Beau Hunks (1931) Poster


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Hal Roach's personal favorite
ottermole28 August 2002
In 1980 I had the good fortune to be invited to the home of legendary motion picture producer HAL E. ROACH. I was there to show him a few films I made, hoping for some good advice. We talked about many things, including Laurel & Hardy.

I then asked Mr. Roach what his all-time favorite Laurel & Hardy film was. After a thoughtful pause, he replied: "BEAU HUNKS."

In 1939 BEAU HUNKS was remade as FLYING DEUCES (not by Roach) during a temporary lapse in the boys' contracts. The story must have been a favorite of theirs as well.

BEAU HUNKS is an odd length (37 minutes), not too long and not too short. A classic which stands alone as one of Laurel & Hardy's most inspired films. No spoilers in this review, but if you are an L&H fan, seek out Hal Roach's personal favorite and you'll be glad you did!
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Really funny – good routines and running gags
bob the moo31 December 2002
Spurned by his beautiful fiancée, Oliver decides to take Stanley and join the foreign legion. Once there he finds his fiancée has travelled more than him and decides to leave, but it is too late. The pair go off on training but then the siege of a nearby fort in the desert means they will see more action than expected.

One of the best things about Christmas is that the TV channels need to fill the schedules with films etc that feel different from the usual daytime stuff they cram on. One of the ways they do this is mini-seasons of work from various people or themes etc. One such this year has been Laurel and Hardy films and I'm very glad. This film was one I hadn't seen before but it was very funny.

The film has really good set pieces but also a running gag that I didn't see coming so I won't spoil it for anyone else. I'm a big fan so I may be a little biased but I be surprised is anyone sat through this without laughing at least a few times. Both the leads are on top form and both have their little things that get me every time – Oliver's looks to camera and Stan's double takes at innocent objects in the background.

Overall this is pure gold with hardly a slow moment, even the jokes that were signposted as coming (the spring in the chair) made me laugh out loud. Good for fans and non-fans alike.
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Not the funniest but one of the best written Laurel & Hardy comedy shorts.
Boba_Fett11386 September 2006
Can you even call this a comedy short? The movie is nearly 40 minutes long and it actually features a plot line. Anyway, short or long feature, this movie is a well written and directing one which makes this movie a very enjoyable and comical great movie.

After once again being letdown in love, Oliver Hardy signs up with the Foreign Legion to forget his problems. Of course he drags Stan Laurel along with him. Once joined, they get into the middle of a battle between the Foreign Legion troops and a tribe of Arabs. This plot line doesn't sound unfamiliar for the Laurel & Hardy fans, since this theme is used in a dozen of other Laurel & Hardy pictures. Still "Beau Hunks" is a original movie on its own, mainly because its a well written and directed one.

The movie has some really great and comical dialog. It doesn't rely so much on its slapstick humor but that doesn't mean this movie is any less fun than other Laurel & Hardy comedy shorts.

Also its action and scale is quite nice which helps to make this movie one of the most impressively good looking shorts.

The acting is great. Of course Laurel & Hardy are great as ever and so is the impressing Charles Middleton, who still is best known for playing Emperor Ming in the Flash Gordon movies from the '30's. Also fun was to see Jean Harlow as the woman in the picture, who is a important returning element in the movie. It's nice to see the boys paying homage to the then already famous Jean Harlow, with who they worked together in the silent comedy short "Double Whoopee". Director James W. Horne also plays a small part in the movie. The only Laurel & Hardy movie in which he appears as an actor. The movie is further more filled with a whole bunch of Laurel & Hardy regulars in bit parts such as Baldwin Cooke, Charlie Hall, Jack Hill, among others.

A very well made that also is fun to watch as well. Highly recommendable!

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Joining The Foreign Legion With Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy
Ron Oliver6 April 2000
A LAUREL & HARDY Comedy Short.

Suffering from a failed love affair, Ollie drags Stan off to join the French Foreign Legion. Once in the desert, their merry mix ups cause much mayhem. The BEAU HUNKS are soon sent to relieve an isolated fort, but arrive just in time to endure a fierce Arab attack...

