Saturday, June 26, 2010

Way Out West

The 1937 film Way Out West was a story about riches being bestowed on a poor girl who worked in a saloon, and the attempt to steal it by her boss and his lady friend.  Sounds serious, doesn't it?  It could have been an early drama.  1937 was also the year for A Star is Born, The Good Earth, and Lost Horizon so Hollywood was making some wonderful dramas by then.

Of course, the stars of Way Out West were Laurel and Hardy, so there is not much drama here!  As the tag line reads, "A Rumble Of Roars That Ends In A Laff Riot."

The boss is played by James Finlayson, the actor who first started making the frustrated "Doh" sound, usually directly into the camera.  The young girl who really inherited the money was played by the wonderful Rosina Lawrence, and the lady friend who tried to help Fin steal the money was Sharon Lynn.

I have mentioned Rosina Lawrence before, as it was my considerable pleasure to know her.  She became a countess when she married Juvenal P. Marchisio in 1939, a NY judge and a leader in the postwar relief efforts in Italy.  After his death, she eventually married John McCabe, Stan Laurel's biographer.  Her obituary in the New York Times can be seen here.

Rosina only made 30 films, preferring to be a housewife after she married.  But she was a dancer and had a good career working with Rita Hayworth, Jean Harlow, Charley Chase, Warner Oland and others.  She was one of the teachers in several Our Gang comedies, including Bored of Education in 1936 which won an Oscar.

Sharon Lynn (or sometimes Lynne) had 32 movie roles, none were big hits, but some may be worth looking for.  In 1935 she was in Go Into Your Dance with Al Jolson and Ruby Keeler.

Most of the cast of Way Out West were regulars at Hal Roach, so you see them in Our Gang comedies, Charley Chase and L&H films.  The Avalon Boys supplied some good music, and Chill Wills provided the low voice for Stan Laurel in his big hit, In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

The mule was played by Dinah.  This was her only film.

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