6.5/10
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17 user 9 critic

A-Haunting We Will Go (1942)

Approved | | Adventure, Comedy | 7 August 1942 (USA)
Stan and Ollie get involved with con men, crooks, a genial magician, and two interchangeable coffins with disastrous but funny results.

Director:

Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker)

Writers:

Lou Breslow (screenplay), Lou Breslow (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Stan (as Laurel)
Oliver Hardy ... Ollie (as Hardy)
Dante ... Dante the Magician (as Dante the Magician)
Sheila Ryan ... Margo
John Shelton ... Tommy White
Don Costello ... Doc Lake
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Frank Lucas
Edward Gargan ... Police Lt. Foster
Addison Richards ... Attorney Malcolm Kilgore
George Lynn ... Darby Mason
James Bush ... Joe Morgan
Lou Lubin ... Dixie Beeler
Robert Emmett Keane ... Parker
Richard Lane ... Phillips
Willie Best ... Waiter
Edit

Storyline

The boys are recruited by a gang of thugs to get a coffin containing one of their far from dead colleagues to Dayton to try and get at an inheritance. After the coffin gets switched with the one Dante the Magician uses in his act, his stage show gets more than usually popular. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1940s | coffin | magician | wake | theater | See All (30) »

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 August 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hokus-Pokus See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The town of Milledgeville is mentioned. There is no Milledgeville in California, but there is in Oliver Hardy's home state of Georgia. Hardy sometimes referred to place names near his home in his films as an "in-joke," See more »

Quotes

Stan Laurel: How about some dinner? I'm getting hungry.
Oliver Hardy: Don't be so greedy. We just split a hamburger, and besides we can eat in Dayton for half of what it costs us in the diner.
Stan Laurel: I know, but I'll be twice as hungry in the morning.
Oliver Hardy: [with finality] Don't bicker!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Scent of Time (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Un-magical haunting
25 December 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Will always have a lot of affection for Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. They had memorable personalities/personas that really shone when the material given played to their strengths, it is very easy to understand their appeal and why they are considered comic geniuses and one of the greatest comedy duos. Also really love their partnership, which deservedly is remembered in iconic terms.

'A-Haunting We Will Go' is often considered a lesser Laurel and Hardy film and some even say it's their worst. Do agree that 'A-Haunting We Will Go' is a lesser effort of theirs and a disservice to the duo. Whether it's their worst though is debatable, with it being made in their decline period (which started with their previous film 'Great Guns') where most of the films from the period are equal contenders for that distinction. It is not terrible overall, but it is bad Laurel and Hardy. Like to love many of their previous films, the best of which being classic comedy, but their post-Hal Roach period saw quite a big decline and all their weaker films (the worst of which quite bad) were made during this period. On reflection it is marginally better than 'Great Guns', despite not being a good film, with it having a marginally better script (not saying much) and Laurel and Hardy are in a setting that they gel much better in.

There are pluses. 'A-Haunting We Will Go' looks good, one of the best Laurel and Hardy efforts in this regard. The photography is professional, the production design is spooky and there is none of the crudeness of the editing that was there in some of the late Hal Roach-period films. Dante is an interesting and amusing character and in a way steals the show, although for my tastes he is over-used.

Have found that most lesser Laurel and Hardy still have moments and 'A-Haunting We Will Go' does have those and it also actually starts off quite well. The best parts being the rope trick, the hitch-hiking and the duping of the inflato machine. Laurel and Hardy do their best and their chemistry does shine in places, some of the physical comedy is nimble.

None of this however is consistent. Like 'Great Guns', neither Laurel or Hardy are used well, they do feel shoe-horned in and for top-billing it was like they were playing second fiddle to Dante. Their personalities, what made them famous and what was so appealing about them are not there enough either, they are rather bland and somewhat out of character. There are no standouts in the rest of the cast, most having very little to nothing to do.

Most of the story, despite a good start, is all over the map however, the pace fails to come to life too much, it is very contrived and it goes far too over-the-top on the silliness that it becomes intelligence insultingly dumb. The odd mildly amusing line aside, the script is a major failing too, there is too much emphasis on it and not enough of the physical comedy which means that the boys' strengths don't shine enough. Like most of the humour, it feels both over-played and fatigued which is not a good combination. The direction never rises above the uninspired at best.

In summary, another disappointment from this iconic duo's decline. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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