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Anything can happen and it probably will!
am 7. Juli 2008
Like most people, I guess, I saw this on TV years ago and then sporadically after that. Its appearance, at last, on DVD is marvelous because it must be in my top five favorite comedy movies. There is a storyline: the hero puts on a musical, hoping it will be a success so that he can marry his true love. But in Hellzapoppin any story would do because it is just there as a foil for Olsen and Johnson to move from one visual gag to another in double quick time and it is probably unique in cramming so much in.
There is something extra though. This is most likely the only comedy to extensively explore the potential of film itself. Tex Avery did it in his cartoons and Woody Allen used the idea for the `Purple Rose of Cairo' but Hellzapoppin writers Perrin and Wilson really took advantage of the idea. So, a few of these include freeze frame, split frame: with O&J split in half and trying to push the top half of the frame up to correct the fault, a cinema projectionist talks to O&J, they annoy him so he puts on a western, part of which has an Indian shooting O&J, messages are flashed on screen (as in Saturday morning kids shows) telling Stinky Miller to go home, this happens in a romantic musical number with the two singers stopping and they tell Stinky to go home, a black silhouette appears and he leaves.
The use of the film aspect of Hellzapoppin was the cherry on the cupcake for me but even without it I think it would still incredibly funny. A gem!