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

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


WAY OUT WEST (1937). Director: James W. Horne.

Laurel and Hardy arrive in a small western town to deliver a deed to a gold mine to a young lady, Mary (Rosina Lawrence), whose father has died. Bar owner Mickey Finn (James Finlayson) has his wife Lola (Sharon Lynne/Lynn) pretend to be Mary so they can steal away the deed. Although initially fooled, the boys eventually get wise and do their best to get the deed back and do right by Mary. There's a lot of very funny stuff in Way Out West but many sequences go on much too long and the music is much too obtrusive. Doing a parody of It Happened One Night, Stan hitches a ride on a passing coach by lifting his pants leg! The best moments in the film are when the boys dance and sing (generally with The Avalon Boys) such numbers as "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" and "Commence to Dancin'." Their charming rendition of "We're Going to Go (to Dixie)" is the film's highlight.

Verdict: A lot of fun if very imperfect. **1/2.

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