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

Saturday, May 31, 2008


THE DANCING MASTERS (1943). Director: Malcolm St. Clair.

Laurel and Hardy run a dance studio but are way behind in their bills. They have one wealthy student, Trudy (Trudy Marshall) who's in love with Grant (Robert Bailey), whom her father detests. Hardy tries to make Laurel break his leg so they can collect on an insurance policy, then the two help Grant demonstrate his "invisible" ray gun. A protracted climactic sequence with a runaway bus that winds up on a roller coaster track is frenetic but not very funny, but there are some amusing bits in the film, including an auction for a grandfather clock that ends in disaster. Margaret Dumont is amusing as Trudy's mother, but she hasn't enough to do. Robert Mitchum has a small role as a small time hood selling "insurance" to the boys. Nestor Paiva plays another crook. The script for this picture never really jells, and despite some good moments, it can't be considered one of the better L&H features.

Verdict: Not the boys at their best. **.

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