A bit longer & more elaborate than most of the Boys' short subjects. Stan & Ollie were excellent at this kind of farce; they provide lots of laughs as they try to act like competent Legionaries. As an added treat, Ollie gets to sing 'I Love You' in that wonderfully nostalgic high tenor voice of his.
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One-two combination
zico-724 September 1999
Each short or longer Laurel & Hardy movie is a classic in my view. The Laurel & Hardy tandem is unmatched in movie-history and in my opinion the majority of today's movie makers and writers can learn lots from L & H. They don't have Charly Chaplin's brilliance, but they are good! And funny! Their gags, faces, fights, accidents and disasters are hilarious and bring a smile to my face each time I watch. This time Hardy drags Laurel into a Foreign Legion adventure, because of a heartache and that gives plenty of room for these two legendary comedians to move! My advice: don't underestimate L&H movies!
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Choice Sample of Hunks
bkoganbing2 January 2008
If as another reviewer says that Beau Hunks was Hal Roach's personal favorite of the many Laurel&Hardy shorts he produced, it certainly is a very good choice. Roach must have liked it because he expanded it later on in the decade to a full length feature film, Flying Deuces.

Poor Ollie is pining over his lost love because his Jeanie Weanie is getting married so to forget his troubles he joins the Foreign Legion, dragging along poor Stanley behind him. Of course as it turns out Jeanie Weanie is Jean Harlow who's sent these loving autographed pictures all over the world as we see when they settle into the barracks of the Foreign Legion.

The film is a satire of Beau Geste and of The Desert Song which only two years earlier had come to the screen. The enemy are the Riffraffs and a deadly bunch they are. Of course they haven't come up against Laurel and Hardy.

Two best bits in the film are the boys getting lost in a sand storm on the desert and then actually arriving at the fort ahead of the rest of the troop. Second is when Laurel the dunce is asked by Hardy why he's not carrying any equipment for the march and he innocently replies that he packed his stuff with Ollie's. This is Stanley's innocence at its finest.

One thing that is eerie about Beau Hunks is that the marriage Jean Harlow was to have the following year was to Paul Bern and we all know what a tragedy that turned out to be. She might have been better off marrying Ollie or one of the other Legionaires.

Beau Hunks is a choice sample of Stan and Ollie's comedy which is absolutely eternal.
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The title is not without its own humour
oxbridgeup7 June 2008
Although "Beau Geste" had already been made

with Ronald Coleman in 1926, "Beau Hunks" is not just a funny play on words.

Unlike today, being called a hunk was not a compliment. In those days, "Hunk," "Hunky," or "Bohunk" was a pejorative term for an Eastern European --- (It's a conflation of "Bohemian" and "Hungarian.) The general connotation of the term was that of a stupid, not necessarily clean, undesirable immigrant. So to call someone a Bohunk was quite an insult.

It's a pity that the extremely stupid guidelines require ten lines of text, when I could have said everything in five. Are they perhaps taken from the IRS tech-writing standards for tax laws?
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Beau Hunks
JoeytheBrit11 June 2009
This is another one of Laurel and Hardy's films that are crammed with memorable moments, and it's a measure of their worth that, even though the routines are familiar after repeated viewings, they still manage to raise a chuckle (or at least a smile).

Stan and Ollie join the French foreign legion in this one after Ollie's heart is broken by his 'Jeanie-Weanie,' a true vamp if ever there was one who looks suspiciously like Jean Harlow. Naturally, the boys get on the wrong side of the camp commandant the moment they arrive at the fort, which is a cue for the usual chaos and gags. Only Laurel and Hardy can make the simple act of picking up a hat or soothing one's feet so funny and fraught with difficulty.

If you've had a hard day I can guarantee that there is no better solution to your woes than to sit back, relax, open a beer and watch one of Laurel & Hardy's timeless films...
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A very good "tweener" film!
MartinHafer15 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I know "tweener" isn't really a word, but it's the best way to describe this film. Unlike most of the Laurel and Hardy comedies that run from 18 to 20 minutes, this one is an odd-ball that is 37 minutes long--in between the length of their shorts and the full-length films they made. Now this COULD have been a problem, as in some of the longer Laurel and Hardy films, greater length meant less laughs and a lot of padding. However, this time it all worked out well and it's a very good and worthwhile outing.

The film begins with Ollie pining over the loss of his girlfriend. He's so upset that he decides he AND Stanley should join the Foreign Legion in order to forget (something Stan usually has no trouble doing). Once there, Ollie finds that MOST of the men are there to forget,...the exact SAME girl!!! This quickly erases her from his mind, but for some odd reason the commandant doesn't understand and let them just go home (this is sarcasm, by the way). In fact, they are constantly in trouble because of their efforts to escape and only in the end do they redeem themselves.

By the way, if the film sounds a tad familiar, it's because the movie is a lot like their full-length film FLYING DEUCES. However, DEUCES is not a particularly well-made film and most of the jokes aren't that funny (particularly the reincarnation one at the end). Plus, DEUCES is about 20 minutes longer. Sometimes less IS more! Finally, if you look at the photo of Ollie's ex-sweetie, you might notice who this is. It's an early photo of Jean Harlow--they way she looked when she was under contract to Hal Roach and before her drastic makeover circa 1932.
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Forgetting Jeanie Weenie
Hitchcoc13 January 2017
This one finds the boys in the French Foreign Legion, fighting in Algeria. Ollie is trying to forget a woman whom he has not met; he only has a picture of him. Of course, Stanley must go along with him on this doomsday mission. It turns out that this woman is on the minds of many others in the desert who are also trying to forget. Somewhere along the line, a stereotype developed that joining the Foreign Legion helped you forget. Anyway, there is the standard desert stuff, and the military incompetence displayed in other films of L & H. And, as is often the case, the gods seem to protect these guys. This one is not as funny as some, but has a really funny conclusion which is worth waiting for.
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One reel short of a feature...twice as long as the normal short.
mark.waltz6 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Making Abbott and Costello in the foreign legion look like Cary Grant and Gary Cooper in "Gunga Din" and "Beau Geste", Laurel and Hardy get caught up in more sand than what fits in an hour glass in this lively spoof of a popular genre that still makes occasional appearances on big screens today. Oliver's recovering from a break up with none other than Jean Harlow (seen in a picture) so he goes off to the foreign legion where their antics threaten to turn on them, but like any comic who ends up in the military, they end up as heroes in a surprising and clever way. Adding another two reels onto this mini- feature/extended short, they get twice the laughs as they tried out their popularity to see if they could make it into full length films. The results? A definite yes, lasting for more than a decade and surviving a real world war. I couldn't see this any shorter, but possibly extended. Tii much meat minus the Grissel makes this prime rib.
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"Scratch your own back, I've got troubles of my own".
classicsoncall10 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Not quite a short and not quite a feature, still, whenever Laurel and Hardy get together it will be a fun time. The last time I saw this picture was probably over fifty years ago and it still seemed familiar. I guess the boys have that kind of effect on their fans from the old days.

And to think, it was a picture of Jean Harlow that sent Stan and Ollie off to join the Foreign Legion. The forlorn Ollie will come to learn that she broke the hearts of nearly everyone else that wound up in the desert, while Stan remains clueless as ever through virtually every escapade.

But you know, I couldn't help thinking that the picture probably couldn't even be made today considering how militant the PC police have gotten. Early on, when Ollie is happily explaining to Stan that he's getting married, Stan's question about who it might be gets twisted and tangled and Ollie responds - "Did you ever hear of anybody marrying a man?" Well....

And then there's the entire business of the Foreign Legion fighting the Arab Riffraff (I know it was Riffians, but Riffraff sounds better); when the Arab leader invokes Mohammed one can only imagine modern day progressives decrying the racist element of the story line. I guess for all those folks, Ollie's sentiment that "This is no time for levity" would seem appropriate. For all the rest of us though, and I'll speak for all Laurel and Hardy fans here, this is exactly the time for levity.

Oh yeah, can't forget - this is the picture that revealed Oliver Hardy's middle name - it was Nobel!
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Stan And Ollie Join The Legion
Theo Robertson16 December 2012
After seeing ATOLL K and feeling that it's perhaps slightly better than its terrible reputation I decided to track down any Laurel and Hardy short just to remind myself if they were anywhere as good as I remembered them from childhood and the nearest one to hand was BEAU CHUMPS . After seeing it there was no doubt that ATOLL K was a weak film even though the comedy genius of Stan and Ollie shone through . Here they were on superlative form

The opening sequence is one of the funniest things I have ever seen and in the hands of anyone else it would have been either silly or embarrassing . Here however it had this slightly cynical viewer laughing out loud as Ollie tries to explain what levity means when the door knocks

Stan ( picking up phone ) Hello

Ollie: What are you doing ?

Stan: Someone's knocking on the phone

Ollie: See that's levity Stan: Hello - Mister Levity

Okay it might not sound laugh out loud funny on the printed page but you'll laugh your socks off as it plays out on screen

