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SONS OF THE DESERT (director/writer: William A. Seiter; screenwriters: story by Frank Craven/Byron Morgan; cinematographer: Kenneth Peach; editor: Bert Jordan; music: William Axt; cast: Stan Laurel (Stanley Laurel), Oliver Hardy (Oliver Hardy), Mae Busch (Mrs. Lottie Chase Hardy), Dorothy Christy (Mrs. Betty Laurel), Lucien Littlefield (Dr. Horace Meddick), Charley Chase (Charley Chase), John Elliott (Exalted Ruler); Runtime: 69; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hal Roach; MGM; 1933)
“It’s my favorite Laurel and Hardy feature film.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

It’s essentially a remake of the long-lost Laurel and Hardy silent short called Hats Off (1927). William A. Seiter (“Rafter Romance”/”Chance at Heaven”/”The Lady Wants Mink”) directs this delightful comedy from the winning long-running comedy team started in 1927 of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, a team most critics consider the best comic duo ever. It’s my favorite Laurel and Hardy feature film.

The story revolves around Los Angeles henpecked husbands Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy taking a solemn oath from their Exalted Ruler (John Elliott) to attend the annual convention of their fraternal order, the Sons of the Desert, in Chicago. When Oliver’s domineering wife, Lottie Chase Hardy (Mae Busch), refuses to let him go, he comes up with a plan to deceive both her and Stan’s duck hunting, rifle toting wife Betty Laurel (Dorothy Christy). Oliver has Stan accompany him on an ocean voyage to Honolulu while he recovers from a supposed rare tropical illness, after a veterinary doctor (Lucien Littlefield) tells his wife the best cure is a stay in Hawaii. Problems arise for the boys when the L.A. papers have the headline “HONOLULU LINER SINKING! FOUNDERING IN TYPHOON.” That’s the ship the boys are supposed to be on during their return from Hawaii. The news reports that all passengers are rescued by a sister ship and are on their way back to Los Angeles tomorrow. The distraught wives go to the movies, where they catch their wayward hubbies in a newsreel frolicking for the camera and can’t wait to question them when they get home.

A must see for Laurel and Hardy fans.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”