Monday, April 11, 2011

Jason goes to the Niles Film Museum and sees SONS OF THE DESERT

SONS OF THE DESERT isn't just the name of a hilarious Laurel and Hardy film, it's also the name of the official Laurel and Hardy film appreciation society (not a fan club, by the express wishes of Stan Laurel they don't have a fan club, but a film appreciation society), and once a month the local "tent" (the MIDNIGHT PATROL tent) meets at the Niles Film Museum and hosts an afternoon of Laurel and Hardy/Our Gang talkies. And yesterday they played SONS OF THE DESERT.

But first, a couple of shorts:

ARBOR DAY (1936): Our Gang celebrates Arbor Day with a pageant and tree-planting ceremony. Of course wacky hijinx ensue. And a couple of midgets escaped from the circus get in on the act. Plus it has future Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel in a brief (but speaking) role as Buckwheat's mother.

BUSY BODIES (1933): One of the most plotless but funniest Laurel and Hardy shorts--they go to their job in a lumber mill and totally wreck the place. Awesome!

And finally the feature, SONS OF THE DESERT (1933): Laurel and Hardy are in a fraternal organization and take an oath to join the national convention in Chicago. Now they just need their wive's permission. Or failing that, they need to get there without their wives knowing. Hilarious, and a great supporting role by under-appreciated comic Charley Chase.

Total Running Time: 107 minutes
My Total Minutes: 231,439

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