Way Out West ★★★½

Part of My 1930s Challenge

This Laurel & Hardy classic comedy takes place in the Wild West, where Stanley (Laurel) and Ollie (Hardy) are two men on a mission. Upon his death, an old prospector named Cy Roberts charged them with delivering the deed to his gold mine to his abandoned daughter Mary Roberts (Rosina Lawrence) in Brushwood Gulch. When they ask for her at the local watering hole, Mickey Finn's Palace, Finn (James Finlayson) recognizes an opportunity for an easy con and has his wife, singer-dancer Lola Marcel (Sharon Lynn), pretend to be Mary. And when the guys realize they've been duped, they try to steal back the deed.

There's gag-after-gag throughout the film, much of it related to clothing, with some repetition of jokes (like the water crossing) to get that oh-no-not-again response. There are even a few surprising visual effects, such as when Ollie's head gets caught in the saloon's trap door. A couple of pleasant musical numbers are sung by The Avalon Boys, while Stan, Ollie and Lynn do some song-and-dance routines, too. In fact, the film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Score (Marvin Hartley). Dinah the Mule probably deserved Academy Award recognition, too, but alas ... nothing.

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