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Great Guns (1941)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance, War  |  10 October 1941 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 818 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 3 critic

Laurel and Hardy join the army. They are hardly soldiers, but they believe their employer will need them now he's drafted.

Director:

(as Montague Banks)

Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Title: Great Guns (1941)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Sheila Ryan ...
Dick Nelson ...
Dan Forrester
Edmund MacDonald ...
Hippo
Charles Trowbridge ...
Col. Ridley
Ludwig Stössel ...
Dr. Schickel (as Ludwig Stossel)
Kane Richmond ...
Capt. Baker
...
Aunt Martha
...
Aunt Agatha
Paul Harvey ...
Gen. Taylor
Charles Arnt ...
Doctor
Pierre Watkin ...
Col. Wayburn
Russell Hicks ...
Gen. Burns
Irving Bacon ...
Postman
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Storyline

Laurel and Hardy work for sickly heir Dan Forrester, who has been diagnosed with a myriad of debilitating allergies. However, when the draft board sees things differently and he seems very happy to leave the confines of his sick room, his loyal employees join him in the U. S. Army. He seems to thrive on Army chow and regimen and even becomes a rival to the growling Sergeant Hippo for the affections of beautiful post employee Ginger Hammond . The bumbling Stan and Ollie also get a chance to redeem themselves when they participate in the all-important war game maneuvers. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY'RE BACK AGAIN...in the most hilarious comedy of their career!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Forward March  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's first movie for a major studio--their previous films had been released by MGM but not made by the studio--and they were confounded by the ways of the Hollywood studio system. All of their previous films had been shot in sequence and had been directed, edited and supervised by an uncredited Stan Laurel; Fox did not allow him such creative activity. In later years Laurel continually and bitterly recalled the "shabby" treatment he and Hardy received from Fox and MGM. See more »

Quotes

Hippo: What did I ever do to deserve a couple of yaps like you?
Stan: Maybe you were good to your mother.
Hippo: Pipe down!
Stan: Yes, sir.
Hippo: Now at 10:00 you're all going over for an IQ test, and according to the answers you give, you'll be classified in a job.
Stan: Swell! We're good at quizes, aren't we, Ollie?
Oliver: Maybe they'll put me in the intelligence "corpse".
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blue, White and Perfect (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Sabre and Spurs
(uncredited)
Music by John Philip Sousa
Played during the opening cavalry montage
Also played by the military band during the parade
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly watchable
1 January 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The 1940s were not kind to Laurel and Hardy. First, they looked very old--time had not been very kind to them, especially Stan Laurel. Second, Ollie now weighed in at about 350 pounds and simply was too rotund to do all the physical humor the duo had done in the 1930s. And finally, after SAPS AT SEA (1940), the team unwisely left Hal Roach Studio--making films for RKO, Fox and other studios that seemed to have no idea what to do with them. Overall, these movies are dreadful--terribly unfunny and sad for most Laurel and Hardy fans to watch.

Perhaps among the best of these poor films was GREAT GUNS. While the film wasn't particularly funny, it also was reasonably diverting and at least the team didn't embarrass themselves. However, at the onset, the film has one major strike against it. Like almost all of these 40s films, Stan and Ollie are NOT the whole show, so to speak. Instead, they are most supporting characters--something they almost never did in their earlier films. In DANCE MASTERS (1943), Stan and Ollie help out a guy and girl who are in love but whose parents don't approve, in NOTHING BUT TROUBLE (1944), they help out young prince and here in GREAT GUNS, they follow a guy into the cavalry who supposedly is too sickly to serve. It seems that in the 40s, Stan and Ollie now are no longer comedians, but social workers of sorts!

At the onset, you must completely suspend disbelief to watch this film. After all, the boys are both about 50 and Ollie must weigh as much as a tank. No army is THAT desperate for men! However, despite the improbability of the plot and that the team are more supporting players, GREAT GUNS has a few pluses. Stan and Ollie's war film isn't great but compares reasonably well to other contemporary films such as BUCK PRIVATES, CAUGHT IN THE DRAFT and MR. WINKLE GOES TO WAR. Also, while not super-funny, there are a few good moments and I did laugh a few times--something I NEVER did with many of the other 1940s films they made.

Overall, if you are not a fan of the team or know little about them, don't watch this film. It will not particularly impress you or you might assume it's like their earlier work--which it isn't. However, if like me you are a rabid fan, then at least this one won't make you cringe and it's a harmless diversion.


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