Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Flying Deuces (1939)

On vacation in France, Oliver Hardy falls in love with a young hottie (Jean Parker). When she rejects his offer of marriage, he decides to end it all. Stan Laurel helps him out.

After failing miserably at what should be a fairly easy task, they take the advice of a passing stranger to instead join the French Foreign Legion. After a spell in the legion, Oliver declares himself cured and wants out. Unfortunately, getting out of the foreign legion is harder than getting in. Ming himself, Charles Middleton, plays the commandant.

The Flying Deuces is a partial remake of Beau Hunks (1931), a short that also has our heroes joining the foreign legion to help Ollie forget a girl who jilted him. Ming again played the commandant. In Deuces, if the title and poster are to be believed, involves some flying. I checked the clock at the point they first boarded a plane in this 60 minute movie. It was at the 56 minute mark.

The first Laurel and Hardy film I first covered was Utopia, their last effort. My take was it's a poor example of these comedy legends and wanted to see something closer to their prime. Here's to hoping this isn't it. I called Utopia "tired, unoriginal, and unfunny". Here, twelve years younger, I found it much the same. Ollie appeared more alive, but not much funnier. My oldest son watched Utopia with me. Two years older, he kinda giggled at one point. Once more than me. Maybe I need to go earlier to see them at their best, or maybe their comedy just doesn't hold up. I may be willing to find out. AMRU 2.5.

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