Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tonight's Movie: Hay Foot (1942) - A ClassicFlix DVD Review

Last month I watched TANKS A MILLION (1941), the first film in The Complete Hal Roach Streamliners Collection, Volume 1: The Tracy & Sawyer Military Comedies from ClassicFlix.

Tonight I returned to the six-film set for the second film in the series, HAY FOOT (1942), and I'm pleased to report I enjoyed it as much as the first movie.

The cast from the first film returns, as we find Sgt. "Dodo" Doubleday (William Tracy) working at a training camp for Col. Barkley (James Gleason).

Dodo is blessed with both a photographic memory and amazing luck, which makes him the nemesis of veteran Sgt. Ames (Joe Sawyer), who is annoyed by the ease with which everything comes to Dodo.

Sgt. Ames and Sgt. Charlie Cobb (Noah Beery Jr.) are also in competition with Dodo for the attention of Col. Barkley's pretty daughter Betty (Elyse Knox).

Knox plays a different character than she played in TANKS A MILLION, while the male actors all reprise their previous roles. Douglas Fowley and Frank Faylen also return from the earlier film.

As is the case with other Streamliners, this 48-minute movie is roughly double the length of a two-reeler short but shorter than a typical "B" film. It's the perfect length for a film of this type, a lightweight but entertaining comedy which ends before stretching itself too thin.

The movie stitches together a number of comedic sequences, starting with a very amusing bit involving a dog Dodo is hiding from Col. Barkley.

A section in which Dodo accidentally has perfect aim on a shooting range is fun, and I especially enjoyed the bit near the end when Dodo, Cobb, and Ames all call on Betty. The other two men are jealous and keep tossing Dodo out of the house behind Betty's back until he finds an ingenious method to keep them in line, once again involving the dog.

Everyone goes through their paces with comedic flair and professionalism, and Knox is charming as the girl in the middle of it all. For those who might be unaware, Knox was the mother of actor Mark Harmon (NCIS).

HAY FOOT was directed by Fred Guiol and filmed in black and white by Robert Pittack.

The print and sound were very good; in fact, I believe this print was an improvement on TANKS A MILLION.

ClassicFlix Silver Series discs are initially pressed, but when those supplies run low they may instead be released MOD (manufactured on demand).

ClassicFlix has just released a new Streamliners set, Volume 2: Westerns, with Volume 3: Taxi Comedies coming next week. Volume 4: Musicals will be out in August, and ClassicFlix just announced Volume 5: Pitts & Summerville Plus Other Rarities coming in October.

Thanks to ClassicFlix for providing a review copy of this DVD.


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