Way Out West

Way Out West (1937) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson

Way Out West is one of my favorite Laurel and Hardy films, for several reasons.  It moves at a good pace, with lots of comedy both verbal and slapstick.  The film’s musical numbers actually fit well in with the story and aren’t long enough to distract from the film.  There are several classic moments, including the famous “tickling scene” between Stan Laurel and Sharon Lynn, Stan and Ollie dancing to The Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Ollie forcing Stan to eat his hat, and Stan “lighting” his thumb.

Synopsis of Way Out West

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy go to the American West to deliver a recently-deceased prospector friend’s gold mine deed to the friend’s only child, a daughter named Mary Roberts (played by Rosina Lawrence), who’s in the care of saloon keeper Mickey Finn (played by Laurel and Hardy regular Jimmy Finlayson) and his wife Lola (played by Sharon Lynn).  However, the unscrupulous Finns manage to deceive the gullible Laurel and Hardy by having Lola impersonate Mary, and take the deed.  It’s then up to Stan and Ollie to make the best of a “ticklish” situation to try and “steal” the deed back and escape from town along with Mary before the Sheriff shoots them both on sight.

Editorial review of Way Out West, starring Laurel and Hardy, courtesy of Amazon.com

One of Laurel and Hardy’s greatest efforts in the full-length form. They play a pair of unlikely prospectors whose best pal has died, leaving the deed to a rich gold mine. It’s up to them to deliver the deed to his daughter. She, however, is a scullery maid in the saloon of unsavory Jimmy Finlayson, who tries to pass off his own wife as the grieving heiress. This film includes several classic moments, including a delightful song-and-dance by L&H and a struggle over the deed itself, in which Stanley is tickled nearly to death. Try to avoid laughing at Laurel’s infectious braying–it can’t be done. —Marshall Fine

Funny movie quotes from Laurel and Hardy’s Way Out West

Sheriff: There’s one thing in this here town we don’t allow! And that’s messing with our women. Now if you want to stay healthy, you’ll catch the next coach out of town.

Oliver Hardy: Yes, sir.
Sheriff: And if you miss the next coach,
[draws revolver]
Sheriff: you’ll be riding out of here in a hearse.
[Walks away]
Stan Laurel: Goodbye.
Oliver Hardy: Let well enough alone.

Patron: Hey Finn, you’re a lucky man to have a swell gal like that.

Mickey Finn (James Finlayson): Yeah I … What are you talking about? She’s the lucky one to have a swell guy like me!

Way Out West movie poster, starring Stan Laurel and Oliver HardyMickey Finn (James Finlayson): [Every time Mickey pushes $1 on the bar’s cash register, the amount of $.10 comes up in the display; to bartender] Hey. This thing ain’t working right.
Bartender: It’s working all right for me.

Lola Marcel, the Singing Nightingale: Tell me about my dear, dear Daddy! Is it true that he’s dead?
Stan Laurel: We hope so, they buried him.

Lola Marcel: Tell, me, what did he die of?
Stan Laurel: I think he died of a Tuesday, or was it a Wednesday?

Oliver Hardy: Little Lady, you’ve heard the worst.
Oliver Hardy: Now prepare yourself for the best.

Stan Laurel: Now that you’ve got the mine, I’ll bet you’ll be a swell gold-digger.

Stan Laurel: We want to know why you’re not Mary Roberts!

Oliver Hardy: A lot of weather we’ve been having lately!

Oliver Hardy: This is another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!

Stan Laurel: That’s the first mistake we’ve made since that fellow sold us the Brooklyn Bridge.
Oliver Hardy: Buying that bridge was no mistake. That’s going to be worth a lot of money to us some day.

