Series: All Stars w/Laurel and Hardy

Director: Fred L. Guiol
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker

Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Anita Garvin
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 28 August 1927
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: S-21
Filming dates: March 14-30, 1927
Rating: 2/10

With Love And Hisses

Available on DVD:

Captain Bustle (James Finlayson) arrives at the train station with a girl on each arm. As he makes his way through the station he is immediately tripped by a suitcase. The captain looks straight at his top sergeant Banner (Oliver Hardy) and issues a summons for him to report the following night. The suitcase is then picked up and carried off by its real owner, soldier Cuthbert Hope (Stan Laurel). The sergeant demands that the soldier also reports to him the next night. As both the sergeant and Cuthbert board a train the sergeant's attention is given to the two beautiful ladies waving in his direction from the platform. Banner casually strolls over to them before realising they are in fact waving to the captain. The captain tells Banner off again as soldier Cuthbert tries to find an empty berth on the train. Unable to find a spot he instead takes up his seat in the captain's private room on the train and makes himself comfortable. Banner finds him and berates the officer a second time before kicking him out and taking up his own residence in the captain's seat.
Captain Bustle fights his way through a carriage full of soldiers to find Sergeant Banner in his quarters and having eaten the entire contents of a fruit basket which was intended for himself. Naturally, the sergeant receives yet another telling off. Meanwhile soldier Cuthbert finds himself seated with fellow soldiers who like to eat garlic and fall asleep on him. (Jerry Mandy's garlic sandwich looks positively disgusting, something to behold and not to be attempted!) The captain retires to his bed after a bout of exercise whilst Cuthbert is offered a cake by his fellow soldier with the appetite! When he gets the chance to do so Cuthbert throws the pie out of the window. It lands in the face of Captain Bustle in the next compartment. Still the hungry soldier opposite continues to stuff his face with all the most unappealing foods possible which eventually leads to Cuthbert having to put on a gas mask to combat the odour.
The next morning at Reveille it seems that Cuthbert Hope fails to comprehend the most basic instruction from the captain and even starts flirting with the captain? The utterly thick-as-shit private Cuthbert is on parade and doing the complete opposite of what is instructed of him (an overlong and embarrassing scene the viewer is forced to endure for several minutes). Laurel's dim-wit character faces the wrong way, throws his rifle at his commanding officer and objects strongly to any form of discipline until eventually he begins crying and walks off. The sergeant calls him back and they are ordered to march until they ache by the angry captain. As Cuthbert follows the group out of the camp he trips on the captain's tent and wrecks it. Eight soliders, including Cuthbert march off down a dusty track until Cuthbert complains about his sore feet and refuses to obey any more orders.
The group spy a small pond and quickly discard their uniforms in a bush and all jump into it. Everybody that is, except poor Cuthbert who is told by the sergeant that he must guard the clothes and is therefore forced to watch the others having fun. The sergeant discards his cigarette and jumps into the pond naked. Cuthbert does the same shortly afterwards and the sergeant isn't impressed. Back at camp and Major General Rohrer shows up to inspect the troops. The bugle is blown and the swimming officers quickly jump out of the pool to discover their clothes have been ruined in a fire. They see a couple of ladies riding horses and try to hide behind a movie billboard to conceal their modesties until they are interrupted by a skunk which causes them all to flee and disturb a bees nest. The men, still hiding naked behind the board carry it back to camp, followed by the bees which cause havoc amongst the other soldiers. The film ends with the soldiers marching off with swollen backsides.

Favourite bit
I honestly could not find one single moment in the film to choose for this section so I went with this one bit where Hardy has his hand on Stan's shoulder as they hear the call from camp for them to return.

Copyrighted May 18, 1927.
Released under Hal Roach's "All Star" banner.
I think we can surmise that Josephine Dunn is not in the film, it's Eve Southern in the role that earlier was thought to be Josephine's. It doesn't make any sense for Miss Dunn to have played a very small role in a Roach two-reeler, as she was receiving prominent billing in Paramount features at the time. Comparing pictures of her to Eve Southern, there is a pronounced resemblance, so I can understand the mistake, but it's definitely Eve in the L&H film, not Josephine. [Randy Skretvedt]
Charlie Hall is seen very briefly in the film, firstly in the opening scene, shaking hands with a woman on the train (who is in the carraige), and again after about 1 minute in, talking at the railway station to Viola Richard.
As the train pulls away from the station Eve Southern is seen waving goodbye and placing her left hand over her chest. It is possible she did this because in the scene just before it you can clearly see quite a bit of her cleavage.
When Stan Laurel throws the pie out of the window and into Finlayson's face you can see a hand on the side of the window throwing the pie. This wasn't meant to be seen.
The magazine that James Finlayson is reading is the March 1927 issue of Lariat Story.
The big advertisement board seen in the second half of the film is advertising a Cecil B. De Mille film called "The Volga Boatman" which was released in 1926.
My opinion
Without any doubt whatsoever this is a terrible film. It's completely devoid of humour, completely lacking in comedy and incredibly lacklustre, tedious and tiresome. The scene with Laurel on parade and Finlayson reprimanding him is excruciating to watch. If there is any person who finds this one remotely funny then try and humour them for being so easily entertained by mediocrity. It just means they like the simple things in life. It might also be a real obvious sign they need a lobotomy. Absolutely awful.

Stan Laurel
Cuthbert Hope
Oliver Hardy
Top Sergeant Banner
James Finlayson
Captain Bustle
Anita Garvin
Captain Bustle's first girlfriend
Viola Richard
Woman at station
Frank Brownlee
Major General Rohrer
Jerry Mandy
Man with voracious appetite
Eve Southern
Captain Bustle's second girlfriend
Will Stanton
Sleeping soldier
Charlie Hall
Chet Brandenburg
Soldiering rookie
Nita Cavalier
Girl on horse
Frank Saputo


CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

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Chris Bungo's "Then & Now" video presentation

Laurel And Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Robin Cook (identification of Nita Cavalier)
Stan Taffel (Kodascope title card)
Peter Mikkelsen (6 stills)
Syeve Wright (information on the Lariat Story magazine)

This page was last updated on: 05 March 2022