A-Haunting We Will Go (1942)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Comedy, Slapstick  |   Run Time - 67 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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At the nadir of their later screen careers, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy find themselves completely wasted in this the team's second comedy for 20th Century Fox, a routine gangster thriller into which their well-known personas stand out like sore thumbs. Directed by the unimaginative Alfred Werker and scripted by Lou Breslow, who apparently was in the mistaken belief that he was writing for Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, A-Haunting We Will Go is not only unfunny, it violates a sacred cinema rule: never use trick photography when presenting a magic act. The magician in question is an elderly gent known as Dante (Harry A. Jansen) and his less than startling thespian ability slows the already leisurely paced comedy to a crawl. In addition to Dante, there are the typical dumb-ox comedy gangsters, a pretty girl (Sheila Ryan, who also appeared in Stan and Ollie's previous, and slightly better effort Great Guns), an imperiled heir (John Shelton), and a couple of comedic train porters (Mantan Moreland and Willie Best). Unlike the majority of the cast, the latter actually have at least a modicum of chemistry with Laurel and Hardy, and their scenes together remain mildly amusing. Despite all these caveats, A-Haunting We Will Go reportedly pleased a war-weary audience in 1942.