The Prehistory of Farce

The primary recommendation for The Goose and the Gander comes from historical relevance. In Hayes Code Hollywood, the depictions of divorce and infidelity may have seemed quite scandalous (I'd like to find some references one way or the other here, but haven't yet). Yet there seems to be a moral high ground here, for everyone's dubious intentions are foiled.

The characters may on occasion be more stilted than stumbling, and the script certainly pulls its punch a few times. Despite the rough edges which scream so loudly by today's standards, there is a heart of absolute ridiculousness, pleasantly clever, and plausible enough for a proto-farce such as this.

As a scant 65 minutes, there's not a lot of depths to plumb, yet there is likewise little need. You know enough by the characters' relations to each other - the married couple, the former wife, the wife's would-be fling, and then the thieving couple taking jewelry from the fancy hotel we start in, who then stumble into something larger and more confusing than they were prepared for.

While naive as it stands, the story rivals many modern farces in its story, which is remarkably consistent and funny. This one is ripe for a remake, or at least an episode of Frasier.

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