Saps at Sea (1940)

Saps at Sea (1940)

“You’re allergic to horns — in fact, you’re on the verge of hornomania!”

After Ollie (Oliver Hardy) has a nervous breakdown, he and Stan (Stanley Laurel) quit their jobs at a horn-testing factory, rent a boat for relaxation, and find themselves out to sea with an escaped convict.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • At Sea
  • Comedy
  • Fugitives
  • Laurel & Hardy Films

While diehard Laurel and Hardy fans won’t be disappointed, this film is ultimately more a series of comedic skits (Stan and Ollie in a horn-testing factory; Ollie trying in vain to recuperate; Stan and Ollie dealing with a fugitive convict) than a full-length narrative. The material is mostly unoriginal, and the scene where Stan and Ollie are forced to eat an inedible meal on their ship is downright derivative of Chaplin’s shoelace-eating sequence in The Gold Rush (1925).

Film fanatics will be better off watching one of L&H’s earlier masterpieces, such as Sons of the Desert (1933), Way Out West (1937), or Blockheads (1938).

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • The opening scenes at the horn-testing factory
  • A surrealistic moment as Stan peels a banana without any fruit inside

Must See?
No. I’m not sure why this film is listed in the back of Peary’s book, other than its status as one of Laurel and Hardy’s later full-length works.


One thought on “Saps at Sea (1940)

  1. First viewing. Not must-see.

    I’m certain that L&H fans remain out there somewhere. I just can’t imagine who they are. Kids? As stated, this is little more than a series of gags held together by a thin premise. Mostly non-stop slapstick. I guess you either go for this stuff or you don’t. I most certainly don’t.

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