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Babes in Toyland
March of the Wooden Soldiers

USA 1934
produced by
Hal Roach for Hal Roach Studios/MGM
directed by Gus Meins, Charles Rogers
starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlotte Henry, Fellix Knight, Henry Brandon, Florence Roberts, Virginia Karns, Marie Wilson, Johnny Downs, William Burress, Alice Dahl, Jean Darsling, Sumner Getchell, Kewpie Morgan, Ferdinand Munier, Charles Rogers, Angelo Rossitto
written by Frank Butler, Nick Grinde, based on the operetta by Victor Herbert, Glen MacDonough, music by Victor Herbert

Laurel and Hardy, Little Bo-Peep

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Stan (Laurel) and Ollie (Oliver Hardy) live as tenants in Mother Peep's (Florence Roberts) shoe in Toyland - that is until Mother Peep is behind with her mortgage payments to the crooked Silas Barnaby (Henry Brandon), threatens to throw them all out, that is unless Mother Peep gives him her daughter Bo-Peep's (Charlotte Henry) in marriage. Stan and Ollie promise to take care of the affair by getting a loan from their employer, the Toymaker (William Burress) ... but instead they lose their job because they have gotten an order wrong and produced 100 six-foot toy soldiers instead of 600 one-foot soldiers - bugger.

Next, the boys try to steal the money for the rent from Barnaby himelf, but they get caught and are threatened to be expelled to Bogeyland - the worst that can happen to an inhabitant of Toyland. They are only saved from that punishment when Bo-Peep agrees to marry Barnaby after all.

During the wedding though, Stan takes Bo-Peep's place, which Barnaby doesn't notice until he is tricked out of the mortgage ...

But Barnaby swears revenge, and before long he kidnaps one of the three little pigs and plants evidence with Tom-Tom (Felix knight), Bo-Peep's fiancé, who is then banished to Bogeyland, just before Stan and Ollie can produce evidence that the pignapping was actually Barnaby's doing.

And while Stan and Ollie go to Bogeyland to bring Tom-Tom and Bo-Peep, who has gone with him, back to Toyland, Barnaby goes there for a different reason: To summon the Bogeyman (who turn out to be his allies) and conquer Toyland ... an effort which is only stopped when Stan and Ollie put their six-foot toy soldiers into action ...

 

I don't know whoever had the idea to put the back then well-established comedy duo Laurel and Hardy into a fairy tale operetta - and one with an incredibly cheesy, childish plotline and incredibly schmaltzy songs at that - when it is a known fact that their comedy works best in contemporary settings. The resulting film is of course predictably bad and not at all worthy of the great comic duo ... but at least every now and again they just leave the fairy tale business be and do some typical routines - and then they are hilarious as ever. Still, that's not enough to save the film (which actually needs a lot of saving).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD