The Bohemian Girl (1936 film)
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|The Bohemian Girl|
1946 theatrical re-release poster
James W. Horne|
Michael William Balfe|
Alfred Bunn (libretto)
Frank Butler (screenplay)
Michael William Balfe (original operetta)|
|February 14, 1936|
The Bohemian Girl is a 1936 comedic feature film version of the opera The Bohemian Girl by Michael William Balfe. It was produced at the Hal Roach Studios, and stars Laurel and Hardy and Thelma Todd in her last role before her death. This was also the only appearance of Darla Hood in a full-length feature produced by Hal Roach.
Stanley Laurel and Oliver Hardy are a hen-pecked pair of Gypsies in 18th-century Austria. When Oliver is out pickpocketing, fortune-telling or attending his zither lessons, his wife (Mae Busch), has an affair with Devilshoof (Antonio Moreno). A cruel nobleman, Count Arnheim (William P. Carleton), persecutes the Gypsies, who are forced to flee, but Mrs Hardy, in revenge for Devilshoof being lashed by the count's orders, kidnaps his daughter, Arline (Darla Hood), and Mrs. Hardy fools Hardy into thinking she is their daughter since he believes everything she tells him. She soon elopes with Devilshoof, and leaves Oliver and "Uncle" Stanley holding the toddler. Arline is too young to remember her old life.
Twelve years later, the Gypsies return to Arnheim's estate. When grown up Arline (Jacqueline Wells) accidentally trespasses in Arnheim's garden, she recognises the place and Arnheim's voice, but is arrested by a constable (Jimmy Finlayson) and sentenced to a lashing. Stan and Oliver try to save her, but Stan is too drunk and both are arrested. Just as Arline is stripped in order to be lashed, she is rescued in time by Arnheim, who recognises a medallion she wears and a family birthmark, and both try to rescue Stan and Oliver. It is too late though: Laurel and Hardy had already been worked over in the torture chamber: Hardy emerges stretched to a height of eight feet, while Stan has been crushed to only a few feet tall and the constable just stands yelling and moaning, And Oliver rants his "Another nice mess...." catchphrase to Stan. Stan whines "But I couldn't help it!" In response.
- Stan Laurel as Stan
- Oliver Hardy as Ollie
- Julie Bishop as Arline as an adult
- Darla Hood as Arline as a child
- Mae Busch as Mrs. Hardy
- Antonio Moreno as Devilshoof, Mrs. Hardy's lover
- William P. Carleton as Count of Arnheim
- James Finlayson as Finn, Captain of the Guard
- Zeffie Tilbury as old Gypsy Queen
- Mitchell Lewis as Salinas, Gypsy Queen's advisor
- Harry Bowen as Laurel and Hardy's first victim (the drunkard)
- Sam Lufkin as Laurel and Hardy's second victim (the innkeeper)
- Eddie Borden as Laurel and Hardy's third victim (the nobleman)
- James C. Morton as the officer who arrests the nobleman
- Harry Bernard as bell ringer
- Thelma Todd as singer of "Heart of a Gypsy"
- Felix Knight as singer of "Then You'll Remember Me"
- Winter Hall as Servant (uncredited)
- Howard C. Hickman as Dignified Captain (uncredited)
Casting and production details
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer wanted to cast a talented newcomer as Arline. Hal Roach cast Darla Hood, who had just begun appearing in Roach's Our Gang comedies, as young Arline and Julie Bishop as adult Arline.
Rosina Lawrence dubs Jacqueline Wells' singing.
Paulette Goddard has a small uncredited role as a Gypsy.
The Count was played by W.P. Carleton, who had played the role on stage over a number of decades.
The film was banned in Malaysia due to its depictions of Roma themes.
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