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The Flying Deuces

(1939 b 68')

En: 6 Ed: 5


After Oliver's marriage proposal is rejected, he and Stan try to drown but join the French foreign legion instead.

In Paris Stanley (Stan Laurel) is planning to go back to his job in a Des Moines fish market, but Oliver (Oliver Hardy) wants to stay. Oliver tells Stanley that he is in love with Georgette (Jean Parker), but he doesn't know she is married to officer Francois (Reginald Gardiner). Oliver asks Georgette to marry but is turned down. Stanley consoles Oliver with smelling salts and a wet towel, but Oliver says he will drown himself. At the Seine Oliver ties a rope around Stanley too, expecting him to join him. Oliver says he will reincarnate as a horse. Oliver checks the depth with an oar, which a shark eats. Francois hears them and advises them to join the foreign legion to forget. Oliver and Stanley expect to forget and go back to Des Moines in a few days.

At a legion post Stanley and Oliver try to march and see Francois. The Commandant (Charles Middleton) gives Stanley and Oliver their schedule of inspection, drilling, and marching, but they refuse to work for three cents a day. Oliver and Stanley work laundering a mountain of uniforms and are not allowed to rest. Stanley tells Oliver to think of nothing to forget but talks about Georgette. Oliver decides he forgot, quits, and accidentally starts a fire. Oliver and Stanley leave but stop to write a note and take cigars. The Commandant finds the note and goes after them. Oliver sings "Shine on Harvest Moon" and dances soft shoe with Stanley.

Georgette arrives in a plane and kisses Francois. Oliver sees Georgette and kisses her many times until Francois tells him that she is his wife and warns him. The Commandant arrests Oliver and Stanley for desertion. The jailer (James Finlayson) locks them up. The Commandant sentences them to be shot at sunrise. Stanley plays his bed springs like a harp. A note tells them of a tunnel. They crawl and dig, emerging in a wine cellar. They hide in Georgette's closet and knock it over as Georgette faints. They rouse her with water and flee from Francois, who has soldiers search. They chase Stanley and Oliver to the jail and the tunnel. Stanley and Oliver shoot them with corks from bottles and pour wine on them. Stanley and Oliver take off in a plane and try to fly it; but the steering wheels come off, and it crashes. Stanley survives, but Oliver's spirit ascends. In the final scene the tramp Stanley finds Oliver in a horse.

Laurel and Hardy get themselves into another mess and find the ultimate escape in reincarnation, an idea that keeps coming back. Overseas military service is satirized as low-wage slavery.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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