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Great Guns (1941)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, War | 10 October 1941 (USA)
Laurel and Hardy join the army. They are hardly soldiers, but they believe their employer will need them now he's drafted.


Monty Banks (as Montague Banks)


Lou Breslow (original screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Stan
Oliver Hardy ... Oliver
Sheila Ryan ... Ginger Hammond
Dick Nelson Dick Nelson ... Dan Forrester
Edmund MacDonald ... Hippo
Charles Trowbridge ... Col. Ridley
Ludwig Stössel ... Dr. Schickel (as Ludwig Stossel)
Kane Richmond ... Capt. Baker
Mae Marsh ... Aunt Martha
Ethel Griffies ... Aunt Agatha
Paul Harvey ... Gen. Taylor
Charles Arnt ... Doctor
Pierre Watkin ... Col. Wayburn
Russell Hicks ... Gen. Burns
Irving Bacon ... Postman


Laurel and Hardy work for sickly heir Dan Forrester, who has been diagnosed with a myriad of debilitating allergies. However, when the draft board sees things differently and he seems very happy to leave the confines of his sick room, his loyal employees join him in the U. S. Army. He seems to thrive on Army chow and regimen and even becomes a rival to the growling Sergeant Hippo for the affections of beautiful post employee Ginger Hammond . The bumbling Stan and Ollie also get a chance to redeem themselves when they participate in the all-important war game maneuvers. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THEY'RE BACK AGAIN...in the most hilarious comedy of their career!


Comedy | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 October 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Forward March See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When it was released in October 1941 the film was seen as very dated with its focus on a cavalry unit, as the Fall of France and the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union had demonstrated the clear superiority of tanks in warfare. See more »


The 10th Cavalry was the segregated Buffalo Soldiers so while there may be some senior white officers all the NCOs and soldiers would be Black. See more »


Stan: [Hippo lights his pipe with an exploded shell and gets soot all over his face] Look, they've assigned us a porter.
Oliver: You may start over here, my good man, and you may have Thursdays off.
Stan: Twice a week.
See more »


Edited into Myra Breckinridge (1970) See more »


You're In The Army Now
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Isham Jones
Lyrics by Tell Taylor and Ole Olsen
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Now we ain't sayin' this is a Bad Movie, It's just that It's a Bad LAUREL & HARDY Movie. Get it, Schultz?
28 December 2008 | by redryan64See all my reviews

ANYONE (and this would include about everyone) who has ever watched the Films of Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy, generally loves the team and can watch and re-watch their works again and again; only to put them away for a time and repeat the process over and over again many times. The films are just that good and one can see that there was real care and affection for their production that was a driving force in their inception and realization to screen.

STARTING with their accidental teaming on the lot of Hal Roach Studios in (Circa) 1926 to the sound movies they made in 1940, the tally board shows one great and memorable comedy short or feature after another. To be sure, some of their films were a cut above the others and others are not quite up to their standards; but overall, they were among the best comedies in the world.

THEN something happened. The team left the hallowed sanctuary of Hal Roach for some seemingly greener pastures on just the other side of the fence. The result was they didn't make the films the way that the two comedians were used to. Instead of feeling their way through a basic premise, with a highly flexible and briefly written script, they were given their assignments to do Picture "A" and then they'd do it. There was very little wiggle room at the two studios in which they worked; being 20th Century-Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. No longer could Stan Laurel work out a gag and shoot it from a variety of angles in to get the gag just right visually. The new order of the day called for getting the movie done in as little "takes" as is possible.

NOW we are talking about today's 'victim', GREAT GUNS (20th Century-Fox, 1941). Other than THE FLYING DEUCES (Boris Moros/RKO Radio Pictures, 1939), this is the first movie made by the Laurel & Hardy team outside of Hal Roach Studios. Not that the movie is all that bad as a wartime comedy (even tough it was released two months before the Pearl Harbor Attack of December 7, 1941) which it is not. It's just that it is a terrible Laurel & Hardy Film. (Get it, Schultz?) BASICALLY it is much like the Abbott & Costello vehicle, BUCK PRIVATES (Universal Pictures, 1941), which was released January 31, 1941. These and other films were Hollywood's way of getting the country in the cooperative mood to accept the National Conscription Act which had brought about the first Peacetime Draft in the History of the United States.

ONCE again, GREAT GUNS isn't really a bad movie. It's just that it's not a good Laurel & Hardy outing. While it is probably not the worst, it was mainly all down hill from that point on. The best of the Post Roach L & H's is said to be JITTERBUGS (20th CEntury-Fox, 1944) with Vivian Blaine; but that's another story, Schultz!


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