Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


BONNIE SCOTLAND (1935). Director: James W. Horne.

Stan McLaurel stowaways with buddy Oliver to claim an inheritance in Scotland. There they become involved -- or rather they don't become involved -- with a love triangle concerning a cousin (the main heiress), her boyfriend, and another suitor in India. The story abruptly switches from Scotland to Indian when Stan and Ollie inadvertently wind up in the Army. There are two hilarious sequences in the film: the boys frying a fish with a candle and the grill from the bed springs and causing havoc in a boarding house; and the climax in which their bumbling lets loose thousands upon thousands of stinging bees. Laurel and Hardy's performances are as wonderful as ever, but their material isn't up to their level. The script is all over the lot and at times it seems the boys are just along for the ride. They really have nothing to do with the love triangle story, which isn't very interesting. Mary Gordon is fine as a landlady impatient for her money, and frequent collaborator James Finlayson is fun as the sergeant.

Verdict: Disappointing but with a couple of big laughs. **1/2.

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