Series: Laurel and Hardy
Director: James Parrott
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Bert Jordan
Sound: James Greene
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall, Baldwin Cooke
Released: 25 February 1933
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: L-12
Filming dates: December 8-15, 1932
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Brain specialist Hardy (M.D.) sits in his office typing out a memo on his typewriter when, after spilling a glass of water into his hat, his associate advisor Stan enters the room. Stan helpfully reminds Ollie that it was a year ago that day they both married each other's sisters. Stan is praised for his foresight to "marry into each other's familys" and is then asked to telephone the wives to propose an anniversary dinner that evening. Stan operates the switchboard and transfers a call from his sister (Mrs. Hardy) to talk to Ollie. When Ollie realises Stan is listening in on their conversation the two get into a fight which leads to a series of exchanges including blown wires, water, and then ink poured down the receiver!
Mrs. Laurel is then called to the phone, who explains to Stan that a dinner has already been arranged for the four of them, but he is not to let on to Ollie because it is supposed to be a surprise. The wives are back home (at Hardy's home, that is) when Mrs. Laurel (Hardy) asks Mrs. Hardy (Laurel) to give her (him) a hand preparing the table. As Mrs. Laurel gets underneath to unlatch the table, Mrs. Hardy places the large (surprise) cake on top, which then falls through as Mrs. Laurel pulls open the table from underneath. With a face full of cake, a new one is requested from the bakery! On arriving home that evening Ollie puts his key (which is on a chain attached to his trousers) into the front door and instructs Stan to open it. Naturally, Stan pushes the door open, and takes most of Hardy's trousers with it! Once inside, Stan goes just that extra step further by closing the door on the bunch of flowers Ollie is holding, causing them to be destroyed. Ollie escorts Stan out of the house and closes the door on him!
Having managed to sneak in through the back, Stan finds his sister (also him) there. She tells him of the cake incident earlier in the day and informs him that dinner will be ready "in just a while". In the bedroom, Mrs. Laurel (Hardy) is in her underwear getting ready for the dinner when she summons husband Stan and tells him to go down to the store to get some ice cream. So off Stan goes with a measly fifteen cents. In his absence the dinner begins without him, with Mrs. Hardy swirling down her drink and Mrs. Hardy making slurping sounds at the table, each trying to outdo one another. The tension is broken when the telephone rings with Stan advising the store doesn't have any strawberry ice cream. He is told to get chocolate instead but when this fails, he is told to get tutti-fruity. Another phone call later and it's vanilla he is ordered to get. When Stan returns to the house empty handed, having used up all his money on the phone calls he is shamed by his sister for being so dumb.
Stan sits down to begin his dinner, spending a considerable amount of time getting his fingers stuck in his bow-tie, his napkin stuck in his mouth and a piece of toast down his shirt before eventually eating the toast in one hand and licking butter from his other palm to compliment his food. Things appear to be 'normal' as the four sit in silence eating their food until Mrs. Laurel belittles Stan in front of the other guests for requesting horse's radish with his food. This unfolds into a verbal war between all of them until Ollie puts a stop to it when he demands to know what his big surprise is. This results in escalating argument at the table until the Hardy's are asked to leave. After an almost-physical confrontation between the two 'ladies' Mrs. Laurel ends up having sleeve of her dress ripped. The final indignity is when the replacement cake arrives (courtsey of Charlie Hall) and is express-delivered into Mrs. Laurel's face!
Mrs. Hardy (Stan) is told by the delivery boy Charlie Hall to ensure Mrs. Laurel (Hardy) receives the cake she has ordered. It's not only the manner in which she does receive the cake (pushed right in her face) but it's the whole scene as Hardy (as Mrs. Laurel) falls backwards in the chair plus the sound effect of the cake hitting her (him) in the face. Makes me laugh every time I see it!
• Copyrighted February 20, 1933.
• Female Stan's character was voiced by Carol Tevis, whilst May Wallace provided the voice-over for Ollie's character.
• The opening scene of the film starts with Stan asking Ollie, "Do you know what day it is?" Ollie replies, "No". Doesn't that seem odd that somebody wouldn't know what day of the week it was?
• The glass of water Ollie sips in the opening scene in his office is raised on two books.
• In the opening scene Hardy types "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party" on his typewriter.
• Hardy's telephone number is Waterloo 2-2 (pretty obvious really in a film called "Twice Two").
• Stan's suggestion for the anniversary involves going to Foo Young's and getting some sukiyakii. This is a Japanese dish made from beef, vegetables, soy sauce, sugar and mirin.
• The oriental theme is also evident in a large tapestry which hangs on the wall at the home.
• Why would anyone in their right mind want this monstrosity hanging on the wall in their home?
• After Mrs. Hardy tells Ollie off for calling Stan 'dumb', she goes back into the kitchen and Stan quickly hides behind the door. Watch the pot on the stove. The cut in the film to allow Stan Laurel to peep his head out from behind the door is clearly seen because the steam from the pot suddenly changes direction. Also, when Stan is talking to his sister in the kitchen and both are on-screen at the same time if you look closely you can see a white line running down the centre of the screen to separate the two edits of the scene before they were joined together in post production.
• Am I the only one who finds watching Oliver Hardy parading around the bedroom in a dress and wig disturbing? Not even sure if he is wearing false breasts. But let's not go there....
• When Ollie is getting dressed as Mrs. Laurel you can clearly see his tattoo in this shot.
• This isn't the first time Stan has had to go pick up ice cream in order to have dinner with Hardy and his wife. He accompanied Ollie to an ice cream store in "Come Clean".
• We can presume that each phone call Stan makes to the house costs five cents, seeing as he uses up his total of fifteen cents and rings three times.
• Look very carefully when Stan is ordering the chocolate ice cream and you can see Ham Kinsey walk past the store window.
• During the course of the film a total of 4 telephone calls are made. The first being at the start with Ollie speaking to his wife from his office, and later Stan rings the house 3 times to tell them about the lack of ice cream in the store.
• Towards the end of the film Mrs. Laurel (Hardy) has her dress ripped. Look closely and you can see that the rip is evident BEFORE it is actually ripped in the film. It is first noticeable after Stan (in drag) says the line "if I wasn't a perfect lady I'd bust you in the nose" - the cutaway reaction shot of Hardy (in drag) reveals the tear on his left shoulder. Subsequent shots reveal it intact, then torn, then intact again. Continuity errors ahoy!
• Charlie Hall's appearance is a total of fifteen seconds and two lines of dialogue in the final scene.
What the experts say
• "I am always baffled when Laurel and Hardy fans say this is one of their least entertaining films. Personally I think it is terrific." ~ Lord Heath.
Stan/Mrs. Sandy Hardy
Ollie/Mrs. Fanny Laurel
Stan Laurel's stunt double/Passerby
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(click any image to enlarge)
Randy Skretvedt (poster)
http://www.doctormacro.com/ (Jerry Murbach) (3 stills)
This page was last updated on: 02 June 2019