Utopia, made in 1950 in France, was the last film Laurel and Hardy produced. With the bad reputation the duo have for their post 1930's productions I was expecting this film to be awful. Although admittedly it isn't up to the standard of their "vintage" comedies I was pleasantly surprised. It's watchable, and in parts genuinely funny! And certainly the plot is of the same standard as you'd expect. Some gags are derivative from their earlier work, but when you consider this film was their first for five years after their last Hollywood produced film, "The Bullfighters", the routines are executed confidently as you'd expect from these professionals. Some scenes are not up to much, but the value of this film is that some scenes are funny, and as such, absolutely priceless. I particularly enjoyed the bedtime scene.
I felt sad at the end of the film. Our heros are left on their own desert island. It's such a metaphor for the real life truth. Hollywood and audiences of the time had consigned the stars to a desert island of memories, and that was to become last image they portrayed in film. Ollie died seven years later and Stan died fifteen years later. Stan turned down an offer to appear in "It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World" in 1963. What a shame that was - a colour film, only two years before he passed. However, his health probably wasn't up to much.
These boys are probably the greatest comedy performers of all time, and although the movie is far from their true potential, it's still an honour to watch them appear in film for the last time, and touching on the echos of their towering talent.
Heading for a newly inherited island, the boys are shipwrecked and marooned on an atoll which has just emerged from the sea. Along with their cook, a stowaway and a girl who is fleeing her fiancé, they set up their own government on the atoll. Uranium is discovered and world powers begin fighting over ownership of the island.
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December 22, 2018 at 12:35 PM