Way Out West (1937)

Produced by Hal Roach
Directed by James W. Horne

Featuring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Rosina Lawrence


Set against a Gay Nineties backdrop of the wild-and-woolly West, Stan and Ollie are desert rat prospectors travelling to the cow-town of Brushwood Gulch on a calling of kindness. A companion has died, for some reason entrusting these two wandering cavaliers with his deed to a valuable gold mine. Their mission -- deliver said deed to the orphaned daughter, Mary Roberts. They hitch-hike a ride when a stagecoach comes by (Laurel baring his leg to spoof Claudette Colbert in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT), and begin a mild flirtation with a reasonably attractive woman. "A lot of weather we've been having," Ollie says, beaming coyly at his captive audience. A perturbed smile is the uneasy matron's only response. Upon arrival in town, the suddenly talkative lady turns out to be the annoyed wife of the burly sheriff. He thunderously orders the twosome out of Brushwood Gulch by nightfall. Or else!


Getting right to business, the boys learn they can find Mary Roberts at Mickey Finn's saloon. In a deception obvious to everyone except Stan and Ollie, the greedy unscrupulous owner passes his dance hall-singing, POLICE GAZETTE-reading wife off as the heir in order to steal the gold mine. This brassy saloon chirp, Lola Marcel, then enacts the role of grieving daughter. "Tell me, tell me about my dear, dear daddy," Lola cries through phoney tears. "Is it true that he's dead?" she asks. "Well we hope he is," Stan makes quite clear. "They buried him." Their work done, Stan and Ollie leave and chance to meet the real Mary Roberts -- a sweet, lowly kitchenmaid -- on the way out. Now they must retrieve the deed from the same crafty, hard-boiled couple and reverse their mistake. Confronting the larcenous saloon-keeper Mickey Finn, they indignantly demand justice. Just as the sheriff walks in. He informs the two tenderheels they've just missed the last stage out of town! Dashing into the street, Stan and Ollie grab their burro and create a cloud of dust racing out of town. Undaunted, they reconnoiter, regroup, and plan to return later that evening under cover of darkness. True enough, that night they sneak back into town, storm the saloon, recover the deed, foil the nightshirted Finn, and rescue the rightful heiress from her guardians' clutches. With their troubles over, the heroes leisurely decide to accompany Mary Roberts, in song and en route, back where she was born, way down South, in Dixie.