- Ax 2013
Lewis Lewyn, Harry Rapf, Walt Disney (animated sequence) for MGM
directed by Richard Boleslawski, Allan Dwan, Edmund Goulding, Russell Mack, Charles Reisner, Roy Rowland, George Stevens, Sam Wood
starring Jimmy Durante, Jack Pearl, Lupe Velez, George Givot, Eddie Quillan, June Clyde, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Polly Moran, Charles Butterworth, Richard Carle, Robert Young, Edwin Maxwell, Leonid Kinskey, Tom London, Jeanne Olsen, the Three Stooges (= Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard), Walt Disney (voice)
story by Edgar Allan Woolf, screenplay by Howard Dietz, Arthur Kober, music by William Axt
Laurel and Hardy, Münchhausen, Mickey Mouse, Three Stooges
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Schnarzan (Jimmy Durante) is the king of the jungle - but only in the
movies, in real life he's a filmstar in decline because the lions in his
jungle flicks just don't look real enough. Fortunately though, lionhunter
baron Münchhausen presently pays Hollywood a visit, and he's got plenty
of lions with him, so Schnarzan throws him a big party which is attended
by all of Hollywood, even Mickey Mouse (who introduces a Technicolor
sequence in this otherwise black and white flick) - and also by
Schnarzan's fiercest rival on the jungle flick market, Liondora (George
Both Schnarzan and Liondora try to catch the attention of
oilking Clemp (Charles Butterworth), the only one in Hollywood rich enough
to buy the lions, and his wife (Polly Moran) - but then out of the blue
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy show up and turn out to be the actual owners
of the lions, and eventually, the two of them release the animals on the
party guests, and even Schnarzan has to wrestle a lion for real, when ...
Durante wakes up, and it was all just a dream.
Lupe Velez plays a
partycrasher, who eventually gets into a hilariously slowed-down food
fight with Laurel and Hardy, and the Three Stooges play autograph hunters,
but don't get all that much to do. Eddie Quillan and June Clyde play the
obligatory romantic couple, but their story leads nowhere.
comedy, part revue movie, this film is mostly a mess: Despite some
imaginative song-and-dance numbers (including one featuring scantily clad
female telephone operators) and a (actually rather brutal) Disney-cartoon,
this is without real highlights on the revue side, while on the comedy
side, this has little to offer besides above-mentioned intentionally
weirdly paced food fight between Lupe Velez and Laurel and Hardy. And the
film's lead Jimmy Durante seems to have been caught on one of his worse
days. As for a script, there is a story involved, but it leads nowhere.
this was intended to become something much bigger, but a constant change
of directors and other studio problems seriously sabotaged the project
almost from square one.
All that said, if you're into major studio
pictures from the 1930's, you will doubtlessly want to see this regardless
from what I may say, and since this film does have at least a few
highlights, you will not be totally disappointed.