12/4/16

PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES - REVIEW


Released in 1932, Pack Up Your Troubles was Laurel & Hardy's second feature film and it threw the clueless duo in the middle of WWI as they are sent to fight in the trenches despite them initially trying to dodge the draft.

They are quickly found to be incompetent and are sent to work in the kitchens but they eventually redeem themselves by (accidentally, of course) capturing a whole bunch of enemies when they take over a tank and ride it out-of-control over the trenches. When one of their soldier buddies is killed in action, Stan and Ollie have a new mission: take care of his little girl until they can find her grandfather. Most Laurel & Hardy features tend to be just farce but this one has a bit more heart and is therefore more reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin's films like The Kid or City Lights. There's something refreshing about seeing Stan and Ollie actually care about someone else and do everything they can, however clumsily, to see their good deed through.

The little girl in question, played by Jacquie Lyn, is pretty adorable and her friendship with Laurel & Hardy is a joy. Pack Up Your Troubles never gets cheesy, thankfully, and even when our heroes are doing something honourable, they still find a way to do it in the most monumentally stupid way possible. Whether it's physically visiting every single Mr. Smith in town instead of just calling them or mistakenly robbing a bank when asking for a loan in order to not let the little girl get sent to an orphanage. This movie rarely makes people's Top 5 Best Laurel & Hardy Movies lists but it really should: it may not be the funniest but it's definitely one of their best.

Unlike A Chump At Oxford, which really felt like 3 shorts roughly linked together, Pack Up Your Troubles is one well-told story with laughs and heart in equal amounts. I would definitely recommend you check this one out, whether you're a fan of Laurel & Hardy or not.

Good stuff.

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