King’s King

How’d you like to find THAT crawling under your tent flaps? I make a joke in this fortnight’s Forgotten by Fox that had Fiona laughing for around forty seconds, which I count as a win.

Read it here.

KING OF THE KHYBER RIFLES stars Leonard Vole; Marie Buckholder; Klaatu; Ahmad; Mr. Sardonicus; Coplan; Inspector Mole; Moleface; Mrs. Martini; and Bhisma’s helper.

4 Responses to “King’s King”

  1. In “Carry On Up the Khyber”, the locals are kept in line by the terrifying prospect of Scotsmen with naught beneath their kilts. The exposure of a pair of boxer shorts triggers a rebellion.

    In “Bonnie Scotland” Laurel and Hardy sign up with the Scots, ironically because Ollie is in need of trousers. They end up in India under Sgt. Finlayson, and save the day with the help of bees.

    They join the French Foreign Legion twice, both times to help Ollie forget a woman. In “Beau Hunks” they defeat the barefoot Riffs. In “Flying Deuces” they spend most of their time in camp, until finally trying to fly a plane.

    They’re in the US Army in both World Wars. In “Pack Up Your Troubles” they try to avoid a recruiter by faking amputated arms, but Stan gives the game away. Thence trench warfare, followed by soppiness about a little girl. In “Blockheads” Ollie goes over the top, while Stan patiently minds the trench until 1939. Thence a reunion highlighted by an imaginary amputed leg. In “Great Guns” the boys are feaithful servants to a rich young man; they sign up when he’s drafted.

    The rest of their wartime films make them civilians, although they did contend with some foreign spies. In fact, there were so many movies about American clowns breaking up spy rings one wonders if there was a counterintuitive counterintelligence office, secretly pushing all the pratfall artists and farce comedians in the general direction of trouble.

    The boys represented the peacetime Navy as sailors on leave in “Two Tars” and “Men o’ War”. Their identical twins were merchant seamen in “Our Relations”.

    Their friend and inspiration Harry Langdon spent a surprising amount of time dithering on WWI battlefields in “Soldier Man”, “The Strong Man”, and “All Night Long”. Charley Chase did two connecting shorts about maintaining his doughboy quartet and courting French girl Thelma Todd, and one more where a terror of females was attributed to being rescued and aggressively tended by a troop of Russian woman soldiers …

    I forgot why I thought any of this was pertinent.

  2. Thanks for alerting me to the presence of Mr. Sardonicus. I was delighted to discover Castle’s actual innovation wasn’t a choice of endings but a fake audience soundscape to rig the vote.

  3. Andre Ferreira Says:

    i spent the whole of last week watching Henry King films (since I hadn’t seen any), so this edition of The Forgotten was a nice surprise. I watched two of his swashbucklers – Prince of Foxes and Captain from Castile – and agree with the soulful and sensitive label. They’re maybe not as fast as the WB ones, but they’re at their best when he’s just watching the characters. I particularly appreciated the way Powers’ Orsini changes throughout Foxes. Another adventure by King seems quite enticing.

    Regarding the shift from fluid to clumsy filmmaking: a similar thing happens in Wilson, which slips between dull stiadness and loveliness, hagiogrpahy and intelligence with alarming regularity. Still, the best moments feel quite special, I have a feeling I’ll be returning to the King well regularly. Thanks for your beautiful writing

  4. Thank YOU!

    Definitely check out King’s Americana, which is where his romantic feeling finds its most natural expression, I think.

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