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Theatrical poster for Beau Hunks (1931)
|Directed by||James W. Horne|
|Produced by||Hal Roach|
|Written by||H.M. Walker|
|Music by||Leroy Shield|
|Edited by||Richard C. Currier|
|December 12, 1931|
Beau Hunks is a 1931 American Pre-Code Laurel and Hardy film, directed by James W. Horne. The title is a reference to the novel Beau Geste (1924), and to the common ethnic slur of the time, "bohunk". At 37 minutes, it is the longest L&H short. The French Foreign Legion scenario was remade as 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.
- Stan Laurel as Stan
- Oliver Hardy as Ollie
- Jean Harlow as Jeannie-Weenie (Uncredited)
- James W. Horne as the Chief of the Riff Raff
- Charles B. Middleton as the Commandant
- Broderick O'Farrell as Ft. Arid Commander
- Harry Schultz as Captain Schultz
- Billy Bletcher as New Recruit #11
- Charlie Hall as New Recruit #13
- Sam Lufkin as Riffian
- Tiny Sandford as Legion Officer
Hal Roach's Favorite Movie
In January 1992, seven days after Hal Roach celebrated his hundredth birthday, the centenarian appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show. On that occasion, Jay Leno was subbing for host Johnny Carson. When Leno asked Roach which of the movies he had made was his favorite, he selected Beau Hunks. Roach said it was strictly because "leading lady" Jean Harlow—who had started at Roach's studio but had moved on to become a star at MGM—appeared in Beau Hunks for nothing. Harlow "appeared" in the film only through old publicity photographs for the Roach studio.
The Dutch musical group
A Dutch musical ensemble, named The Beau Hunks Orchestra after that film, was formed in early 1992 for the purpose of performing some of the soundtrack music at an Oliver Hardy centennial celebration in Amsterdam. They went on to release a number of recordings of the film music of Leroy Shield and some other composers, notably Raymond Scott.