HALF SHOT AT SUNRISE 1930 THE DENTIST 1932
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HALF SHOT AT SUNRISE (1930)
and THE DENTIST (1932)
HALF SHOT AT SUNRISE starring Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. Wheeler and Woolsey are a couple of soldiers who are AWOL in Paris during World War I. George McFarlane portrays the flirty Colonel Marshall who is determined to catch them. This won't be so easy since the boys manage to change their ranks and identities at will. They even manage to steal their own images from a photograph! There's plenty of lunacy and wise cracks - even a Chaplinesque skating routine and an eccentric fountain dance!
THE DENTIST starring W.C. Fields. Fields at his cantankerous best! After creating mayhem at the golf course, Fields returns home to his dental practice where he is tormented by his defiant daughter and some of the nuttiest patients to ever rinse and spit!
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Give this movie a try. You'll like it ;>)
"Half Shot at Sunrise" moves at a fast enough pace where we are never really bored. Wheeler and Woolsey get in enough funny one-liners where we really don't even care about the plot. The best Wheeler and Woolsey comedies in my opinion are the one that don't concern themselves so much with the plot but just use it as an excuse for us to watch the team. Their movies "Diplomaniacs" and "Peach-O-Reno" would be classic examples. And "Half Shot at Sunrise" follows in this tradition, although not to the same funny extent.
This was the team's fourth film together and was directed by Paul Sloane, who directed one other comedy with the team, an earlier effort called "The Cuckoos" and was co-written by an uncredited "Fatty" Arbuckle, who also happened to write "The Cuckoos" as well. It was the team's first starring role, they appeared in "Rio Rita" made a year before, but had co-starring parts.
Here however the team plays a couple of soliders who are AWOL in Paris. A Col. Marshall demands the two be captured but it seems no one can find them. So instead of fighting in the war the two are seen trying to pick up woman, disgusing themselves as soliders of higher rank. And I must admit some of the banter works.
Things become slightly more complicated though when Wheeler meets Annette, who unknown to Wheeler is the daughter of Col. Marshall, and the two fall in love. Now Annette wants the two to prove themselves to her father so she and Wheeler can get married.
Meanwhile there is an on-going gag concerning Marshall cheating on his wife (Edna May Oliver, who appeared with the team in the lesser "Cracked Nuts") with Olga (Leni Stengel) and soon Wheeler and Woolsey find out about this.
But to say more about the plot is meaningless, isn't it? Fans of the comedy team will mainly be interested in simply watching the team, which is fine by me. Plus as I mentioned before the movie is not concerned with plot, it is merely interested in setting up scenes where Wheeler and Woolsey can inject their comedy.
"Half Shot at Sunrise" rates below "Diplomaniacs", "Peach-O-Reno", "Hips, Hips, Hooray!", and "Hook, Line and Sinker" but is better than "Cracked Nuts", "Girl Crazy" and "The Nitwits". In fact almost anything is better than "The Nitwits".
Bottom-line: More enjoyable than most Wheeler and Woolsey comedies because it doesn't concern itself so much with plot. It gives the team lots of room to do their comedy, which is dated. Has a harmless quality to it and lots of spirit.