Hmmm…what to say about this one? Well for starters, this is not a ‘Laurel & Hardy’ comedy, it’s simply another vehicle for Stan as he easily has the staring role. Ollie is, once again, playing a small supporting role as a ‘heavy’. In this film he plays a rather unpleasant bully who is first mate on board a cargo ship. The Captain of the ship, played by Malcolm Waite, is even more unpleasant than Ollie and kidnaps the fiancee of Willie Brisling (Stan).
Stan’s character development continues to develop in this film as we see more of the big trademark smiles and also quite a bit of his animated crying routine. There’s also a delightful scene where his childish embarrassment at kissing his fiancee’s cheek sends him whirling around the room and falling over everything in sight.
Later in the same scene, the Captain tips water down Stan’s sweater causing it to bulge and slosh up and down when he moves. This ‘special effect’ puts one in mind of the ‘freak’ endings in later films such as the bloated stomach in Below Zero.
Another laugh-out-loud moment that I enjoyed was seeing the Captain grab hold of Stan a throw him around like a rag doll (Stan was substituted for something like a rag doll in mid-scene and the effect is obvious, but still very funny).
The basic plot of Why Girls Love Sailors, which was written by Hal Roach himself, is that Stan must sneak on board the boat, and rescue his beloved, once he has done away with most of the crew. He sets about doing this by dressing up as a women and using his ‘allure’ (these sailors MUST have been away at sea for a LONG time), to trick them in to following him to a quiet corner of the boat where he smacks them over the head.
Stan and Ollie do get to share a scene together, in which Ollie, who is also taken in by Stan’s drag act, does his best to woo him/her. There’s a nice bit of L&H ‘business’ during this exchange, but Stan manages to get away and gains access to the Captain’s room, where his intended, played by Viola Richard, is being held against her will.
Without going into too much detail, the film ends with the appearance of another familiar face in the L&H world. Anita Garvin makes her first appearance of many with the boys, playing the role of the Captain’s jealous wife. As usual, Garvin takes a great part and comes across as very fearsome indeed.
Stan’s quick thinking, uses Garvin to his advantage and he skips off with this fiancee, leaving the Captain to his wife’s fury (and loaded blunderbuss!).
On the whole Why Girls Love Sailors is pretty average, despite having some nice moments that true L&H fans will enjoy. Also, after watching the film, I still have no idea why girls love sailors…but I think that’s probably an irrelevance.
To watch Why Girls Love Sailors CLICK HERE
Did you enjoy Why Girls Love Sailors? Do you think my review is on the money or a little harsh? Join the discussion and share your comments below…