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The two-man Laurel and Hardy Zoot Suit Band find themselves fronting a scam for "gasolene pills" in wartime oil-short America. They are however soon on the side of the angels helping recover $10,000 for an attractive young lady whose family have themselves been swindled. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
There's more storyline in this 75-minutes than L&H's usual slapstick, Typically, the classic narratives amount to just a series of set-ups for their style pratfalls. Here, however, the boys are called upon to do more straight "acting" than usual. Ollie's a fake southern aristocrat, while Stan's a female impersonating sidekick. Together, they're trying to get back $10,000 that ruthless con-men have fleeced from a needy young woman (Blaine). Thus they're trying to con con-men, which leads to some amusing, if not hilarious, situations.
All in all, the result amounts to an entertaining trifle. Still, I could have used more jitterbugging than the one round. Too bad we didn't send some of these Hollywood jitterbug scenes to Hitler and Tojo. That way they would know they couldn't winafter all, how could such an energized American home front possibly lose!
But, apart from the plot and its shenanigans, is a good look at how rationing affected common folk during WWII's early years. That gasoline pill set-up is both amusing and revealing, showing how precious the fuel was to ordinary drivers, once the bulk was going to the war effort. To me, the first 10-minutes are the funniest; that is, before the plot really takes hold, and the boys get more subdued. Anyway, it's not classic L&H, but on a rainy night, it'll sure do.
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