Twin Screws  
23 December 1933
sound short


Director: James Parrott  Producer: Hal Roach  Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Cinematography: Kenneth Peach  Editor: William H. Terhune  Sound recording: Harry Baker

Duggie (Wakefield) is part of a boat crew who are docked in France when shipmate Jack Barty tells him that the crew can go ashore for two hours.  It's pandemonium as everybody scatters around trying to get dressed quickly.  Duggie takes to attempting to shave using a broken mirror that seems to distort his face every time he looks into it.  He then claims he doesn't want to leave the ship because he wishes to stay true to his beloved.  Barty and Billy Nelson share the same claim - and in fact the same photo!  From that point on, Barty, Wakefield and Nelson pledge a vow never to be tempted by another woman.
In a local saloon, a busty woman (Nena Quartero in an astonishing opening scene of cleavage and sexiness) is being chatted up by a drunk.  Her jealous husband steps in and deals with her admirer and warns her to behave.  The shipmates enter the bar and are immediately tempted by the female presence therein.  Barty wastes no time in cuddling up with the cleavage-popping woman, whilst Nelson is whisked away by a flirty barmaid.  The jealous husband intervenes once more with his wife, who is not accepting Barty's advances.  He warns Barty to keep away or else!  Jack protests his innocence by claiming his own girl will be arriving within three minutes, at which point the husband slams down his knife and counts with the clock...
Duggie gets chatted up by another flirtatious woman, though he doesn't even realise it!  Just when Jack's situation looks increasingly worrying, he is saved in the nick of time by a dressed-in-drag Billy, who claims to be Jack's woman.  They canoodle unconvincingly before the jealous husband throws his wife around like a rag doll and tops it off by smacking her right in the mouth (another "did I really just see that?" scene!)  Naturally, Jack repeats the gag and smacks poor Billy!
The short-tempered husband takes his wife and dances violently with her in the saloon, spinning her around like a toy aeroplane and basically just completely mistreating her in shocking fashion with utter contempt for her well being!  Not to be outdone, Jack Barty repeats the performance by manhandling Billy Nelson, even throwing him into the musical band who are playing in the corner.  Nena gets thrown into a low-hanging light fixture, just for good measure.
So, each couple tries to out-do the other with a growing level of outrageous violence until eventually poor Nena gets thrown across the room and crashes into Duggie.  He hides behind her and uses her arms to slap the husband around when he starts giving her more grief.  When he realises he has been duped, the jealous husband launches knives in Duggie's direction, before one hits the power cables and knocks out the lights.  The sailors are chased onto their boat by the knife-wielding husband, who charges at them and ends up going through the wall and into the sea.  As he struggles in the sea, the husband begs for a rope.  The guys instruct him to tie the rope around his neck and when he does, they throw down the anchor!!!

Favourite bit
Well... this didn't require a lot of thinking about!

•Production B-3 - All Star series with Douglas Wakefield and Billy Nelson.
•Some sources give a release date of December 30, 1933.
•Copyrighted December 27, 1933.
Did you notice?
•According to the caption, the film begins in Cherbourg, France.
The first shot of the film shows the deck of the boat.  Does anyone else think it looks exactly like the same boat as seen in Laurel & Hardy's The Live Ghost?
The crew had been at sea for four weeks before they dock.
Douglas Wakefield claims to have a sweetheart called Gwendolyn back in Liverpool.  He says he always carries a picture of her next to his heart, then pulls the picture out of his trousers pocket.  Strange place to keep your heart, isn't it?
•Okay, that scene with Nena Quartero in the bar with about 90% of her cleavage blatantly on show is just unbelievable!  There - I said it!
•Whoah... did Maurice Black just punch his wife in the FACE?!  Somebody please transport me back to 1933 NOW!  Something about that doesn't sit right with me!
•Apparently if you are French, the way you make love to your wife is to treat her like a rag doll and then punch her in the face.  You gotta admire the French!  Only if you are seriously warped, that is.
•The level of violence shown in the film is unbelievable.  Jack Barty literally picks up Billy Nelson, a man half his own size, and throws him in the air and onto the floor.
•Billy Nelson is the only character in the film who is referred to by a name.

Douglas Wakefield
Billy Nelson
Jack Barty
Captain's mate
Nina Quartero
Woman in bar
Maurice Black
Jealous husband
Dick Gilbert
Sailor with pipe
Bearded man who hits on Nena
Billy's girl
Duggie's girl

Acknowledgements: (
Robert Demoss (information)
Dave Stevenson (print)
Jim Dallape (still with 3 guys)
Richard  Finegan (still of Nena and Duggie)

This page was last updated on: 17 March 2015