2 Reviews
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The boys go to a convention while wives think they're in Hawaii
2 April 2005
I love this movie. I was reduced to tears the first time I saw it and am reduced to tears every time I've seen it in the 50 years since. Talk about a movie holding up over 70 years. To my mind, it's the Citizen Kane of comedy. Everything about it is pitch perfect. To watch the boys as they sink deeper and deeper into absurdity in explaining their arrival back ahead of the rescue ship is a marvel to watch. There are so many subtle, nonsensical and memorable moments that stay in the mind years later one almost doesn't know where to start. The solemn dark lighting of the opening scene spoofing fraternal organizations, eating the wax fruit, the range of facial expressions of the wives throughout, the shot of the boys from the back sitting facing the fireplace as Stan disses his wife, Stan's wife in hunting regalia returning shotgun in arm carrying ducks, Ollie flirting on the phone not realizing it's his wife he's talking to, the stream of consciousness dialog in the attic, and on and on and on. A subtlety perhaps missed by many is the wonderful song and dance number at the night club....a simply wonderful lampoon to perfection of crooner Dick Powell and spoof of Busby Berkeley with those clunky but charming Hula dancers, struggling in a valiant but ultimately hopeless attempt to dance, fanning out to the camera and culminating in that marvelous overhead shot near the close. Just great. I could write a book on this movie, but I'll just suggest to viewers to get William K. Everson's book on the films of Laurel & Hardy and read what one of the great critics has to say about this gem.
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So creative..A celebration of life. I loved it
10 April 2004
I almost don't know where to start with the accolades for this film. I certainly think Roger Ebert has to revisit his 2 1/2 star rating as I give it a 10 and I'm not easy to please.

It's a joy from beginning to end...a celebration of life & the wonder that is man. To combine many elements of Homer's Odyssey with great music into the rich fabric of the 1930's Depression and wrap it all around such interesting characters is a true leap of imagination. Every character is interesting, not just the 3 leads. Who else but the Cohen Brothers would have ever thought of it.

Like the movie Groundhog Day, this can be watched over & over, getting better each time as the insights and awareness of subtle shading and deeper meaning sink in. I especially recommend reading all the external reviews, all 700+ user comments (the number of which indicate the chord this has struck with people), and the trivia link at this site. These will add greatly to the understanding and appreciation of this fine film. It's rare to have a movie which is so entertaining in it's own right, but which also has such deep meaning.

This movie has legs & staying power & will only grow in stature over time. I predict we'll be talking about it, watching it, and learning from it for decades to come.

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