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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Well, there's another fine movie...!", 22 Feb. 2002
By 
Dr. Paul Hanley (Belfast, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
"Way Out West" is today considered to be the best feature film Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made together, and upon viewing it is easy to understand why! The jokes (of which there are many, conveniently worked into the Western setting of the main storyline) come in all shapes, sizes and forms including slapstick (which the duo had perfected in the many silent movies they made before switching to "talkies" in 1929), word play and even elements of surrealism, more commonly associated with the films of Laurel and Hardy's contemporaries The Marx Brothers. After it's initial theatrical release in 1937 the film fell into neglect but was (thankfully) fully restored in the mid-1980's. The quality of the restored monochrome print, featured on this DVD, is quite simply supurb (taking into consideration the age of the movie). Unfortunately the "colorised" version of the film (also featured), whilst interesting to watch, just isn't in the same league as the black and white. The colours, although natural looking, appear pale with character movement producing a disconcerting blur effect, and the constant "jumping" of the images within the frame make for difficult viewing. The mono soundtrack, used for both versions, is acceptable. Snaps, crackles and pops are to be expected but in no way do they "drown out" the dialogue and music. The final feature of this DVD is a similarily restored black and white print of the duo's 1929 silent short "Big Business" complete with Wurlitzer organ accompanyment! Quality is again supurb and it's a pity VVL didn't include other short films at the expense of the poor quality colour presentation of the main feature.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their best feature?, 28 Nov. 2001
This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
Way Out West could be Stan and Ollie's best feature. It certainly has great moments. A soft-shoe dance. "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" song. Stan and Ollie in a compact carriage with a lady - "A lot of weather we've been having lately".
What am I leaving out? Oh James Finlayson's squinting villain. Sharon Lynn tickling Stan. Dinah the Mule. The finger-cum-firelighter. The delightful conclusion. "I'm from the South too. South London".
This film is perfect Stan and Ollie. My review was non-existant because I think Pauline Kael said everything that could be said about the movie when she said: The film is leisurely in the best sense; you adjust to a different rhythm and come out feeling relaxed as if you'd had a vacation.
DVD is also a bit special. Computer-colorised version if you don't like black and white and more impressively, Big Business, one of Stan and Ollie's best silent shorts, again with Jimmy Finlayson. That short might be better than the film itself which says a lot.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The smartest one is the mule!!, 30 Jan. 2004
By 
Keith Paynter "videoplusdvd" (Regina, Sask. CANADA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
Having seen this film in various forms over the last 30 years (16mm, VHS, laserdisc), this one ranks as my all-time favorite. At a short 65 minutes, the film is thin on plot - Stan & Ollie delivery a deed to a gold mine to the daughter of a late prospecting friend, but it ends up in the hands of her scheming guardians (Sharon Lynn and their greatest foil, James Finlayson) - but the film is full of setpieces that never disappoint. Stan & Ollie don't appear for the better part of the first 5 minutes, and even then, we hear them coming (in the form of their infamous 'Cuckoos' theme) before we see them.
The musical numbers featuring The Avalon Boys ('The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine' and especially 'At The Ball, That's All') don't advance the plot, but are sure great breathing space. The latter is probably the most charming setpiece the boys ever filmed as Stan and Ollie (and Dinah the mule, for that matter) perform their engaging dance number outside of Mickey Finn's saloon, and the former is Ollie's best vocal showcase since 'Lazy Moon' from 1931's 'Pardon Us'.
You have to take a couple of extra viewings to catch some of the overlooked reactions of Jimmy Finlayson. My favorite is a shot that is a payoff to his offering Stan & Ollie 'the best in the house' after taking the deed from them, but later as he shares a drink with them, his reaction would indicate that the house best tastes more like paint thinner than a well-aged wine!
Pure fun from start to finish! If only it were available in this quality on the East side of the Atlantic!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Five Star Comedy, 2 Sept. 2003
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This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
Some people consider this to be Laurel and Hardy's finest hour. For me, that honour goes to "Sons of the Desert" but this film runs it a close second. The plot sees our heroes travelling to Brushwood Gulch (way out West) to deliver a deed to a goldmine to a young girl called Mary Roberts only to have it tricked out of them by the villainous Finn (played wonderfully, as ever, by a squinting James Finlayson). The duo's antics in trying to recover the deed make for some great comedy! There are great lines and great visual gags as you would expect. Two favourite moments for me would be Ollie trying out some of his best chat up lines on a harassed lady in a coach: “A lot of weather we’ve been having lately!” and Stan being forced to eat Ollie’s hat.
Many purists will insist they prefer black and white of course, but I enjoyed seeing the film in colour. The picture quality is excellent and for me the colourisation seemed to give the film a new dimension. In any case, this DVD gives the viewer both options. The bonus is a silent short which also features Finlayson. I can’t say this short exactly had me rolling with laughter but it is an interesting insight into how the characters evolved from their silent screen days. Five stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars their best feature lengh film, 2 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
Even when you already know what is about to occur, there are several scenes in this film that will make you laugh out loud. It is amazing to think that this film is over 70 years old, and therefore not surprising one or two bits seem a little dated. There are too many funny moments to list now. So, all in all, is rightly considered the classic it was, even these days.

Part of the magic of this film is Laurel and Hardy singing 'trail of the lonesome pine' which amazingly, very nearly sat at the top of the pop charts, almost 40 years later.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An all-time classic movie, 4 May 2011
This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
Laurel and Hardy are friends of a late prospector, have been left the task of presenting the deeds to his valuable gold mine to his daughter. Unfortunately things don't go quite as planned, and before long they have been conned out of the deeds and fallen foul of the local sherrif.

This has to be a candidate for Laurel and Hardy's finest ever work. There is literally never a dull moment. The two leads are at the funniest and most accident-prone, the verbal and physical gags all work well, Jimmy Finlayson is at his best as a scheming bar owner and there are several unforgettable song and dance numbers (all but one of which involve the two leads and all of which are hilarious). The sets are also great, bona fide wild west. And isn't the "Way down in Dixie" song at the end just the most beautiful sound you've ever heard? A classic.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Laurel and Hardy at it's best, 2 Jan. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
Laurel and Hardy are the greatest comedy duo of all time. This, Way Out West, was one of their greatest.
The duo are tasked with delivering a deed to a gold mine and manage to give it to the wrong person. They discover their mistake and go about rectifying it in the most hilarious manner.
There is also a chance to see Laurel and Hardy dance and sing!!
Great fun even after all of these years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Happy customer, 16 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
Wanted this for my partner's birthday at the end of August, only watched big business but the quality is good. I know he will love it as he is a big fan. Delivery was quick, only a few days. Am v pleased.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent films, 16 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent dvd, laugh all the way through they certainly don't make them like this anymore which is a shame.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars way out west laurel & hardy, 26 Aug. 2003
This review is from: Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD] (DVD)
well a masterpiece of comedy nothing compares to these 2 kings of comedy.
the film is timeless in all it's simplicity it not only takes you to your childhood, but your parents .children , & grandparents , will enjoy this timeless wonder.
and i bet you will all be singing (the trail of the lonesome pine) for weeks after wathing a true gem,dont miss out on this.
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Laurel And Hardy: Way Out West/Big Business [DVD]
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