|Written and filmed November, 1931. Released by MGM, March, 1932. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by James Horne. Two reels.
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Walter Long, Jacqueline Wells, Harry Bernard, Charlie Hall, Bobby Burns
STORY: Sailors on leave, L&H check into a cheap hotel. They find that the hotel's owner, the violent and abusive Mugsie Long, has trapped his innocent slavey girl into marrying him. The boys help her escape, and Mugsie vows revenge. Later, an old friend of Ollie's offers the boys some quick money if one of them is willing to fight in a boxing match that evening. Ollie volunteers Stan for the task, and his opponent turns out to be Mugsie Long. Stan wins the fight when he accidentally slips on Mugsie's loaded glove -- but it turns out that Ollie has bet all of their money on Mugsie.
This film serves as an example of the luxuries afforded Laurel and Hardy at the Roach Studio. An entirely different opening reel was shot, which concerned life aboard ship for sailors Stan and Ollie, and their entanglements with Captain James Finlayson and their pet ostrich. After previews, the entire first reel was scrapped, the original second reel became the first reel, and a new final ten minutes was shot.
JL: For all the working and reworking this film endured, too bad it's such a weak entry. Walter Long was always a great unwashed slimeball but here he only adds to what is an uncharacteristically gloomy and depressing atmosphere for an L&H film. Lots of unpleasant sight gags, especially the guy getting scalped by the electric fan, which gives me the willies every time I see it.
As they found the last reel to Laughing Gravy, it'd be nice if they could find the deleted first reel to this one. Perhaps they deleted it for good reason, but I'd never complain about ten "new" minutes with the boys and a few more go-rounds with Fin.
Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan