Stan, who has remained faithfully at his World War I post for twenty years, finally comes home where his best friend, Ollie, takes him in, thus allowing him to discover the many conveniences of the modern world.
Stanley and Oliver are mousetrap salesmen hoping to strike it rich in Switzerland, but get swindled out of all their money by a cheesemaker. While working off their hotel debt, Oliver falls... See full summary »
Oliver's house is in a shambles after a wild party, and his wife is due home at noon. He calls Stanley to help him fix the place up, and the typical catastrophies ensue. Somehow, however, ... See full summary »
So that he and Stan can sneak away to Chicago and attend the annual "Sons of the Desert" lodge convention, Ollie pretends to be sick, and gets a doctor (who turns out to be a veterinarian) to prescribe a long ocean voyage to Hawaii. Decked out in leis and strumming ukeleles, they return home only to learn that the ship supposedly carrying them has sunk. Their hastily- contrived tale of "ship-hiking" their way back cuts no ice with their wives, who've been at the movies watching a newsreel of the lodge's convention parade, starring... guess who?Written by
Paul Penna <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Marvin Hatley who played the club pianist was the musical director at the Roach Studios. See more »
At the beginning of the film when Stan and Ollie return home from their lodge meeting, and there's confusion over which house Stan is in, the light in Stan's house (visible through the glass panel in the door) keeps changing from off to on and back again. See more »
Sons of the Desert chorus:
[the members sing "Auld Lang Syne"]
And here's a hand, my trusty friend, and gie's a hand o' thine, / We'll take a cup of kindness now, for Auld Lang Syne.
Exalted Exhausted Ruler:
[the song concludes, and the Exalted Ruler calls the meeting to order as he hits the podium with a gavel]
Brothers, Sons of the Desert, we are all familiar with the business of this special meeting. This Oasis must meet the situation with determination.
See more »
The opening MGM lion has been removed from all available prints. See more »
The boys go to a convention while wives think they're in Hawaii
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.
37 of 41 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this