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The Flying Deuces

the flying deuces, the flying deuces co-star
The Flying Deuces, also known as Flying Aces, is a 1939 comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy, in which the duo join the French Foreign Legion It is a partial remake of their 1931 short film Beau Hunks


  • 1 Plot
  • 2 Cast
  • 3 Production
  • 4 Critical reception
  • 5 Public domain
  • 6 Music
  • 7 Popular culture
  • 8 See also
  • 9 References
    • 91 Notes
    • 92 Bibliography
  • 10 External links


While on holiday in Paris, Ollie falls so much in love with Georgette, the beautiful daughter of an innkeeper, he intends to marry her Unfortunately, she turns down his marriage proposal because there is someone else, "very much so" Unbeknownst to him at the moment, a Foreign Legion officer named Francois is her husband, and has returned briefly to see her Ollie is heartbroken to the point of committing suicide Just as he about to jump into a river with Stan joining him, Francois, happening to catch sight of them about to do so, convinces the duo to enlist in the Foreign Legion in order to forget Ollie's failed romance When Stan asks him how long it will take Ollie to forget, should they join the Foreign Legion, Francois points out it will only take a matter of a few days Enticed by Francois's offer, plus the fact that Ollie will completely forget his failed romance very shortly, they enlist

Right from the start they wreak havoc in training camp, and when they are taken to see the commandant to be introduced to their daily legionnaire duties, he gives them a full litany of long tasks, for which their daily wage is 100 centimes, which, translated into American currency amounts to only three cents Hardy flatly tells the commandant neither he nor Stan will have any part of it for only three cents a day, to which Stan concurs that they don't work for less than 25 cents a day For this uppity attitude they are sentenced to very menial hard labor, washing and ironing a mountain of laundry, with legion officers constantly on their backs "Go ON!! Get back to WORK!!! Whaddya think this IS!!" Finally and 'miraculously', Ollie manages to forget his broken romance completely, thus no longer having to work in the legion and, his and Stan's purpose in joining the Foreign Legion fulfilled, they prepare to leave the legion and go back home to the United Statesbut before they do, fed up with the harsh discipline and the endless punishments they had to suffer, Ollie intends to tell off the commandant on their way out They are unable to find the commandant and unwilling to search for him So Ollie writes him a very insulting farewell letter and signs it

Before long they meet Georgette again, and Ollie is at first delighted that she has changed her mind and come back to him and proceeds to embrace and kiss her Ollie, however, becomes un-delighted by Francois, the same Foreign Legion officer who had encouraged them to join the Legion earlier, who icily informs him that Georgette happens to be his wife and threateningly warns him to stay away from her, or else After Francois leaves, the commandant appears on the scene and grimly tells Stan and Ollie he received their stern farewell note, and it has now become their death warrant He then pronounces them under arrest for desertion They are then taken to the prison, locked up and summarily sentenced to be shot at dawn At one point the jailor forgets to lock the door Stan amazes Ollie by playing The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise on the bedsprings As he is about to play another piece, the jailor yells at them to be quiet Later in the evening, someone throws a hint informing them that they can escape by means of a tunnel leading from their cell to the outside wall Stan brings on an accidental cave-in which causes the underground path to lead to, of all places, Francois and Georgette's dwelling In no time at all, the whole legion engages in hot pursuit of the boys, who manage to flee to a nearby hangars and hide out in an airplane, which Stan accidentally starts up, forcing the boys to fly it until it ultimately crashes Stan manages to emerge seemingly unharmed from the crash, but Ollie has died, seen ascending into the heavens, complete with wings Eventually, however, he is reincarnated earlier in the film, the duo contemplated being reincarnated as a horse complete with mustache and hat, which pleases Stan In the final seconds of the film, Ollie makes his famous remark, "Well, here`s another nice mess you`ve gotten me into"


Principal credited cast members in order of on-screen credits and roles:2

Actor Role
Stan Laurel Stan
Oliver Hardy Ollie
Jean Parker Georgette
Reginald Gardiner François
Charles B Middleton the Legion Commandant
Jean Del Val Sergeant
Clem Wilenchick Corporal
Jimmy Finlayson Jailer

Charles B Middleton reprises the Legion Commandant role he played in 1931's Beau Hunks, while Laurel and Hardy's frequent co-star James Finlayson also makes an appearance as a jailer


As Laurel and Hardy did not have an exclusive contract with Hal Roach, they were able to appear in films for studios other than his as they pleased A remake of Beau Hunks, The Flying Deuces was released by RKO Radio Pictures and was made by independent producer Boris Morros Director A Edward Sutherland and Stan Laurel did not get along during filming, with Sutherland having reportedly commented that he "would rather eat a tarantula than work with Laurel again"3

