(Review originally written at 6 November 2006)

Before this, I've elephant fly and monkeys explaining the Theorem of Pythagoras but that all is nothing compared to seeing Peter Cushing in a Laurel & Hardy movie.

This is a good and fair, late effort from the boys, who already clearly had their best years behind them. This movie still reminded me at times of some of the good old Laurel & Hardy pictures from the early '30's. But there also lays a problem; the movie its originality. In multiple movies Laurel & Hardy reused some jokes or even situations but the fact that this movie is from 1940, multiple years after their glory years, leaves an even worse aftertaste. Nevertheless it as always still works effective so it's not really a big complaint about this movie, at least not the biggest.

Basically the movie can be divided into three separate parts. The boys trying to get a job, the boys getting a job at the Finlayson residence and the boys at Oxford. Perhaps if the movie really was divided into three separate parts, each of them would work out better. As a whole its a bit too much. Each part is really great on their own and provides some good slapstick entertainment but as a whole it doesn't always connect. This is the biggest problem of the movie and the reason why it's nothing more than an above average Laurel & Hardy movie, despite having some great comical premises and situations.

The sequences at the Finlayson residence are certainly the most 'Laurel & Hardy' ones, also of course thanks to the presence of James Finlayson. It's in the middle of the movie but in my opinion it's the best part of the movie. It's not really ever a good sign when the middle is better than the ending. The end part at Oxford is also most definitely good and enjoyable but the humor is a bit stretched out at times. Some sequences last too long, which sorts of drags down the amusement level of the movie with it. Nevertheless those parts still provide some good amusing entertainment, with a couple of fellow student who are giving the dumb and naive Laurel & Hardy a hard time. One of the students giving the boys a hard time is Peter Cushing, in one of his very first movie roles.

Definitely worth seeing but a bit too stretched thin and disjointed at certain moments.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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