Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Flying Deuces (1939)

When I watch a Laurel and Hardy film, I don't usually laugh. However that doesn't mean their films are not funny. Absolutely not! I enjoy them, along with Buster Keaton silents, Marx Bros talkies and various other forms of '20s and '30s comedy, with a sort of silent amusement. Take The Flying Deuces (1939) for example, which I hadn't planned to watch but Frank had lent me the DVD since it had The Stolen Jools (a short with Norma Shearer in it) as Bonus Material. Its got a few things that I just think make it magnificent. Hardy wants to commit suicide after being rejected by his lady love. But he doesn't want to do it alone and enlists his friend Laurel to join him. Hilarity ensues as they try to drown themselves in the river. But why should they kill themselves when they can join the Foreign Legion. Excellent. More fun follows when they take off to another land far far away. They are miserable and try to escape, with Laurel and Hardy involved in a madcap airplane accident that finds Hardy rising to the heavens as an angel. But its alright, he gets reincarnated into a horse (who wears the signature bowler hat and mustache, of course) to keep Laurel company. He should have stayed on "terra cotta" (as Laurel puts it) in the first place instead of 1) trying to drown himself and 2) trying to escape via biplane. But if that were the case, we wouldn't have had this wonderful film complete with Harpo-esque playing of a bedframe as a harp by Laurel. Supreme.


  1. I love this film, particularly the scenes with a lovestruck Ollie. Have you seen Sons of the Desert? Laurel and Hardy being perhaps even funnier when their domineering wives get involved...

  2. Hey Christian,

    Ooh I have not. I'll definitely put that on my list to watch.

  3. Delightful. I love classic silliness. :)

  4. Of course Laurel and Hardy also made many silent two-reelers together, of which I'd suggest 'Liberty' to start off with. Stan and Ollie end up at the top of an unfinished skyscraper. If anything it's far scarier than funny. As they teeter off the edge of the iron beams with the city clearly in view below them, it's far too tense to laugh.

  5. Wow--that takes me back! Not to 1939...I was less than a twinkle but to...for some reason...seeing it in school when I was in 2nd or third grade, and loving Hardy's reincarnation as a horse! Now, seeing your pic, I realize I've gotta get it on DVD!

  6. Ginger - It's just a whole other type of funny isn't it?

    Christian - ooh I need to see that. Must hit up my resident L&H fan to see if he has it.

    Yoga - I'm not sure what to call you so Yoga it will be. That's so cool that you have a childhood connection to this. Those are the best. I'm so jealous.


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