Written and filmed October-November, 1932. Released December, 1932. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by George Marshall. Two reels.

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Billy Gilbert.   

STORY: Fish peddlers Laurel and Hardy decide to buy a boat so they can catch their own fish, eliminate the middleman, and have the profits go to the fish. They buy a rundown old boat, and have little success at repairing and painting it.


JL:  What Hog Wild is to you, this one is to me. As funny a 20 minutes as there ever was in all of film comedy. I especially like the fact that, more so than any other of their plotless playing-with-tools films, this one is more than just great gags. With about two minutes of dialogue and eighteen minutes of silence (save for banging, pounding, splashing and Ollie's screams for help), they get to the core of their characters and their relationship as much as ever, perhaps more so. In fact, I can't think of a single gag here that doesn't result from their characters. Motivated, character-based slapstick, as opposed to Ollie simply falling in the mud for the sake of a quick laugh. The entire water-splashing sequence with the bucket and the hose is about as perfectly timed as visual humor can get. And they make it look so damn easy. I'll leave it at that, since if I tried to analyze my favorite moments in the film, I'd have to go into all of them.

JB:This film is damned brilliant from the first frame to the fade out. This is where the Boys were really at their best --- hitting each other, playing with tools and paint, destroying things.  The scene where Ollie compares their bickering to children and the devolves into "You started it" ---"No, I didn't" is as wonderful a moment in comedy as you'll find anywhere. Perfectly timed, perfectly in character, and perfectly hilarious.

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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