Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy star in Sons Of The Desert, a 1933 feature that's often quoted as being one of the legendary duo's best comedies.
The plot sees the two friends, who are also next door neighbours, having to announce to their wives that they are planning to go to some convention related to the Freemasons-style organisation they're somehow a part of, whether they are given permission or not. Of course, the ladies aren't impressed and Hardy is promptly forbidden to go. This leads him to fake an illness and get Laurel to hire a doctor (or veterinarian, rather) to prescribe a stress-free holiday to Honolulu so both pals can sneak off to Chicago for the convention and make it back without their wives knowing. Unfortunately, the plan backfires when the boat that was meant to bring them home from Honolulu sinks, much to their spouses' chagrin. Laurel and Hardy are then forced to improvise by hiding out in the attic overnight.
While this may not be one of Laurel & Hardy's flashier films, it's still remembered just as fondly as the likes of Way Out West and others because, quite simply, it's that funny. Between Laurel eating wax apples, constantly tripping over his own words or feet and Hardy trying to act tough in front of his dominating wife (the excellent Mae Busch) as he clumsily falls backside-first into scolding hot water and hits his head on wooden planks repeatedly, there are a lot of laughs in this movie. The writing is particularly good here as no line is wasted and the slapstick is reliably inspired. Other memorable moments include a dated, if charming musical number and comedian Charley Chase in a fun extended cameo. Frankly, there's very little that doesn't work in Sons Of The Desert.
Fans of the iconic comedy duo will tell you this movie's a treat and, even if you're the most reluctant viewer, chances are you'll soon agree. This is a very funny, snappy and clever gem with Laurel & Hardy at their best.
Another fine mess, indeed.