23 February 2006 | Snow Leopard
Silly, Goofy Stuff That You Can't Help Enjoying
This relatively early pairing of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (not quite yet the team of 'Laurel & Hardy' as we know them) has a great deal of silly and goofy material - and it's practically impossible not to laugh as you watch it. Their casual, good-natured approach and the offbeat story material are the movie's most obvious features, but it is their skilled comic timing and the way they blend themselves in with the props, settings, and the rest of the cast that make it work.
It's a rarity amongst their movies in being set in the past - in this case, all the way back to the Stone Age. The setting and characters are presented in an exaggeratedly broad fashion, with plenty of clubs and the like. The two main characters contrast, with Hardy playing a more or less stereotypical caveman, and Laurel playing a character who would have been lucky to survive for five minutes in the real Stone Age. It adds some deliberately anachronistic medieval dialogue in the inter-titles, plus Hardy's "Flying Elephants" line, which comes out of nowhere.
It gets quite amusing at times, although it's very likely that lesser comics could not have made it work nearly so well. The two stars are joined by a good supporting cast, headed by their frequent foil James Finlayson. Viola Richard and Dorothy Coburn play a couple of attractive cave-women who are, nevertheless, not to be trifled with.
Even compared with their own best movies, this is quite unrefined and outlandish. But, at least if you like Laurel and Hardy, it's also pretty entertaining to watch.