At the beginning of the film, the innkeeper's daughter is seen looking at a framed photograph of Ollie The same photograph can also be seen in the short film Our Wife 1931, where sight of it prompts the father of Ollie's fiance to forbid the wedding

The famous "laundry scene" in The Flying Deuces was filmed on the Iverson Movie Ranch in Chatsworth, Calif, considered to be the most widely filmed outdoor shooting location in the history of the movies and television In the scene, the characters played by Laurel and Hardy, having disrupted training camp soon after joining the Foreign Legion, are forced to do a massive amount of laundry—seemingly the laundry for the entire Foreign Legion For the shoot, a facsimile of a huge pile of laundry was built on top of one of the giant sandstone boulders of Iverson's Garden of the Gods, which is now a park Aerial footage of the scene, including a large spread consisting of laundry hanging on lines, was shot for the movie but was not used in it, and later turned up in a number of other productions, including the Republic serials Manhunt of Mystery Island 1945 and Radar Patrol vs Spy King 1949, along with the Allied Artists movie The Cyclops 1957

Critical receptionedit

On Rotten Tomatoes, The Flying Deuces has a score of 83% based on six critic reviews, with an average rating of 6/104

Public domainedit

Stan and Ollie as "légionnaires" in The Flying Deuces

The Flying Deuces is one of two Laurel and Hardy features in the public domain, the other being Atoll K As such, it regularly appears on inexpensive DVD or video compilations Turner/Warner Bros currently possess the original negative, but have not released the film

When the film was originally released, it contained a scene featuring an escaped shark a strange-looking model fin being pulled back and forth in the river Stan and Ollie are planning to jump into This was edited out of some releases of the film

An uncut version transferred from a nitrate 35mm negative discovered in France was restored by Lobster Films and released by Kino Video in 20043 The Legend Films edition contains the edited version of the film

In the United Kingdom, Network On Air released the film on DVD and Blu-ray in 2015 This is the uncut version, as is the US 2015 DVD-R and Blu-ray releases by VCI Entertainment Unlike previous home video versions that have generally used a snatch of the opening music during the End Titles, these releases include the correct closing music There is also a German issued Blu-ray With the German title Dick & Doof - In der Fremdenlegion on the Front Cover, released by Edel Germany GmbH in October 2015 that includes Blu-ray 3D and 2D versions of the film on a single disc, and has English and German audio tracks


  • "Shine On, Harvest Moon"
  • "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise"

Popular cultureedit

In "The Impossible Astronaut", the first episode of series 6 of Doctor Who, Amy Pond Karen Gillan and Rory Williams Arthur Darvill watch the movie on DVD Rory sees The Doctor Matt Smith appear in the film running towards the camera wearing his fez and waving, before returning to dance with Stan and Ollie This was achieved with Matt Smith dancing in front of a green screen

The scene in Georgette's bedroom briefly appears on TV in an apartment for elderly people in the movie, Cocoon

The image of Stan and Ollie dancing to "Shine on Harvest Moon" appears in a 1985 Hershey commercial "One of the all-time greats"; their suitcases are replaced with images of giant Hershey bars

The "Shine On Harvest Moon" sequence appears early in the 1987 movie, Dot Goes to Hollywood, with Dot dancing alongside Stan

See alsoedit

  • List of films in the public domain in the United States



  1. ^ "The Flying Deuces: Detail View" American Film Institute Retrieved April 12, 2014 
  2. ^ "The Flying Deuces 1939 Full credits" imdbcom Retrieved: March 21, 2010
  3. ^ a b Amazoncom, Kino Video
  4. ^ https://wwwrottentomatoescom/m/the_flying_deuces


  • Everson, William K The Complete Films of Laurel and Hardy New York: Citadel, 2000, first edition 1967 ISBN 0-8065-0146-4
  • Louvish, Simon Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy London: Faber & Faber, 2001 ISBN 0-571-21590-4
  • McCabe, John Babe: The Life of Oliver Hardy London: Robson Books Ltd, 2004 ISBN 1-86105-781-4
  • McCabe, John with Al Kilgore and Richard W Bann Laurel & Hardy New York: Bonanza Books, 1983, first edition 1975, EP Dutton ISBN 978-0-491-01745-9
  • McGarry, Annie Laurel & Hardy London: Bison Group, 1992 ISBN 0-86124-776-0

External linksedit

  • The Flying Deuces on Internet Movie Database
  • The Flying Deuces at the TCM Movie Database
  • The Flying Deuces is available for free download at the Internet Archive
  • The Flying Deuces at Rotten Tomatoes
  • The Flying Deuces High Quality on FMO
  • The Flying Deuces 1939 at Free Full Movies
  • The shoot for the laundry scene in The Flying Deuces at the Iverson Movie Ranch
  • Iverson Movie Ranch: History, vintage photos

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