Thursday, December 29, 2011

Friday, December 29, 1933

I cleaned up the house. Baked a marble cake. Mother made doughnuts. I played with Betty.

Sons of the Desert
Sons of the Desert
Starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Directed by William A. Seiter
Released on December 29, 1933

 Sons of the Desert is regarded as one of Laurel and Hardy's greatest films. In the
United Kingdom the film was originally released under the title Fraternally Yours.

Plot Summary:

Lodge members Laurel and Hardy take a solemn oath to attend the 80th-annual Sons of the Desert
Convention (read: annual binge) in Chicago. That is, Ollie takes the oath, but Stanley balks. When
asked why, Stanley answers that he's afraid his wife won't let him go. Ollie is appalled: "Every man
must be king in his own castle." But when Ollie meekly brings up the subject of the convention with
his wife Lollie (Mae Busch), she soon dethrones the "king." Lollie wants to take a vacation in the
mountains, and is dead-set against her husband going around "with a pack of hooligans."

 But Ollie is determined to attend the convention, and to that end cooks up a scheme with Stanley.
Ollie will pretend to be deathly ill; Stan will fix it so the doctor will prescribe a trip to Honolulu.
Knowing that his wife can't stand going on sea voyages, Ollie will request that Stan accompany
 him to Hawaii--then, both men will sneak off to Chicago. A few hitches notwithstanding (Stan
hires a veterinarian instead of a doctor, explaining that he didn't think the man's religion would make
 any difference), the boys go to the convention, where they cut up royally with practical joker
Charley Chase.

Alas, the Honolulu-bound boat on which Stan and Ollie are supposed to be travelling is sunk in a
typhoon. While the grief-stricken wives are at the steamship company attempting to find out if
their husbands survived the sea disaster, Stan and Ollie arrive home, wearing leis and carrying
pineapples as "evidence" of their Honolulu vacation. When the boys find out about the shipwreck,
they desperately try to escape to a hotel, but the wives arrive home prematurely, forcing Stan and Ollie
 to camp out in the attic. It looks as though the boys might just get away with their new plan of coming
home at the same time that the rescue boats arrive....until Lollie Hardy and Betty Laurel
(Dorothy Christie), attending a picture show, are treated to the spectacle of their husbands
cavorting merrily before the newsreel cameras covering the Sons of the Desert conclave in Chicago.

The film's final ten minutes are priceless--especially the bit about "ship-hiking."

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