December 12, 1931 was the release date of the Laurel and Hardy comedy short Beau Hunks.
This is the short that was later remade (and padded to full length) as Flying Deuces (1939). The title is a play on Beau Geste. The boys join the French foreign legion to help Hardy forget a woman. (Hilarious that Stan would come along!) They are inept soldiers of course. They get separated from their company and end up beating them to a fort that is under siege by Arabs. They save the fort by throwing down tacks so the bare-footed Arabs end up hopping up and down in agony until reinforcements arrive. Hardy personally delivers the Arab chief to his post commander. Then Stan spoils the whole reason for being there in the first place by accidentally showing him a picture of his girl.
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To find out more about show business past and present, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.