Way Out West (1937 film)
|Way Out West|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James W. Horne|
|Produced by||Stan Laurel|
|Written by||Contributing (uncredited):|
James W. Horne
Arthur V. Jones
|Screenplay by||Charley Rogers|
|Story by||Jack Jevne|
|Music by||Marvin Hatley|
|Edited by||Bert Jordan|
|65 minutes (original)|
62 minutes (restored print)
Way Out West is a 1937 Laurel and Hardy comedy film directed by James W. Horne, produced by Stan Laurel, and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was the second picture for which Stan Laurel was credited as producer.
Stan and Oliver have been entrusted to deliver the deed of a gold mine to the deceased prospector's daughter Mary Roberts (Rosina Lawrence). Mary works for her cruel guardians, Brushwood Gulch saloon owner Mickey Finn (James Finlayson) and his saloon-singer wife, Lola Marcel (Sharon Lynn).
Stan and Ollie are travelling towards Brushwood Gulch; Stan on foot, leading a mule dragging a travois, on which Ollie lies. As they ford a river, the travois detaches from the mule, leaving Ollie stranded in the water. He starts to wade then completely disappears into a sink hole in the river bottom. They hitch a ride on a stagecoach and attempt to flirt with a woman passenger (Vivien Oakland). Upon arriving in Brushwood Gulch, she complains to her husband (Stanley Fields), who threatens the pair to leave on the next coach or they'll be leaving in a hearse.
At Mickey Finn's saloon a band is performing on the front porch and Stan and Ollie dance to their music. Inside they clumsily reveal their supposedly secret mission to Mickey, including that they have never seen Mary. Mickey has Lola play Mary and hijack the deed. Stan and Ollie then encounter the real Mary and try to retrieve the deed from the Finns, resulting in an extended chase and struggle. The Finns prevail and put the deed in their safe. Ollie is briefly relieved by the arrival of the sheriff only to realise the sheriff is the angry husband who threatened them earlier, who now chases them out of town. Crossing the river, Ollie drops into the sink hole again.
Drying Ollie’s clothes the pair resolve to return under cover of darkness to complete their mission. After a series of mishaps (including the mule being belayed into the Finn’s bedroom, and Laurel stretching Hardy's neck three feet as he tries to free him from a trapdoor) they finally make it inside. They force Mickey to open the safe at gunpoint with his own shotgun, and escape with Mary and the deed. Mickey becomes entangled in the gate-grill at the front door. Outside town, the happy trio sing "We're Going to See My Home in Dixie" as they ride away. Once again, fording the river, Ollie falls into a sink hole.
The film's score was composed by Marvin Hatley and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music (Scoring). The film includes two well-known songs: firstly Macdonald and Carroll's "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), and secondly J. Leubrie Hill's "At the Ball, That's All", sung by the Avalon Boys and accompanied by Laurel and Hardy performing an extended dance routine, one that they rehearsed endlessly.
In popular culture
- Way Out West is referenced in The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid when the Sheriff (Bud Spencer) ends up replicating Stan Laurel's thumb fire trick featured in the film.
- The opening scene of the biopic Stan & Ollie depicts a shooting of the film, with Laurel and Hardy arriving on the set for one of the dance scenes.
- Aping, Norbert (2008). The Final Film of Laurel and Hardy: A Study of the Chaotic Making and Marketing of Atoll K. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-7864-3302-5.
- Bowers, Judith (2007). Stan Laurel and Other Stars of the Panopticon: The Story of the Britannia Music Hall. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. ISBN 1-84158-617-X.
- Everson, William K. (2000) [1st. pub. 1967]. The Complete Films of Laurel and Hardy. New York: Citadel. ISBN 0-8065-0146-4.
- Louvish, Simon (2001). Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0-571-21590-4.
- Marriot, A.J. (1993). Laurel & Hardy: The British Tours. Hitchen, Herts, UK: AJ Marriot. ISBN 0-9521308-0-7.
- McCabe, John (2004). Babe: The Life of Oliver Hardy. London: Robson Books Ltd. ISBN 1-86105-781-4.
- McCabe, John; Kilgore, Al; Bann, Richard W. (1983) [1st. pub. E.P. Dutton:1975]. Laurel & Hardy. New York: Bonanza Books. ISBN 978-0-491-01745-9.
- McGarry, Annie (1992). Laurel & Hardy. London: Bison Group. ISBN 0-86124-776-0.
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