HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hook Line and Sinker Hotel Hysteria
Year: 1930
Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee, Ralph Harolde, Jobyna Howland, Natalie Moorhead, Hugh Herbert, George F. Marion, Stanley Fields, William B. Davidson
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Insurance salesmen Boswell (Bert Wheeler) and Ganzy (Robert Woolsey) are pedalling their tandem along the road when they hear a siren and a motorcycle cop appears, pulling them over. He tells them they're going to get a ticket for a traffic violation, but the fast-talking duo manage to distract him with one of their policies; as Ganzy does so, another driver draws up and stops to wait for them to finish. Sensing another business opportunity, Boswell is dispatched to discuss a policy with her, finds out she is rich heiress Mary Marsh (Dorothy Lee), and before they know it they have decided to help with her hotel...

The comedy team of Wheeler and Woolsey truly belonged to another era of entertainment, not least because in film in the 21st Century the notion of a Hollywood comedy team who regularly made big screen appearance seems so archaic. In television, for whatever reason, it remained common up to a point, but for the movies it was as if there came a stage when comedians settled on vehicles which highlighted themselves as solo performers, or would see them coupled with another star for wider box office appeal - just not over and over again. There was of course another reason why this particular team seemed rather past it.

Not back in the thirties, when Wheeler and Woolsey could boast a level of success up there with the likes of Laurel and Hardy and The Marx Brothers - indeed, Hook Line and Sinker was one of the biggest hits of its year, and helped to keep its studio RKO afloat as the Depression began to bite across the nation. Their humour had a reputation for being far more risque than many of their contemporaries, a quality which dipped once the censorious Production Code was put in place and caused it to grow broader and more toned down; that said, even watching something like this among their Pre-Code titles it surprising what was considered near the knuckle to our modern eyes.

Sure, there are a few mild double entendres, and one character keeps calling Ganzy "Pansy" much to his chagrin, but jokes would get away with a lot more decades later. Opinion is split on Hook Line and Sinker anyway: although it was one of their biggest hits, there are those who don't regard it as their best, and it's true it is somewhat in the shadow of The Marx Brothers' breakthrough from the previous year, the similarly hotel set The Cocoanuts. It could be what audiences found amusing then has not endured, and that Wheeler and Woolsey remain of largely academic interest to students of the era, though even then they are fairly forgotten except amongst the diehards.

This was not a double act with a straight man, as both shared the comic lines, though they had fairly well crafted personas, with Wheeler the more childlike one and Woolsey the go-getter who leads them both into their schemes. In this case it's the hotel business, which for added complication is where gangsters stash their loot in the basement, which was not a problem until Boswell and Ganzy spruced it up and planted stories in the media that it was actually the haunt of the rich. Their ruse works and soon they are enjoying the presence of the great and good, who place their valuables in the safe, which becomes the main target of the criminals when they show up to sort things out to their satisfaction. It was basic stuff, merely an excuse to stage various skits very typical of the era, though vintage comedy fans might be interested to spot Hugh Herbert before he adopted his "Woo-hoo!" catchphrase as the house detective. It all ends in a big shootout, an action flavoured climax which at least livens it up.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2022 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: