There were many comedic acts that made dozens of films in the 1930s such as The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, Martin and Lewis, Albert and Costello. This film features the slapstick comedy stylings of Laurel and Hardy– an Englishman and a heavy-set men that get themselves in a whole lot of trouble together. Hal Roach’s Sons of the Desert is about when two men go to a convention that their wives forbid them to go to, all hell breaks loose when their secret is found out.
The producer of this comedic film is Hal Roach who is known for his Our Gang (The Little Rascals). As you know, The Little Rascals do a lot of physical comedy as they live in a child-like world where adults are the enemy and the schemes they get into bite them in the end. This is how Sons of the Desert is where these two slapstick comedians are part of a fraternity that took a vow to go to a convention but their wives won’t let them go. They need to fake illness from their wives in order to go on this trip. Stan and Ollie are living in a child-like world where they feel they can’t stand up to their wives. It’s like what Stan says “Well, if I didn’t ask her, I wouldn’t know what she wanted me to do.” These two remind me a lot of Nickelodeon’s Kenan and Kel in that way where you have the bumbling, dimwitted Stan and the heavyset exasperated partner Ollie. Do you wonder if maybe that’s where the creators of Kenan and Kel partly got their inspiration?
Dorothy Christy and Mae Busch did a great job playing prying, intimidating forces of nature. I remember Dorothy Christy from the Shirley Temple film Bright Eyes and she was intimidating in that one too! I love the scene of Stan as he confesses to his wife his deception in a crying, incoherent way. Reminds me of the scene above from a little known sitcom called…Seinfeld? See the similarity?
Watch Laurel and Hardy’s masterpiece and comment your thoughts on it: