“Half Shot at Sunrise” is a 1930 American pre-Code comedy film directed by Paul Sloane and starring Wheeler and Woolsey. The film follows the comedic misadventures of two American soldiers, Jerry (Bert Wheeler) and “Scoop” (Robert Woolsey), who go AWOL in Paris during World War I.
Jerry and Scoop decide to spend a wild night on the town, but they end up getting mixed up with a group of criminals who are trying to steal a valuable painting from a wealthy businessman’s home. Jerry and Scoop get mistaken for the burglars and are forced to go along with the plan to avoid being caught by the police.
Along the way, the duo encounters a bevy of beautiful women, including a seductive French woman named Yvonne (Dorothy Lee), who gets involved in the chaos. There are also several hilarious slapstick moments, including a scene in which Jerry and Scoop accidentally set fire to the businessman’s home.
Eventually, Jerry and Scoop manage to foil the criminals’ plans and clear their names, but not before causing chaos and mayhem throughout Paris. The film ends with the duo returning to their barracks and facing the consequences of their wild night out.
“Half Shot at Sunrise” is a classic example of the zany, irreverent humor that defined many pre-Code comedies of the early 1930s. The film was a box office success and helped to establish Wheeler and Woolsey as one of the most popular comedy teams of the era.
James Ashmore Creelman, Anne Caldwell, Ralph Spence
Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee