With Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Minna Gombell, Billy Gilbert, Patricia Ellis, James Finlayson, Tommy "Butch" Bond
Directed by John G. Blystone
Black and White
Reviewed by JB and JL

Excerpted and edited from Laurel and Hardy Central. Laurel and Hardy film are not rated at The Age of Comedy, nor are they rated at LHC. For our full reviews on Laurel and Hardy movies, please visit LHC at your earliest convenience.

    ...BLOCK-HEADS is a tremendous comedy filled with energy and wit, but quite different from the other classic Laurel and Hardy features, SONS OF THE DESERT and WAY OUT WEST.   Something Charles Barr said in his book Laurel and Hardy still holds true - this is not a film to use to make somebody a Laurel and Hardy convert.  The Laurel and Hardy of earlier films were much more sympathetic, whereas the Laurel and Hardy of this film are almost like cartoon caricatures of themselves.  BLOCK-HEADS assumes you already know Laurel and Hardy, and in 1938, who didn't?  By this time, Laurel and Hardy had done just about everything they were going to do in their generous and unmatchable contribution to comedy, and were now content to refine, polish and explore the limits of their screen relationship.

    .....Five writers, including Harry Langdon, contributed to the BLOCK-HEADS script, and what keeps the momentum going is not the story or the characters, but the enormous amount of gags those writers (plus, undoubtedly, Stan) keep throwing at us, and the still youthful enthusiasm Stan and Ollie show in the execution of those gags.  It is their wildest and funniest film, and the last completely great feature they would ever make. - JB

     BLOCK-HEADS is that rare film for which the mere thought of any scene brings a smile to my face.  I still hold out for WAY OUT WEST as their best feature, if only because it strikes the perfect balance between high laugh content and a well-made film.  But I more than agree that BLOCK-HEADS is their wildest and funniest film.  (And to take issue with Brennan and Barr on a minor point, my experience has been that BLOCK-HEADS goes over great with newcomers.  But that's just one man's experience.)....  It's a trip through a crazy, almost surreal world with Laurel and Hardy as our guides, and the film's loose structure is rendered unnoticeable by the consistency of the Boys' relationship. --- JL 

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