The Soilers (1923)

  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

This two-reel travesty of Rex Beach's oft-filmed story The Spoilers was not appreciated in its day -- several critics noted that it was one of Stan Laurel's weaker films for Hal Roach. Modern-day audiences find it funnier, perhaps because a later sound version of The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Randolph Scott is more accessible than some of the other silent pictures he lampooned. In any case, Laurel plays the Roy Glennister character as Bob Canister. Canister has a gold mine that is wanted by his rival, I. Smacknamara (James Finlayson as a comic version of Alex McNamara). Things come to a head when Canister blows up Smacknamara's mine. Finally, in a climatic ending, the two men come to blows. In The Spoilers, this was a show-stopping moment, and all action in the town halts as everyone watches the two men brutally duke it out. In The Soilers, nobody cares -- the guys beat each other to a pulp and the townsfolk are completely oblivious...except for one particular cowboy. When Canister emerges victorious, the cowboy sighs effeminately and announces that Bob is his hero.