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The Flying Deuces

USA 1939
produced by
Boris Morros
directed by Edward Sutherland
starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Charles Middleton, Jean Parker
written by Stan Laurel, Harry Langdon, Charles Rogers

Laurel and Hardy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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In Paris, Oliver Hardy falls in love with Jean Parker. But as she does not share his feelings (& is already married), he decides to commit suicide, & as he doesn't want to do it alone, he decides to take Stan Laurel with him. Of course their collective suicide fails & so they join the foreign legion to forget. Once in the training camp they (of course) wreak havoc, are arrested for desertion & sentenced to be shot in the morning. The make a chaotic escape attempt before actually escaping by a plane, which they crash of course. Stanley does survive the crash, but not so Ollie, who - in the final scene of the film - gets reincarnated as a horse - complete with mustache & bowler hat.


Stan & Ollie just can't be completely unfunny as this film (again) proves, but it also shows how much the boys do benefit from a good story - as long as the movie is about Ollie, his unrequitted love & his suicide attempt, it works very well, showing both Laurel & Hardy to be carefully carved-out characters rather than mere funnymen, but once they arrive at the training camp to just wreak havoc, the dramatic tension is out & the story does become pointless (if not completely unfunny, as I've already mentioned). A scene where Stan is turning his bed springs into a harp does seem strangely out of place here, being something Harpo Marx did all the time but something completely out of character for Stan Laurel ! Another movie that has Laurel & Hardy in the foreign legion, albeit the Scottich one, Bonnie Scotland, is a lot better !

The supporting cast does include Charles Middleton as camp commander & Laurel & Hardy regular James Finlayson as prison guard. Co-writer Harry Langdon was actually a former late-silent-early-sond-era slapstick-star, who was now - as were so many of his colleagues - strugglling to regain past glories. Langdon co-scripted three other Laurel & Hardy-features - Block-Heads, Chumps at Oxford, Saps at Sea - around the same time as well as co-starring with Ollie in Zenobia (at that time Stanley had - temporarily - split company with producer Hal Roach, & Langdon was supposed to terminally replace him - it didn't work). Not long after that he moved over to Monogram & PRC.

Flying Deuces by the way is the only Laurel & Hardy-movie of the 1930's not produced by Hal Roach, the boys were loaned to Boris Morros. Their next movie, Saps at Sea, would be their last for Roach ever.



review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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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
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screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD