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(Review originally written at 7 September 2006)

This is yet another long Laurel & Hardy movie which uses a classic and well known story as the basis for the movie. This time its the libretto; Fra Diavolo, set in the early 18th century Italy.

Problem with these sort of Laurel & Hardy pictures always is that the story distracts from their antics. It causes the movie to be a bit too often too serious and leaves too little room for Laurel & Hardy's great comical talent and timing. Most of the time the different characters in this movie fulfill the roles of the main characters and Laurel & Hardy turn in into merely comical sidekicks who provide the comical relief.

But it definitely is true that this movie is a well made one. It's directed by Hal Roach himself and has some fine looking sets and costumes. It distinct this movie from most other Laurel & Hardy pictures from the same period. It provides the movie with some good looking sequences. The story is nicely told although but at certain points it starts to drag a little. Nevertheless the movie remains for most part a perfectly entertaining one to watch.

There still also are plenty of enough comical great sequences by the two boys, who provide the movie with some memorable and enjoyable moments throughout the movie. The movie further more features Laurel & Hardy regulars Thelma Todd and James Finlayson, in big roles, who also add to the entertainment value and comical level of this movie.

This definitely isn't the most pleasant or must fun Laurel & Hardy movie around to watch but this movie still offers plenty of enough reasons why this movie still is a perfectly good and entertaining one to watch.

7/10

About Frank Veenstra

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