Monday, 16 February 2015

Way Out West (1937)

"A prospector enlists Stan (Stan Laurel) and Ollie (Oliver Hardy) to deliver the deed to a goldmine to his daughter Mary (Rosina Lawrence) in Brushwood Gulch. When they arrive in the small village and enter the local saloon, Mary's sinister guardian (Sharon Lynne) pretends to be Mary, thus fooling the hapless duo into handing over the deed. Upon meeting the real Mary, the pair realizes their mistake and sets about getting the deed into the rightful owner's hands."

'Way Out West' is perhaps one of the best Laurel & Hardy films; fans and film critics alike hold the film in high regard and for good reason. The film takes place in the west; a land untamed and made strictly for 'MEN'. Stan and Ollie are the polar opposites of what the West embodies, it challenged Americans perception of the West but only to certain degree, the film still upholds traditional western values and if the ending is anything to go by, the West is still only for MEN. The ending sees both Stan and Ollie fleeing the Western town dodging numerous gunshots. 

To look at this film in terms of the representation of the West, one only has to look at the plot to see that this is your classic western regardless of its genre. The cruel yet exciting nature of the film shows the audience everything they want to see from a western. When Mary is impersonated, it is a way of showing the audience the pure wickedness of the West. You must be cunning if you wish survive.

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