(U.K Title: Fra Diavolo)
With Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Dennis King, Thelma Todd, James Finlayson, Henry Armetta, Arthur Pierson, Lucille Brown, James C. Morton
Directed by Hal Roach and Charles Rogers
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.

     ...FRA DIAVOLO was the one Laurel and Hardy feature that I hadn't seen until recent years.  After all the praise that had been given to it over the years, I was looking forward to finally seeing one of The Boys' best films.  My subsequent disappointment, finding it far less funny and a bit more dull than I had anticipated, is something that has not worn off on repeated viewings.  I enjoy the isolated routines of THE BOHEMIAN GIRL and the gentle comic business of BABES IN TOYLAND much more.  I may be nuts, but sometimes I even prefer a scrappy retread like THE FLYING DEUCES over the splendidly produced FRA DIAVOLO.  DIAVOLO is a good film, with an excellent cast and some very funny scenes by Laurel and Hardy.  But it is not one of my favorite features. --- JB

     Sez you!  I find little not to like in this film, even the non-Laurel & Hardy moments.  I enjoy all of L&H's operettas (with some reservations about the other two), but I find FRA DIAVOLO to be their most successful attempt at the genre.  The film boasts some classic comedy routines; a leading man (Dennis King) who, for once, isn't an insult to his gender; memorable supporting performances by Fin and others; and a somewhat racy pre-Production Code subplot featuring Thelma Todd, who was never lovelier.  I even like the songs.... --- JL

Laurel and Hardy     The Age of Comedy