Stan Laurel: Your hat’s dry.
Oliver Hardy: Oh that reminds me, you made a statement this afternoon.
Stan Laurel: Did I?
Oliver Hardy: Mmm-hmmm. You said if we didn’t get the deed, you’d eat my hat.
Stan Laurel: Oh, now you’re taking me literally.
Oliver Hardy: Nevertheless, I’m going to teach you not to make rash promises.
[Puts hat in his lap]
Oliver Hardy: Eat the hat.
Stan Laurel: Oh that’s silly. Whoever heard of anybody eating a hat?
Oliver Hardy: Whoever heard of anybody doing that.
[Immitates Stan’s thumb lighter gimmick]
Oliver Hardy: Eat the hat!
Stan Laurel: [Gives it back] I won’t do it.
Oliver Hardy: [Slams it back in his lap] If you don’t eat that hat, I’ll tie you to a tree and let the buzzards get you!
Stan Laurel: Would you really do that?
Oliver Hardy: I certainly would.
[Stan says something incoherent due to him crying]
Oliver Hardy: [Showing no sympathy] Eat it.

Stan Laurel: Do you mind if I have another idea?
Oliver Hardy: If it’s anything like the last one, yes.

Stan Laurel: Wait a minute, while I spit on me hands.

Lola Marcel: [shows Finn the deed] Ha – *ha*!
Mickey Finn (James Finlayson): Ho – *ho*!
Oliver Hardy: [grabs the deed] He – *he*!

Oliver Hardy: Well, fan my brow! I’m from the South!
Mary Roberts: You are?
Stan Laurel: Well, shut my mouth! I’m from the South too!
Oliver Hardy: The South of what, sir?
Stan Laurel: The South of London.

Oliver Hardy: We’ll all go down to Dixie. Oh, for a slice of possum and yam. Mm!
Stan Laurel: Yes sir, and some good old fish and chips. I can smell ’em.
Oliver Hardy: [disgusted] Fish and chips!

Trivia for Laurel and Hardy’s Way Out West

  • In the original script, Oliver Hardy’s part is identified by the name “Babe”. This was the nickname used by Hardy’s friends and colleagues.
  • The role of Mary Roberts was originally intended for Julie Bishop.
  • Hal Roach had to come up with four different titles for the film, before finding a title that wasn’t already owned by another studio. The three discarded titles were: “You’d Be Surprised”, “Tonight’s the Night”, and “In the Money”.
  • On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine” was released as a single and charted in the UK towards the end of 1975, record number UP 36026 on United Artists.
  • At the end of the song “On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine”, Stan Laurel’s voice switches to a deep bass and then a high falsetto. These parts were dubbed by two of his co-stars, Chill Wills and Rosina Lawrence.
  • Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy perform a bit of slapstick used just two years earlier in the Dave Fleischer cartoon An Elephant Never Forgets (1935) in which Ollie tells Stan to put out his hand. Instead of whacking Stan’s hand, Ollie whacks Stan on the head as the teacher in the cartoon does to her student.
  • In an interview on Turner Classic Movies, “The Simpsons” (1989) creator Matt Groening said that Homer’s famous “Doh!” came about because Dan Castellaneta knew that James Finlayson sometimes said that in his movies, including this one. One example: when Finlayson’s character, Mickey Finn, accidentally fires his rifle in bed.
  • In a tribute to Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night (1934) Stan Laurel flags down a coach by baring his leg.
  • Tiny Sandford was originally cast as the Sheriff but was replaced by Stanley Fields shortly after shooting began. Although Sandford’s filmed footage was completely re-shot with Fields some still photos still exist showing Sandford in the role.
  • The first Laurel & Hardy film to be computer colorized in the 1980s.
  • Stan Laurel’s laughter was infectious; you can see Sharon Lynn (Lola) laughing unscripted as she tickles Stan during the hotel scene.
  • Dinah the Mule had previously “performed” with Laurel & Hardy in The Music Box (1932) and with Our Gang in “Honkey Donkey”.
  • Mickey Finn, the name of the character played by James Finlayson, is a reference to a type of drug-spiked alcoholic drink
  • The title is a spoof of the D.W. Griffith silent film, Way Down East starring Lillian Gish.

Originally published at Family Friendly Movies

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