Way Out West (1937 film)
|Way Out West|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James W. Horne|
|Produced by||Stan Laurel
|Written by||Jack Jevne
|Studio||Hal Roach Studios|
|Running time||64' 21"|
Stan and Ollie, after consorting with Seymore "Sy" Roberts, an old prospector, have been entrusted to deliver the deed to a gold mine the prospector discovered to the man's daughter, Mary Roberts (Rosina Lawrence), a poor girl living in Brushwood Gulch who is consistently victimized by her cruel guardians, saloon owner Mickey Finn (James Finlayson), and his equally-cruel saloon-singer wife, Lola Marcel (Sharon Lynne).
Traveling by stage coach, they attempt to flirt with the woman (Vivien Oakland) who is riding with them. She rebuffs the pair, and upon arriving in Brushwood Gulch, she complains to her husband, the town's sheriff (Stanley Fields). The angry sheriff orders the pair to leave on the next coach out of town, or else they'll be "riding out of here in a hearse". Stan and Ollie promise to do so once they have completed their mission.
After dancing to "At the Ball, That's All" by The Avalon Boys, Stan and Ollie arrive at Mickey Finn's saloon. When Mickey Finn learns why they're here, he has Lola play Mary in order to hijack the deed from them. Stan and Ollie have never seen Mary before, and are duped by their charade. However, before leaving town, they encounter the real Mary Roberts and immediately try to get the deed back. The evil Finns will not surrender the deed, however, and a major struggle ensues as Stan and Ollie attempt to reclaim the deed. Stan manages to grab it, but Lola traps him in the bedroom and wrests the deed from him by tickling him into hysterics. After further chasing, Mickey and Lola manage to seal the deed into their safe. Ollie calls for the police, but the police turn out to be the angry sheriff, who chases Stan and Ollie out of town.
Outside the town, Stan and Ollie plan to sneak back into Brushwood Gulch at night to reclaim the deed. They arrive at the saloon and, after a series of mishaps (including Laurel stretching Hardy's neck an incredible 3' while freeing him from a trapdoor in which his head was stuck) , manage to make it inside. They are met by Mary, who helps them open the safe, grab the deed and escape before Mickey Finn can intervene, managing to get him entangled in the grill in the front door. Outside the town again, and accompanied by Mary, the happy trio sing "We're Going to See My Home in Dixie" as they head off into the sunset with Ollie yet again falling into the hole in the pond, as he did twice before in the film.
Unlike most of Laurel and Hardy's films and shorts, the story has a happy ending as opposed to the usual 'unfortunate ending'. (Running gag of Ollie falling into a sink hole in the stream notwithstanding.)
- Stan Laurel - Stan
- Oliver Hardy - Ollie
- James Finlayson - Mickey Finn
- Rosina Lawrence - Mary Roberts
- Sharon Lynne - Lola Marcel
- Stanley Fields - Sheriff
- Vivien Oakland - Sheriff's wife
- The Avalon Boys - Themselves
- Harry Bernard - Man at Bar
- Mary Gordon - Cook
- May Wallace - Cook
- Jack Hill - Finn's Employee
- Sam Lufkin - Baggageman
- Tex Driscoll - Miner
- Flora Finch - Miner's wife
- Fred Toones - Janitor
- Dinah the Mule - Herself
- Ollie to the Sheriff's wife: "A lot of weather we've been having lately"
- Lola: "Tell me, tell me about my dear dear daddy, is it true that he's dead?"
Stan : "Well we hope he is, they buried him."
Lola : "Oh it can't be, what did he die of?"
Stan : "I think he died of a Tuesday, or was it Wednesday..."
- Ollie: "Every cloud has a silver lining"
Stan: "That's right, any bird can build a nest, but it isn't everyone who can lay an egg!"
- Stan (to Lola): "Now that you've got the deed, I bet you'll make a swell gold digger."
The film's score was composed by Marvin Hatley and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music (Scoring). The film includes two famous songs, firstly "Trail Of The Lonesome Pine" sung by Laurel and Hardy except for a few lines by Chill Wills and Rosina Lawrence, lip-synched for comedic effect by Laurel. In recent years, this bit has been widely mashed-up with various modern tunes, which can be seen on sites like YouTube. "At The Ball, That's All" sung by The Avalon Boys and accompanied by Laurel and Hardy performing an extended dance routine, one which they rehearsed endlessly.
"Trail Of The Lonesome Pine" was released as a single in Britain in 1975 backed by "Honolulu Baby" from Sons Of The Desert reaching number 2 in the British charts.
This film was the second picture for which Stan Laurel was credited as producer (the first was 1936's Our Relations); Laurel had served in that capacity uncredited for the duo's entire career. The executive producer was Hal Roach. The film was colorized in 1985.
References to other films
- Mickey Finn, the name of the character played by James Finlayson, is a reference to a type of drug-spiked alcoholic drink.
- The title is a spoof of the D.W. Griffith silent film Way Down East, starring Lillian Gish.
- A sight gag in which Laurel and Hardy are hitchhiking and Stan gets a stagecoach to stop by rolling up his pants leg is a spoof of a similar scene in the 1934 movie It Happened One Night, in which Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable are hitchhiking, and Colbert persuades a driver to stop by hiking up her skirt.
- Aping, Norbert. The Final Film of Laurel and Hardy: A Study of the Chaotic Making and Marketing of Atoll K. Jefferson North Carolina: McFarland, 2008. ISBN 978-0-7864-3302-5.
- Bowers, Judith. Stan Laurel and Other Stars of the Panopticon: The Story of the Britannia Music Hall. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd, 2007. ISBN 1-84158-617-X.
- Everson, William K. The Complete Films of Laurel and Hardy. New York: Citadel, 2000, (first edition 1967). ISBN 0-8065-0146-4.
- Louvish, Simon. Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy. London: Faber & Faber, 2001. ISBN 0-571-21590-4.
- Marriot, A.J. Laurel & Hardy: The British Tours. Hitchen, Herts, UK: AJ Marriot, 1993. ISBN 0-9521308-0-7.
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- McCabe, John with Al Kilgore and Richard W. Bann. Laurel & Hardy. New York: Bonanza Books, 1983, first edition 1975, E.P. Dutton. ISBN 978-0-491-01745-9.
- McGarry, Annie. Laurel & Hardy. London: Bison Group, 1992. ISBN 0-86124-776-0.
- Way Out West at the Internet Movie Database
- Way Out West at the TCM Movie Database
- Way Out West at Rotten Tomatoes
- Way Out West at Trailers from Hell