BONNIE SCOTLAND(director: James W. Horne; screenwriters: Frank Butler/Jefferson Moffitt; cinematographers: Art Lloyd/Walter Lundin; editor: Bert Jordan; music: Marvin Hatley; cast: Stan Laurel (Stanley MacLaurel), Oliver Hardy (Oliver Hardy), June Lang (Lorna MacLaurel), William Janney (Alan Douglas), Anne Grey (Lady Violet Ormsby), Vernon Steele (Col. Gregor McGregor), David Torrence (Mr. Miggs,lawyer), James Finlayson (Sergeant Major), Daphne Pollard (Millie, maid), Mary Gordon (Mrs. Bickerdike), Maurice Black (Mir Jutra); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hal Roach; MGM; 1935)
“Filmed when Laurel and Hardy were at their peak.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Filmed when Laurel and Hardy were at their peak. The sets from The Little Minister of 1934 were used for the Scottish scenes. It has a few classic numbers that include: the boys’ impromptu dance to the tune of “A Hundred Pipers” while cleaning up the parade-grounds and when the boys try to cook a fish in their Scottish hotel room and almost burn down the place. It also comes with a romantic subplot that didn’t please some of the boys’ fans because its unresolved and purists believe such a romance has no business in the boys’s pics as it intrudes on the comedy skits. Though not the best feature made by the boys (their shorts were always better than their features, anyway), it was certainly entertaining and turned out to be their highest grossing film ever.
The American Stanley MacLaurel (Stan Laurel) stows away on a cattle boat to Scotland with his pal Ollie (Oliver Hardy), after they break out of jail, so that Stan can claim his share of his late grandfather Angus Ian MacLaurel’s estate. But the inheritance turns out to be merely a snuff box and heirloom set of bagpipes, while Angus’ granddaughter Lorna MacLaurel (June Lang) inherits the fortune making her one of the wealthiest woman in Scotland — provided she move from Scotland to India, where she and Lady Vi Ormsby (Anne Grey) will reside with Vi’s brother Colonel Gregor MacGregor (Vernon Steele). MacGregor is to be the estate trustee and Lorna’s guardian until she turns twenty-one. Lorna is reluctant to go to India and leave her law clerk boyfriend Alan Douglas (William Janney), the assistant to Mr. Miggs, who is Angus’ family lawyer and the one who read the will.
Bounced out of their lodgings for not paying the rent for three weeks, the destitute boys without overcoats after trading them for fish answer an ad to get a new suit of clothes and get tricked into joining the British army. They are placed in the Bengal Lancers and are stationed in the frontier of India, under the command of regiment leader Colonel MacGregor. After not hearing from Lorna for three months, Alan joins the same Bengal Lancer’s regiment as the boys to find Lorna. In India, the fortune-hunting Lady Ormsby has falsely led Lorna into thinking Alan no longer cares for her, and fixes her up with her brother McGregor. But Lorna finds out from the maid Millie, angry because she’s just been fired by Lady Ormsby, that Lady Ormsby never gave her the letters sent by Alan. While the romance is trying to be resolved, the Bengal Lancers learn of a scheme by the ruling Khan Mir Jutra to attack their fort. They send Ollie to impersonate McGregor and Stan, the boys’ grouchy Sergeant (James Finalyson) and Alan his staff officers at a meeting with Khan. The native rebels plan to attack the fort while the officers are absent. Stan and Ollie have no idea what’s going on, they only think they are attending a luncheon. It all ends with the soldiers stopping the ambush and the boys running into bee hives while escaping from the Khan at the luncheon. Soon the rebels are covered with bees, as will be McGregor’s troops coming to capture the Khan.
REVIEWED ON 4/12/2006 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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