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Author Topic: Beau Hunks (1931) - Laurel and Hardy  (Read 1117 times)

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Offline metaldams

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Beau Hunks (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
« on: December 07, 2015, 08:55:58 PM »
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  • http://www.lordheath.com/index.php?p=1_134_Beau-Hunks
    http://www.laurelandhardycentral.com/beauhunk.html
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0021646/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x26gfws_beau-hunks-b-w-1931-laurel-hardy_shortfilms

    Watch BEAU HUNKS in the link above



          Good to be back, the time off refreshed me a little.  Anyway, we return with a very enjoyable Laurel and Hardy four reeler.  Yes, you read that right, four reeler!  The only film this length of theirs, at 37 minutes.  Not quite a feature, but definitely longer than a short.  A lot of people feel the length hurts this film and that first two reels were the best while the rest peters out.  I agree this starts better than it ends, but I do enjoy the entire film.

          The beginning is fantastic.  Oliver's singing at the beginning is excellent.  Next to Bing Crosby, I can't think of a comedian in a comedy team whose singing I like more, and let's be honest, Bing is more famous for his singing, unlike Ollie.  Then, after the song, Ollie speaks of his girl and one of the great extended verbal exchanges Stan and Ollie would ever do takes place.  B.S. Instead of P.S., the mangling of "You don't believe me," the extended use of Stan's confusion of the word levity, brilliantly reprised later on in the film, and Ollie basically asking who ever heard of the idea of marrying a man.  Stan's response about a female relative is great, but asking about the existence of gay marriage shows how valuable old films are as far as showing changing cultures.  In 1931, a literally unheard of thing, today, the norm.  That exchange gave me a chuckle.  Of course, we find out who Ollie's lover is through a picture, Jean Harlow herself!  Another absolutely brilliant running gag throughout this film.

          Other highlights of this four reeler include the hat switching routine, a routine they've done so many times yet are always able to vary and make enthralling.  Love this stuff.  The foot massage scene where Ollie is rubbing Stan's foot thinking it's his own is wonderfully bizarre, also love Stan dumping all the sand out of his shoes.  Stan and Ollie rolling down the desert hill is a highlight, those screams down the hill are always priceless, a true trademark of theirs.  Love the way the marching band plays their theme song sporadically throughout and as far as the final reel.  OK, not as great as the earlier stuff, but not boring by any stretch.  I'm usually not a fan of war in comedy, but the tacks on the ground hurting the barefoot Arabs is funny, perhaps it plays more slapstick than as overtly sadistic as real war can be.  I also dig the hand grenade scene and the Arab soldiers sneaking down the wall multiple times behind Stan and Ollie's backs as they try to guard is very well timed.

          Hey, I like this one.  Two out of the next three weeks, undisputed classics coming up, but since I find this quite enjoyable, I'm in a generous mood.

    10/10





    Offline Big Chief Apumtagribonitz

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    Re: Beau Hunks (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 09:56:20 PM »
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  • Does everyone know that the title of this is a play on the title of that often-remade foreign legion movie Beau Geste?  That doesn't mean much, really, but without that bit of information, the title makes no sense at all, and even knowing that, you have to make the leap that Beau Hunks is a play on the word Bohunks, old-timey slang for rural idiots, not quite as pejorative as Trailer Trash would be today, but close.  The last remake of Beau Geste that I know of was a spoof made many years ago by Marty Feldman, and was called, appropriately enough, The Last Remake of Beau Geste.  W K Everson, a Brit and an L&H scholar, writes that in Britain this was released as Beau Chumps,  which I guess would be slightly more accessible to modern American ears than Beau Hunks.  I don't think it would be possible to get more esoteric and boring than this, but anyway that's what the title means.

    Offline metaldams

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    Re: Beau Hunks (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 05:59:50 PM »
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  • Does everyone know that the title of this is a play on the title of that often-remade foreign legion movie Beau Geste?  That doesn't mean much, really, but without that bit of information, the title makes no sense at all, and even knowing that, you have to make the leap that Beau Hunks is a play on the word Bohunks, old-timey slang for rural idiots, not quite as pejorative as Trailer Trash would be today, but close.  The last remake of Beau Geste that I know of was a spoof made many years ago by Marty Feldman, and was called, appropriately enough, The Last Remake of Beau Geste.  W K Everson, a Brit and an L&H scholar, writes that in Britain this was released as Beau Chumps,  which I guess would be slightly more accessible to modern American ears than Beau Hunks.  I don't think it would be possible to get more esoteric and boring than this, but anyway that's what the title means.

