fast and furious throughout the 65 minutes. Even the song and dance numbers are hilarious. To read some of the best lines, note IMDb's quotes from the movie.
A friendly word of advice: Be sure and don't try using any of Ollie's pick-up lines. They don't work. For some reason cooing to a woman "a lot of weather we've been having lately" won't get you anywhere.
What did Rosina Lawrence's dying father expect when he entrusted Stan
Laurel and Oliver Hardy to deliver the deed to a gold mine to her in
Way Out West? I mean even in death was his judgment that seriously
The boys are up to the necks in it in the town of Brushwood Gulch when they try to do their good deed. In fact Ollie's up to it even before as Stan innocently dumps the freeloading Ollie who is snoozing in a travois drawn by their donkey while Stan is guiding the poor animal. Dumps Ollie in a creek mind you. Serves him right actually.
The boys arrive in town and wouldn't you know it, they tell bartender James Finlayson what their mission is. So the quick thinking Finlayson gets his wife Sharon Lynne to pose as Lawrence and the boys sign the deed over to her.
Later on they discover their mistake and the rest of the film is spent trying to make up for their mistake and get the deed to the rightful owner. Of course it's one mishap after another, including Stan lighting Ollie's thumb on fire. Don't ask how.
Everybody looks like they're having a great old time in Way Out West. Finlayson is a terrific Snidely Whiplash, Lynne does a great imitation of the kind of brassy dame that Gladys George or Binnie Barnes had a specialty in, and Lawrence is a fabulous little Nell heroine.
Way Out West is one of Stan and Ollie's best feature film comedies. It even got an Oscar nomination for Best Musical Scoring. But I still wonder, wasn't their anyone else Lawrence's father could get for such a mission?
Laurel and Hardy have to deliver the deed of a valuable gold mine to a girl called Mary Roberts (Rosina Lawrence).James Finlayson is the bad guy of the movie.He plays a man called Mickey Finn and when he hears the story of these two fellas he decides to fool them with the saloon singer Lola Marcel (Sharon Lynn).They introduce Lola as Mary Roberts to these two dummies.And they buy it.Way Out West from 1937 is a classic comedy from Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.It's one of their best comedies among with many others.It's enjoyable to watch the slapstick comedy with these two comedians of last century.This movie includes many funny parts that made me laugh and I just couldn't stop.Just like Stan couldn't after Lola tickled him.Watch Way Out West if you want to see Laurel and Hardy at their best.Nobody does it the way they did.
|Page 1 of 5:||    |
|External reviews||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|