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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Laurel & Hardy's second starring vehicle for 20th Century-Fox is arguably their weakest feature film, with the laughs few and far between. Broke as usual, the duo is given 24 hours to get out of town by the local constabulary. In dire need of travelling expenses, they take a job accompanying a coffin to Dayton, Ohio. Unbeknownst to our heroes, the coffin contains a live gangster: one Darby Mason (James Bush), who wants to get to Dayton to claim an inheritance without risking arrest by the Feds. Chugging towards their destination by train, Stan and Ollie lose their money to a pair of slick con artists but are bailed out by another passenger, Dante the Magician (played by "himself", aka Harry A. Janssen), who takes a liking to the boys and hires him as assistants for his magic act. It so happens that one of Dante's illusions involves a coffin -- and you guessed it, this coffin gets mixed up with the one bearing Darby Mason. Aside from a few slapstick contributions to Dante's stage act, Laurel & Hardy barely have any purpose in this picture at all: to paraphrase L&H buff Randy Skretvedt, the two comedians have been reduced to supporting players in their own film. A-Haunting We Will Go seemed much funnier when it was cut from 67 to 9 minutes and released to the 8-millimeter home movie market back in the mid-1960s.



gangster, burial, coffin, con/scam, corpse, ghost, magic