After this comedy escapade the duo depart to the French foreign legion in order to make Ollie forget a broken love affair . Why he needed to take Stan with him is never explained but we wouldn't have a story if he didn't and the laughs continue .Imagine if we had a present day film with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson where they joined the USMC and got sent to Afghanistan . It makes you appreciate Stan and Ollie the greatest comedy duo there has or ever will be
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Rats in a trap ?
tomronning509 February 2019
Not one of their better ones. But loved by thousands . . .
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Stan and Ollie join the Foreign Legion to forget a woman
weezeralfalfa1 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is a rare 4 reel L&H comedy 'short', being somewhere between most shorts and Feature films, in length(37 min.) It's reported by one reviewer to be Producer Hal Roach's favorite L&H film. I don't see it being in an exclusive category, but the story is scripted to be in an exotic location., and it does have its share of slapstick, sight humor, verbal humor and ironies. I've enjoyed it quite a few times over the years.......First, I will relate some relevant historical and geographical background.........What does the title mean? Back around the turn of the 19th century, it literally meant a handsome man from Bohemia, or central Europe.. An alternative spelling is bohunk. In more general usage, it simply means a handsome, muscular or desirable man. In fact, today, we usually shorten it to 'a hunk'..........I suspect the 1926 silent film "Beau Geste"(redone in 1939) had some influence on choosing the title, as well as the Foreign Legion theme of most of the film. That story takes place in Algeria, whereas the present story clearly takes place in Morocco, as does the 1929 musical "The Desert Song". Both these films involve the Riff Berbers(not Arabs). In the earlier film,they are the 'good guys', whereas in the present film they are the 'bad guys' Although both films present the Riffs as a desert tribe, in fact they are named for their mountainous homeland in the Riff range, near the Mediterranean........Getting onto the screenplay particulars, we begin with Ollie singing his heart out "I Love You" to the picture of his fiancé, with the nickname Jeanie Weenie(who has a striking resemblance to Jean Harlow, who had bit parts in several of their previous shorts).This picture will resurface several more times. Unfortunately, Ollie gets a letter from her saying she now loves another, so call off the wedding. Stan is also present. Ollie tells him "We're going where we can forget" "What do you mean 'we' " responds Stan. Ollie doesn't give a detailed rational. After an exciting bit of physical humor, on Ollie's part, we next see them as Foreign Legion recruits: "an army of forgotten souls", as the commandant admits.........When the boys are getting used to their bunk quarters, they notice that 2 others are looking at a photo and shaking their heads. Upon closer inspection, both the photos are of Jeanie Weenie! She gets around!. So, the boys tell the commandant they want to quit the Legion, because they now realize that the woman they came to forget isn't worth the trouble. But, the commandant basically tells them that they are in the Legion for life, like it or not!.......A scout arrives, in a hurry. The Riffs are planning an attack upon Fort Arid, which needs as many reinforcements as can be spared. This includes Ollie and Stan, who take up the rear position of a 2 column march. We wonder why Ollie is carrying a backpack even bigger than the other soldiers, except Stan, who has just a little pack. Later, Stan admits that he put most of his stuff in Ollie's pack. When they arrive at the fort, we see that they have switched backpacks, no doubt at Ollie's insistence! In the meanwhile, the boys get separated from the unit twice, the second time during a sandstorm. Despite our seeing that they are marching in circle, they somehow get to the fort well before the others, who presumably got lost...... The Riff attack . The fort commander tells his men to throw hand grenades. The boys empty a box of grenades on the ground, in front of the gate. Ollie throws one over the wall and it explodes. Stan throws the pin over the gate, and drops the explosives in the pile of grenades on the ground. They frantically search for the one ringing like an alarm clock, and find it in time to through over the wall..........Later, they are chased by a Riff into a store room, where Ollie knocks over a barrel of thumbtacks, of all things. The Riff, not wearing sandals, begins to howl and dance, and leaves. The boys find 2 more barrels of tacks(why are they here?), and spread the tacks all around the fort door. Just then, the Riffs break through the fort door, and dance and howl when they get in. Now, the main body of Legionaries arrives, to mop up. The boys are heroes. A good thing most of the Riff weren't waring sandles! The boys bring the Riff chief forward, and are told to disarm him. They find a couple of wicked knives. Then, they find something unexpected, which the chief pleads to let him keep. Can you guess what it is? Yep, but just to be sure, you can see the film at YouTube.
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Doesn't wilt at all
TheLittleSongbird27 September 2018
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were comedic geniuses, individually and together, and their partnership was deservedly iconic and one of the best there was. They left behind a large body of work, a vast majority of it being entertaining to classic comedy, at their best they were hilarious and their best efforts were great examples of how to do comedy without being juvenile or distasteful.

Although a vast majority of Laurel and Hardy's previous efforts ranged from above average to very good ('45 Minutes from Hollywood' being the only misfire and mainly worth seeing as a curiosity piece and for historical interest, and even that wasn't a complete mess), 'Two Tars' for me was their first truly classic one with close to flawless execution. Didn't find 'Beau Hunks' quite one of their very best, but it to me was one of their best 1931 efforts and among the better half of their output at this point.