    I look forward to your esoteric posts, so keep them up.  I have heard of the movie BEAU GESTE but never seen it.  Makes perfect sense that's the parody.

    Offline Paul Pain

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    Re: Beau Hunks (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #3 on: April 26, 2016, 06:08:28 AM »
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  • For 37 minutes, I was able to easily forgive the intermittent moments of drama, such as the surrender talks between the colonel and the Riffian General, and the initial battle scenes.  I look the recurrence of that photo throughout, especially because the timing is perfect and the woman is made up to look like something out of a horror film, maybe Bela Luguosi's wife? :P  And then we forget about her for 20 minutes, and then... Good stuff.

    The budget on this film must have astounding.  We have an apartment, complete with special effects of Ollie on the spring and destroying the piano, the military barracks, the fort, and the well over 100 extras needed to make this, as well as the 4 Swede guides!  The French Foreign Legion general and the march leader are both wonderfully sadistic about harming their new recruits because, they, too, have... Yeah, like I said, good stuff went into this film!

    Quote from: metaldams
    B.S. Instead of P.S.

    Ah, pre-code stuff...

    Sheikie Weekie... The big picture behind the commandant's desk, etc... comedy gold!  You quickly get the feeling that the Laurel & Hardy Central folks are just pissy over the semi-feature length because they don't actually have any rational critique of the second half other than "not enough slapstick."  If you want slapstick in the middle of a dramatic scene, go watch a Curly Joe film!

    The acting in this one is amongst the best I have ever scene in these L&H shorts (maybe LAUGHING GRAVY is better), and definitely better than any Stooges film with dramatic scenes (Sorry, THREE STOOGES MEET HERCULES).  You get the feel of a reel small-scale scuffle between a military outpost and locals trying to reclaim their land.  There are several other wonderful effects thrown in here.  And there's even a "Beau Hunks Orchestra" named after this short that performs, among other things, Laurel and Hardy music!

    10/10
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    Offline Umbrella Sam

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    Re: Beau Hunks (1931) - Laurel and Hardy
    « Reply #4 on: January 05, 2018, 01:57:29 PM »
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  • So I think it’s interesting to note that this is the first time I’ve ever seen BEAU HUNKS. I say this is interesting because its remake, THE FLYING DEUCES, is the Laurel and Hardy film that I have seen the most, probably due to TCM’s tendency to play this film a lot. Personally, I do think that the remake is a little better than the original in that there was a longer running time, allowing for more focus on characters as well as more time for jokes. There are a few problems with it that I’ll probably discuss once we get to it, but overall I do consider it to be a pretty solid feature film. Despite this, BEAU HUNKS still has enough in it to make it stand out on its own.

    The editing between Ollie’s song and Stan at the beginning sets the tone of the film pretty well. It is clear from the beginning that this is going to be slightly more serious than usual, though there still are plenty of laughs to be found throughout the film. I love the exchange at the beginning involving “Mr. Levity” as well as Hardy’s trouble with the spring. Laurel and Hardy rush into the whole Foreign Legion deal, something they kind of do in THE FLYING DEUCES as well, though there you can argue that they don’t know what they’re getting into, since they’re following someone else’s advice, whereas here Hardy is the one who suggests joining.

    Once they’re at the main base, Laurel and Hardy begin to pull off probably the funniest part of this film: the recurring gag of seeing pictures of Jeannie-Weenie, who has “been all over the world.” The hat exchange in the office bit here moves at a better pace than in BACON GRABBERS, also featuring a brief bit with them walking into the wrong room.

    After this, it begins to differ more from THE FLYING DEUCES in that the Foreign Legion actually goes out on an expedition to another fort. I really love Laurel and Hardy tumbling down the hill as well as their aimless wandering. They’re surprisingly the first ones to arrive at the fort and are assigned to take the places of two men who were killed as they arrived. The exchange with them getting their guns stuck is probably my least favorite bit throughout the entire film, though thankfully it doesn’t last that long.

    The finale is interesting. While I do think that them being stuck in the plane in THE FLYING DEUCES makes for a much more thrilling finale, this one is still pretty funny on its own and it is nice to see Stan actually being able to stop the guy who was trying to stab Ollie; a rare moment of competence on Stan’s part. The ending does not feel entirely conclusive (I would have thought Laurel and Hardy would have received some type of honor or something for their solution), though the closing gag is still pretty funny.

    BEAU HUNKS is Laurel and Hardy’s only four-reeler and as you can tell, I do think it partly suffers from this middle-ground running time between a short and a feature. Still, they were able to take advantage of their time limit and actually put out a pretty good effort.

    9 out of 10