West of Hot Dog (1924) Stan Laurel Movie Review

West of Hot Dog (1924)   3/53/53/53/53/5




30 mins


Stan Laurel in West of Hot Dog (1924)

Before Hardy

Having received news that he is in line for some inheritance in the small town of Hot Dog, the naive Stan makes his way there, getting robbed on the way when the stagecoach he is travelling on is robbed by a band of outlaws. Never the less Stan makes it to Hot Dog where he learns that he is going to get everything including "The Last Chance Saloon" but if he dies the saloon goes to Bad Mike who is less than impressed to discover he is getting nothing. So now Stan has to run before Mike does away with him except he ends up taking Mike's horse which takes him to Mike's house and even more trouble for Stan.

When you mention the name Stan Laurel you immediately think of his long time partner Oliver Hardy and the great comedies which they made together. But there was life before Hardy for Stan Laurel and at one point he was even Charlie Chaplin's understudy. One of the many movies which Laurel made before teaming up with Oliver Hardy was "West of Hot Dog" a fun 30 minute short which is light on story and heavy with visual gags which still work surprisingly well today with some reasonable editing making repetitive jokes such as Stan being tossed out of a 2nd floor window surprisingly impressive.

But as I said that "West of Hot Dog" is light on the old story with this set up of an inheritance and Stan's life being in danger from a bad guy who will get the inheritance if Stan dies. It is just about enough as a vehicle for lots of sight gags although to be honest it isn't enough to sustain a 30 minute movie. Now usually I think to myself what must it have been like watching this for the first time in 1924 but in a strange way it made me wonder what someone from 1924 would make of modern cinema as things are so different.

What this all boils down to is that "West of Hot Dog" is a fun look at the sort of movies which Stan Laurel was making before joining up with Oliver Hardy. And it is entertaining although not overly memorable with very little in the way of standout humour.