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

Monday, June 16, 2008


SWISS MISS (1938). Director: John G. Blystone.

Laurel and Hardy are trying to sell mouse traps in Switzerland when they're swindled by a potential customer. This forces them to work for a hotel where they are befriended by singer Anna Albert (Della Lind), whose husband Victor (Walter Woolf King), is trying to find peace and quiet as he works on a new operetta. The last thing he gets from the boys is peace and quiet as Hardy serenades the lovely Anna (not realizing she's married), Laurel creates a snowstorm out of chicken feathers so that a local Saint Bernard will "rescue" him with brandy, and both of them try to traverse a rope bridge over a high, high canyon as they carry a piano! The "plot" isn't much, but Laurel and Hardy are in good form and there are many very funny sequences. "The Cricket Song" that Victor composes is pretty bad, but some of the other music is better. Some fine character actors, including Eric Blore, add to the fun. King played singer Rodolfo Lassparri in A Night at the Opera. NOTE: Recently Turner Classic Movies -- my favorite cable network -- showed a 66 minute print of Swiss Miss instead of the 72 minute version. While some viewers may not care that the scene where King sings "I Can't Get Over the Alps" has been cut, I get a hoot out of that number. Too bad. Hopefully the scene will be reinstated when TCM shows the film again next month.

Verdict: Love that gorilla! ***.

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