THE BIG NOISE (1944)
Article #895 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-27-2003
Posting Date: 1-24-2004
Directed by Mal St. Clair
Featuring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Doris Merrick
The boys are hired by an inventor to protect a new bomb.
Even at their worst, Laurel and Hardy were such natural comedians and such likeable characters that they still manage to raise a smile or two, which is more than some comedians do at their best. It’s a good thing, too; this movie may be the weakest thing they’ve ever done. The boys look tired this time out, and some of the gags are forced and obvious (there is a segment involving the boys undressing in a bed aboard a railroad car that goes on forever), and there are occasional stretches where they vanish from the story altogether. Nonetheless, there is still the occasional bright gag that works, the odd comic line that gets a laugh, and the simple joy of watching these two characters. The best gag involves some super earplugs that cut off all sound. The science fiction elements include the bomb itself, as well as several rather eccentric inventions and a remote-control plane. This is certainly not the best place to start with Laurel and Hardy, but it isn’t a total waste of time, either.