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Ain't Love Cuckoo? More at IMDbPro »

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Only Fitfully Funny, But See It for Jean Willes

Author: evanston_dad from United States
25 August 2009

This comedy short is a special feature on the DVD release of "If You Could Only Cook" (1935) and "Too Many Husbands" (1940), two minor comedies starring Jean Arthur.

It's included here no doubt because its plot so closely resembles that of "Too Many Husbands": two men receive notification that their wives were killed in service; the wives receive the same notifications about their husbands. The "surviving" spouses then marry each other, and comedy hijinks ensue when the two couples end up in the same hotel on their honeymoons.

The comedy in this film is of the mugging at the camera, slapstick variety, and not much of it is funny (let's just say some sight gags revolving around a fold-down bed are milked for about all they're worth and then some), but the film does have one thing to recommend it: a hilarious performance from Jean Willes as a short little blonde, who does some terrific physical comedy after her character gets schookered on whiskey.

There's also a kind of funny running gag that involves a strange woman walking across the screen every so often, saying "How dare you remind me of someone I hate?" and smacking Gus Schilling in the face.

The short is introduced and wrapped up by an actress dressed as a bird sitting in a cuckoo clock. The image is actually rather disturbing -- I couldn't stop thinking about Rene Auberjonois in "Brewster McCloud."

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It takes a cuckoo to know another cuckoo.

Author: mark.waltz from United States
4 February 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Two active soldiers, thought by their spouses to be missing in action, end up changing partners in this silly and non-sensical short. Made to appeal to those who found the Three Stooges funny, it is obvious from the start as to how ridiculous and absurd it all is. Richard Lane and character actor Gus Schilling are the completely opposite returnees, while Terry Howard and Barbara Slater are the wives. They than the obvious reasoning of why the two soldiers simply didn't just return home, instead for some reason thinking that the wives had kicked the bucket. The characters are as childish as the plot, with only Jean Willes left to steal the proceedings as the cuckoo who narrates from her clock. I sat stone faced at this travesty that has a recurring gag of Schilling being smacked by total strangers (all women) and has him wrestling with a Murphy bed. Columbia really scraped the bottom of the barrel in this short that proves that adults often act more like children than children.

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