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J.P. Whinney (Charles Ruggles) and his wife Flora (Mary Boland) go on a
cross-country trip to California, but have the bad idea to advertise for
some travelling companions in a newspaper to save expenses - and end up
with George (Burns), Gracie (Allen) and their dog, and it's not entirely
clear to Gracie whose expenses are to be saved. But as if that wasn't bad
enough, there is also Ferguson (Bradley Page), Whinney's co-worker at the
bank, who smuggles $ 50,000.- of the bank's money into Whinney's luggage
to have it smuggled out of the bank, and he's hell-bent on getting his
hands on the money at the first possible opportunity - but loses track of
Whinney and company when George and Gracie take over planning the route
and lead the whole party from one detour to the next. Back home, Whinney
is soon suspected of having stolen the money of course, because in a way
it all fits ...
After much to and fro that almost lands both Whinney and
his wife on the bottom of Grand Canyon, after Gracie driving everyone to
despair, and after all of them being robbed of their money, they end up in
a small town in the middle of nowhere, and board in Mrs Rumford's hotel -
and since they don't have any money, Mrs Rumford accepts the travellers'
luggage as pawn ... and soon enough finds the money inside and takes off.
Whinney cables his bank for some money, he has no idea yet that he is
suspected of having stolen the $ 50,000.-, but now the bank sends two
detectives to arrest him, and at the same time Ferguson finally learns
where to retrieve his money from. Ferguson is at the hotel hours before
the detectives, and uses this advantage to team up with the rather
incompetent local sheriff (W.C. Fields) to try and get his hands on the
money - which is pretty much impossible though because the money's no
longer there to begin with. the sheriff makes an additional mess of the
situation though when he accidently locks up Ferguson ...
Mrs Rumford returns with the detectives, and they arrest Ferguson. Turns
out Mrs Rumford has not taken off with the money after all but just
brought it to the police station in the next town (because she didn't
trust the local sheriff), along with evidence proving Ferguson's guilt.
when George and Gracie hitch a ride to California with someone else,
Whinney and Flora can finally start to enjoy their vacation ...
of two minds about this movie:
On one hand, there are really funny
performances by all of the involved, especially Burns & Allen are at
their hilarious best, and W.C. Fields delivers a couple of top-notch
routines (especially his extended pool sequence is nothing short of
On the other hand though, the film is really badly written,
narratively speaking: The basic plot is rather far-fetched as it is, but
on top of that, all the situations that provide the basis for the gags are
badly set up, in a sense that they are not really developed out of the
plot but just thrown into the film out of nowhere (again, I'd like to
mention W.C. Fields' pool sequence here that has no relation at all to the
rest of the plot).
In all though, the film is good for quite a few
laughs at least. It's no masterpiece, as much is for sure, but amusing