Swiss Miss (1938)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Farce  |   Run Time - 72 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

American mousetrap salesmen Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy journey to Switzerland, reasoning that where there's cheese, there's mice. When they innocently try to pay their dinner bill with phony money, Stan and Ollie are put to work in the kitchen of the Alpen Hotel. Their enforced stay coincides with the visit of famed composer Walter Woolf King, who has come to Switzerland to soak up "local color." He also hopes to write an operetta that will succeed on its own merits, without the lovely voice of his lovely actress wife Della Lynd winning over the audience. But Lynd is determined to star in King's latest opus, and to that end she finagles Stan and Ollie into getting her a job as a hotel chambermaid. As the plot rolls along its merry way, Ollie labors under the misapprehension that Lynd is in love with him. Swiss Miss is, on the whole, one of Laurel and Hardy's weaker feature films, with far too much emphasis on the romantic leads and way too many forgettable songs ("Crick Crick Crick Here the Cricket" is a particular low point). But the team's individual scenes save the show, even though Stan Laurel, who'd been ill during production, looks like he's about to fall asleep at any moment. Best bits: Stan hoodwinking a St. Bernard out of a cask of brandy; Ollie serenading Lynd while Stan accompanies him on tube; and the legendary sequence, immortalized by film critic James Agee, wherein Stan and Ollie try to transport a piano across a rope bridge high above an alpine chasm--only to confront a gorilla! One of the screenwriters of Swiss Miss was Jean Negulesco, later the director of such memorable films as Mask of Dmitrios, Three Strangers, Titanic and How to Marry a Millionaire.




accident, car, festival, friendship, on-the-road, salesperson, waiter