Admittedly, the story is pretty thin and is pretty standard.

Despite that, 'Beau Hunks' is great fun, never less than very amusing and the best moments, such as the ending, being classic hilarity. It is never too silly, there is a wackiness that never loses its energy and the sly wit is here, some of the material may not be new but how it's executed actually doesn't feel too familiar and it doesn't get repetitive. A lot happens yet it doesn't ever feel rushed or over-stuffed. It contains one of the funniest beginnings of their filmography and the ending is a sheer delight.

Laurel and Hardy are on top form here, both are well used, both have material worthy of them and they're equal rather than one being funnier than the other (before Laurel tended to be funnier and more interesting than Hardy, who tended to be underused). Their chemistry feels like a partnership here too, before 'Two Tars' you were yearning for more scenes with them together but in 'Beau Hunks' and on the most part from 'Two Tars' onwards we are far from robbed of that. Their comic timing is impeccable.

'Beau Hunks' looks good visually, is full of energy and the direction gets the best out of the stars, is at ease with the material and doesn't let it get too busy or static. The supporting players are solid, but it's Laurel and Hardy's show all the way.

Concluding, a near-classic. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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We Joined To Forget.
rmax30482315 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Hardy is in love but his inamorata, Jeannie Weeny, jilts him so he joins the Foreign Legion, taking Laurel along with him. It's rough duty. After the usual hi-jinx, Laurel and Hardy managed to save Fort Arid from a Riffian attack by sprinkling tacks all over the place. And Hardy discovers that everyone, from the other recruits to the Arab chieftain, are carrying the same autographed photo of Jeannie Weeny.

It's amusing in a way that had become routine with Laurel and Hardy, and I found it most enjoyable when it was watched with my ten-year-old kid. It may be typical for Laurel and Hardy but it's still distracting. It might be that, if you're in the wrong mood, it won't clear the bar.
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Beau Hunks
jboothmillard19 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are the most famous comedy duo in history, and deservedly so, so I am happy to see any of their films. Basically Ollie tells Stan he is to be married, only to find out in a letter that her girl, Jean, or "Jeanie-Weenie" loves another, so they decide to join the Foreign Legion to try and forget about her., well, not before Ollie gets a spring stuck to him, falls back, bounces and lands in the piano. Ollie notices many men have Jean's picture, so probably loads of men have been fooled by her, and Commandant (Charles Middleton) won't let them leave. They are restless, and with the Riff Raff preparing to attack Fort Arid, they hardly get any sleep, and march towards the battle. Stan and Ollie are the first to arrive, only to be put on duty on the wall, and they miss many Riffs that get in. They are the heroes in the end though foiling all Riffs with nails all over the floor (as they all have bare feet), and in the end, Ollie gets the final kick when the Chief of the Riff Raff (James W. Horne) also has the picture of Jean. Also starring Broderick O'Farrell as Ft. Arid commander and Harry Schultz as Captain Schultz. Filled with good slapstick and all classic comedy you want from a black and white film, it is an enjoyable film. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were number 7 on The Comedians' Comedian. Worth watching!
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This film could have been more beautiful
Horst_In_Translation20 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Beau Hunks" is a Laurel and Hardy film from almost 85 years ago. Wow.. how time flies. It is not silent anymore, but still in black-and-white. Hardy's sweetheart leaves him, so the two end up with the military and they cause lots of mayhem there too as well. In the end they are in the desert and running into enemy forces. The leader of these is actually played by the film's director James W. Horne. He worked with the most famous comedy duo in history many times and this is probably not his best work. I have to say the script is just not good enough for almost 40 minutes runtime. IIt's certainly a case of quantity over quality and there aren't enough jokes in here in my opinion. Enough funny jokes, that is. The film loses itself occasionally in action that involves other characters than the two funny guys. I don't think this is among Stan and Ollie's best works sadly. Not recommended.
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Laurel and Hardy
Michael_Elliott11 March 2008
Beau Hunks (1931)

*** (out of 4)

Four reel comedy has Hardy's girlfriend break up with him so he drags Laurel to join the Foreign Legion. The look of the film is quite good but overall this is more charming than funny, although the ending has some good laughs. Jean Harlow is the girlfriend in all the pictures.

Brats (1930)

** (out of 4)

Laurel and Hardy play themselves as well of their kids in this attempt at humor. I really didn't laugh too much at this because the effects of them being kids just didn't work. The kids were a lot more annoying than anything else.
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