The lost movie of the week: Way Out West (1937)

Laurel and Hardy are the best comedic duo of all time. They set the bar very high for the following generations. Already famous during the silent era, the duo became even more successful at the start of the talkies, a huge achievement.

In “Way Out West”, Stan and Ollie are charged with delivering the deed to a valuable gold mine to the daughter of a dead prospector. However her evil guardian Mickey Finn (played by their eternal foe James Finlayson, great performance as always by the actor) and his saloon singer wife Lola are determined to have the gold mine for themselves.

James W. Horne (“The Bohemian Girl”” The Spider’s Web”) already worked with Laurel and Hardy and their collaboration was very successful. “Way Out West” is the culmination of their careers. Action, screwball comedy, music and great dialogues are the base of this extraordinary journey in the Old West. Laurel was the ring leader behind the scenes, the was the creative genius behind the duo. Oliver was the leader in the film itself which lead to a great partnership. Their musical numbers are hilarious and the action combines the danger of real action movie with their comedic signature. Their characters are dumb, naïve and childish but so warm and loveable that you will laugh and care at their adventures!

This film was nominated for the Best Score at the Academy Awards.

Hardy’s daughter Lucille Hardy and Laurel’s daughters Lois Laurel have always declared that “Way Out West” was the favourite film of both their fathers.  The film was actually a spoof of DW Griffith’s silent romantic film from 1920 called “Way Down East”.

Stanley Berenboom

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