Series: Patsy Kelly & Lyda Roberti

Director: Gus Meins
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: William H. Ziegler
Sound: Earl Sitar

Stars: Patsy Kelly, Lyda Roberti, Toby Wing, Harry Bowen, Jim Thorpe, Sam Adams
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 24 April 1936
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: A-40
Filming dates:
Rating: 5/10


Available on DVD:

Toby is reading a book, A Thousand Ways To Catch A Millionaire when Lyda returns to the apartment complaining about not being able to find a job. A knock at the door and a cop aks if Miss Kelly lives there before two ambulance attendants bring her in on a stretcher with her wailing! Apparently she fainted on Broadway. But as soon as the cop leaves Patsy springs to life and explains that she wasn't prepared to walk all the way home in her bare feet. After stuffing some newspaper in the hole of her shoe Toby notices the headline about a guy who survived in the woods which gives her the idea that the girls could do the same in order to gain publicity. Toby envisions the whole thing in her head.
The photographers, led by Joe (Harry Bowen) gather as Patsy and Lyda arrive in the forest by car and after some light-hearted banter the girls disappear into the woods to begin their survival. Toby and Joe secretly reveal they will wait for an hour and then return which they do to retrieve camping equipment for the girls which has been concealed in the bushes. As it starts to get dark the girls decide to start a fire: Patsy tries rubbing two rocks together while Lyda uses sticks. Neither has much success until Patsy throws what's left of her rock onto Lyda's pile of sticks which ignites a fire! Lyda invites Patsy over to the fire to keep warm but Patsy is happy to stay where she is; until a large wild cat scares her away into the woods.
The next morning Patsy wakes up in a tree as Lyda swings from one of its branches. Lyda mistakes a turkey for an ostrich and Patsy thinks it's an native Indian and they both flee. Meanwhile, Toby and Joe find real native Indians in the woods and seek their assistance for some blankets and food for the girls. When the girls see the Indians Patsy is worried they will try and scalp her but they instead give them their survival equipment and leave. Patsy and Lyda get organised by erecting their tent and Patsy preparing food. She calls for Lyda and hears an echo. Fascinated by this (and after Patsy explains to Lyda what an echo actuallys is) Lyda gives it a try for herself and she hears her own echo. But when Patsy tries again, "Yoo hoo, how are you?" is a high-pitched shrill. "Yoo hoo, I'm fine" comes the reply.
Out of the bushes appears an elderly bearded man who has lost his horse. The girls are petrified but decide to humour him. The strange man demands that Patsy gets on the horse so she does so, but he tells her off for getting on it backwards. (And you thought Lyda Roberti was odd?) Lyda also is told to get on the horse as the stranger assures them the horse is "as gentle as a kitten". The girls try to ride away on the imaginary horse but its owner calls them back, holds out his arms in a circle and tells them to jump the horse through it. Yes, you have to see it to believe it. He tells them off again for standing on the horse's tail before vanishing back into the bushes from where he originally came. Odd. The film comes to its conclusion as the girls come out of the woods to be greeted by the photographers. But things have gone to their heads as Patsy begins acting strange (nothing new there then) as she believes she is riding the horse and then accuses Lyda of scaring it away. That's not the only thing; her behaviour scares the photographers away!

Favourite bit
Patsy pretending to faint and conning the ambulance men to carry her on a stretcher all the way from 42nd street simply because she didn't want to walk home in bare feet.

Copyrighted June 25, 1936.
This was the second and last film in the series.
Working title: Ha Ha Wilderness. One of the photographers jokingly calls Patsy "Mini Ha Ha" when he speaks with her.
The apartment in which the girls live is set in New York.
The newspaper article says that Patsy and Lyda were formerly with Zinsky's Burlesque.
When Patsy and Lyda are sitting on the log in the woods, Lyda suddenly stretches her arms out and knocks Patsy off. As Patsy falls backwards she shows a heck of a lot of her upper legs! Screenshots here.
David Sharpe has a brief role in the film as one of the men carrying Patsy on the stretcher. It is possible he performed the stunt when Patsy falls out of the tree?
Is it just me or is Lyda Roberti just a little bit nuts in this film?
My opinion
I know it's supposed to be a comedy, and I know it's supposed to be funny, but it just seems that for the most part the girls don't take things seriously enough. Lyda Roberti is borderline nuts with her hard-to-understand accent and her annoying mannerisms, and Patsy for once plays the straight role but even she overacts most of her scenes. The outdoors scenes were obviously shot on a sound stage (you can hear the echo of the spoken dialogue which indicates an enclosed surrounding) and the entire film flatlines very early on. Watchable, but forgettable.

Patsy Kelly
Lyda Roberti
Toby Wing
Harry Bowen
Jim Thorpe
First Indian
Sam Adams
James C. Morton
David Sharpe
Ambulance attendant
Ronald R. Rondell
Ambulance attendant
Ernie Alexander
Jack Egan
Barney Carr
Polly Chase


CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

The Hal Roach Comedy Shorts Of Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly by James L. Neibaur (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Polly Chase, Barney Carr and Jack Egan)

This page was last updated on: 24 April 2020