Out of work vaudevillians join the army in WWI and head for France where they encounter an American girl (Withers) whose father (Schildkraut) is a French officer. Lots of slapstick.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Despite the presence of the Ritz Brothers, it's worth seeing.
In 1932, Laurel & Hardy made a film by the same name. And, like this 1939 film, it's about WWI and an orphan! Confusing, huh? Well, not so much because this 1939 film also features the Ritz Brothers and there is no way that this 'comedy' team would EVER be mistaken for Laurel & Hardy. Heck, they weren't even good enough to be in the same league as the Three Stooges or even Wheeler & Woolsey. I would venture to say that they were the most obnoxious and untalented comedy team in movie history! Fortunately, they are used in the film rather sparingly and it's a Jane Withers starring vehicle. However, had they been eliminated from the movie, it certainly would have been better.
The film begins with the Ritz Brothers joining the cavalry during WWI. When their unit arrives in France, they meet a nice girl, Colette--who seems VERY American. Her mother is supposed to have been an American and her father a Frenchman--but she sure sounds American! Regardless, she apparently is an orphan yet has a sweet personality--sort of the role that Shirley Temple usually handled. But, unlike Shirley, Jane later becomes more of a child hero--sneaking through the German lines in order to save the day for the Allies. Unfortunately, the Ritz Brothers tag along to help.
So is the film any good? Well, it has its flaws but the film is enjoyable as a simple time-passer. Jane helps overcome the Ritz Brothers and the overall product is decent. Plus, while these obnoxious brothers are in the film, it's fortunately in small doses and they don't anchor the movie.
By the way, the film is filled with strange anachronisms. Sure, the Germans all speak English and drive cars circa 1930s but the part that really made me laugh was when the mule gave birth to a baby mule. Mules do NOT work that way--they are sterile offspring of a horse and a donkey!
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