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.
Sons of the Desert
Sons of the Desert
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?
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12/9/2018 7:10:21 PM