Laurel & Hardy: Beau Hunks


Beau Hunks is a 1931 American Pre-Code Laurel and Hardy film, directed by James W. Horne. The title is a reference to the Beau Geste trilogy (Beau Geste (1924), Beau Sabreur (1926) and Beau Ideal (1927) and the Hollywood films of the same period based on them); to the line in Beau Sabreur where Buddy says ‘“Sure thing, Son Hank — if a gang of Touareg Bohunks couldn’t, French troops couldn’t. . . . I s’pose it is us he’s after?”’; or to bohunk, a common ethnic slur of the time in the United States. At 37 minutes, it is the longest Laurel and Hardy short. The French Foreign Legion scenario was reused in The Flying Deuces with Charles B. Middleton again playing their commanding officer.


Stan and Ollie are at home while a lovesick Ollie sings and plays piano for his absent sweetheart Jeanie-Weenie (only ever seen as a photograph), before revealing to Stan that he is to marry her. The postman delivers a letter from Jeanie-Weenie rejecting Ollie for another. A heartbroken Ollie announces that the pair of them shall be joining the French Foreign Legion, as it is the only place where he can forget her. When they arrive at the barracks in French Algeria, they discover that not only are all the other soldiers also trying to forget lost loves, they are all trying to forget the same lost love as Ollie and one another: Jeanie-Weenie!

An attempt by the pair to leave the Legion is angrily rejected by the camp commander and the entire platoon is sent on a forced march. A scout enters the camp in a hurry to say that Legion fortress Fort Arid is to be besieged by native Riffian tribesmen, and the garrison is sent to defend it. The duo get cut off from the rest of the regiment in a sandstorm but reach the fortress before the others. Surprisingly, with the aid of barrels of nails, the boys defeat the Riffians by themselves and the leader of the Riffians is revealed to be yet another of Jeanie-Weenie’s conquests.




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