Rich playboy Drogo Gaines is in imminent danger of marrying a gold digger, and escapes by feigning insanity. The joke's on him when he wakes up in an asylum full of comical lunatics. There ... See full summary »
Rich playboy Drogo Gaines is in imminent danger of marrying a gold digger, and escapes by feigning insanity. The joke's on him when he wakes up in an asylum full of comical lunatics. There he befriends Colonel Carraway, and together they escape, catching a ride with a beautiful blonde who proves to be Penguin Moore, carnival owner. The adventures of Drogo and the Colonel with Moore's Carnival are replete with Hal Roach slapstick. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
This isn't a comedy for intellectuals, as they will no doubt find the film too silly and full of cheap slapstick to enjoy. However, if you are not a film snob and you give it a chance (especially at the beginning), you'll probably have a few laughs and enjoy yourself.
The film begins with a man (John Hubbard) about to marry. However, he's having cold feet and pretends to be crazy. During his crazy act, he overhears his fiancée say that she can't stand him and is only marrying him for his money. Before he can do anything about this, she decides, out of spite, to play up that he really is insane and has him placed in a mental institution. So far so good, though the film lags a bit in the sanitarium due to too many "crazy people" jokes.
Hubbard can't get out despite his attempts to convince the chief of staff that he is sane. In this "rest home" for the rich, Hubbard meets Adolph Menjou--who isn't dangerous but certainly is rather crazy. Menjou LIKES living there but knows of a way out so they both escape together. Menjou's character is awfully broadly written at this point--laying on the mentally ill part a bit too thick, though he does settle down later in the film and is a good sidekick for Hubbard.
On the run, the two men meet up with Carole Landis and her traveling carnival. Things look great except that the awfully loud and untalented Patsy Kelly is with the carnival as well, though fortunately her role in the film isn't a big one. Plus, so much of the time she's avoiding the romantic overtures of George E. Stone ("Runt" from the Boston Blackie series), that she doesn't get that much of a chance to yell her lines. Landis welcomes the pair of escapees and they all become one big happy family. Things come to an interesting conclusion when Menjou directs him to the mansion of his rather cracked nephew, played by Charles Butterworth.
The film has a lot going for it other than the crazy jokes. The script is bouncy and fun, the supporting singers (The Charioteers) are amazingly fun to listen to and the film never gets dull. Certainly this isn't a great film, but it is fun--and isn't that what comedy is all about anyway?
FYI--Two things to look for: Adolph Menjou's amazing hat and Shemp Howard in a small role (before joining the Stooges in films) and he's billed as "Moe"!
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