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 »
Ollie is running for mayor when an old flame (Mae Busch) tries to blackmail him with a old photo ('just the same old apple-cheeked boy'). Stan's attempts to help Ollie keep the blackmailer ... 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 »
Ordered out of town by angry Judge Beaumont, vagrants Stanley and Oliver meet a congenial drunk who invites them to stay at his luxurious mansion. The drunk can't find his key, but the boys... See full summary »
Novice policemen Stanley and Oliver, eating lunch in their patrol car, nearly have their spare tire stolen by a thief and his sassy partner. They then miss the broadcast address of a ... See full summary »
In the dead of winter, street musicians Stanley and Oliver aren't getting much business in a run-down neighborhood, and then their instruments are smashed in a run-in with a formidable ... See full summary »
Mrs. Hardy is irate that her husband Oliver spends more time with his friend Stanley than with her. Oliver decides to adopt a baby, hoping that it will keep his wife occupied so that he and... See full summary »
After getting lambasted by the Police Chief for the 42 unsolved robberies committed on his watch, Officer Kennedy bamboozles vagrants Stanley and Oliver into a plan to recover his ... 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. ... See full summary »
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 in love with a chambermaid, Anna, who in reality is a famous opera singer spying on her composer husband, Victor, while he works on his new opera. The boys are assigned to move Victor's piano to a secluded tree house, but become trapped on a rickety rope bridge high above an Alpine gorge when they're met halfway across by a gorilla. Written by
Paul Penna <email@example.com>
SWISS MISS often shows the problems Laurel and Hardy had at the Hal Roach studios when they stopped making their short films and were forced into making only features.It is rather sad that they became victims of their own success;their series of silent and sound shorts are generally acknowledged to be consistently the most famous,loved,best-made and revived series in movie history,even above such comic greats as Chaplin,Keaton and Lloyd.The symptoms of this unparallelled triumph was that their boss Hal Roach was increasingly forced to put the boys into features as well as short comedies,in the name of economy.As a result,producer Roach was forced to exert more control over such more expensive productions,which led to increasing tensions in his professional(and personal)relationship with Stan Laurel. Laurel,of course,was the main creative force behind the camera of the L & H partnership,and Roach rarely interfered artistically when producing their short films.Sadly in the features,Roach took it upon himself to supervise the content on a larger basis,much to Stan's chagrin.While it is true that Roach still left Laurel a substantial amount of creative freedom in most of these features,the two still quarrelled about scripts on occasion.BABES IN TOYLAND,made four years previous,was one example.Roach apparently wrote a script which Laurel rejected;Stan's eventual story was filmed,much to his boss's anger,and relations between the two were said to be somewhat damaged thereafter.
It is remarkable in many ways that Roach didn't sack Laurel on the spot there and then after such apparent insurgence.We can be thankful than Stan and Babe Hardy remained at Roach for another six years,where they still produced some genuine classics(WAY OUT WEST the best regarded),but it was always obvious L & H were more comfortable in the shorter film mould.They still made some classic features(SONS OF THE DESERT and the above;with BLOCKHEADS and OUR RELATIONS not too far behind),but SWISS MISS is decidedly average compared to most of their Roach features.Their best features were those in which the story was just about Laurel and Hardy and their adventures,not needing frequent straight,humourless romantic sub-plots or pauses for musical numbers.It is infested with many of the above faults between the L & H routines in this film,which drag it down considerably and lead to much tedium.SWISS MISS often doesn't have the proper feel of a Roach L & H vehicle either,with an untypical and rather uninspired supporting cast,consisting of mainland European performers as befits the foreign setting.It is nice to see the inimitable British comedy actor Eric Blore present,but he hardly gets a chance to interact with the boys,and his role unfortunately consists of unfunny platitudes.
The only really familiar face on view is Anita Garvin,returning to the L & H world after a gap of seven years.Her scene with the boys is quite amusing,but is all too brief.The best remembered sequences,involving a St.Bernard dog with a tot of brandy,and delivering a piano over a swing-bridge,only to be confronted by a gorilla,are enough to save the film from total mediocrity,but for various reasons,Roach involved himself in the production rather too much for Stan's comfort,editing key scenes out,like a bomb put into the piano(which would have added more power to the piano delivery scene)and a musical number featuring cheese shop owner Charles Judels,in which only a few lyrics remain intact in the released version.
As it is,SWISS MISS also befits from an elaborate production for Roach standards,and although not necessarily as poor as their post-1940 features,it is still heavily flawed and one of their weaker features at Roach.
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