|Director: Raymond McCarey ♦ Producer: Hal Roach ♦ Dialogue: H.M. Walker ♦
Cinematography: Art Lloyd ♦ Editor: Richard C. Currier ♦ Assistant director: Lloyd French
Music: ♦ Marvin Hatley, Leroy Shield, J.S. Zamecnik ♦ Sound recording engineer: James Greene
Released: 10 September 1932
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / 2-reels (sound short)
|Laurel and Hardy are in court, charged with vagrancy. Stan claims they were sleeping on a park bench but despite their plea of not guilty, the growling judge (Richard Cramer) summons them to get out of town within the hour and to never set eyes on them again.
Outside in the rain they encounter a drunk (Arthur Housman) attempting (unsuccessfully) to get into his car. Staggering all over the place, he falls to the ground and loses his key down a drain. The boys see his plight and offer their assistance. Ollie sees that the key is down the drain and tries to lift up the grille, but finds it is too heavy. He employs the help of Stan, who is propping up the drunk. Stan takes a piece of chewing gum and attaches it to the end of the drunk's umbrella and shoves it down the drain. The ingenious solution has just one problem: the umbrella unfolds as it is inside the drain, meaning it cannot be pulled back out again.
Ollie takes charge and lifts the up the grille, but despite having asked Stan to hold on to the drunk, he (the drunk) staggers backwards and falls down the open hole in the sidewalk, taking Hardy with him! (see "Favourite bit")
|The grateful drunk offers to take the boys home, but Ollie confesses they don't have anywhere to go. The drunk tells Ollie that he will take them back to his home instead and asks for the key to his car. It becomes apparent the key is still down the drain, so Ollie opens up the covering (again), but this time it's Stan's turn to disappear down the hole, whilst holding the drunk!
Ollie sees a policeman coming and closes the drain, warning Stan to keep quiet for a minute. Stan relays the message to the drunk, who dismisses the request with a raspberry. The policeman hears the sound just as he passes by Ollie and gives him a sharp knock to the back of his head with the truncheon. Below the street, the drunk repeats his rude sound and again the cop thinks it is Ollie, and gives chase around the block but he too falls victim to the drain hole...
Later, Stan and Ollie arrive at the house which is allegedly owned by the drunk. As they ascend the steps to the front door, he announces that he has lost the key to the front door (look at Ollie's facial expression!) Ollie tries to help by searching the drunk's pockets. Stan does the same, except that he searches Ollie's pockets! It's no use, and Ollie goes off in search of an open window. He just happens to find one (such unforeseen luck!) and calls for Stan to help him to crawl in through the open gap.
Ollie tries to elevate Stan up with a push, but this turns out to be a calamity of efforts on both their parts. Meanwhile, the drunk, who has been left alone temporarily, leans against the front door and falls backwards through it. Unseen by the boys, they continue their quest to gain access via the window. Stan is successful, and then tries to pull Ollie through. By this time, the drunk has fallen asleep in an armchair, huddled to his gin. The noise of the boys crashing in through the window wakes up the butler, who consults his alarm clock before nodding back off to sleep.
Now that Stan and Ollie have gotten into the house, they look for their new friend (they actually walk right past him in doing so) and open the front door to look outside. Stan closes the door behind them and they end up right back where they started. They go to the window and Ollie proposes they take a look and see if he's in there, and gets down on all fours (to allow Stan to climb onto his back). When Stan gets down beside him, the viewer realises just how dumb Stan is! Stan does climb up onto Ollie's back and looks through the window, but their drunken friend is nowhere to be seen. The boys return to the front door, where Stan has the ingenious idea of ringing the bell!
|The drunk answers the call and invites the boys into 'his' house and tells them to make themselves comfortable whilst he puts the car away. He then pours himself a drink and goes upstairs, and is confronted by the butler (Wilson Benge), who orders him to leave. The drunk falls down the stairs (and is not seen again) and the crashing noise brings the lady of the house, Mrs. Beaumont (Vivien Oakland) out of her bedroom to inquire what has happened. The butler informs her that the drunken intruder had thought he was in his own home. She tells the butler to make sure the intruder is gone before returning to her bed.
Elsewhere, Stan and Ollie have made themselves very comfortable, wearing expensive pajamas, and sprucing themselves right up. After a short while, they wonder where their host has gone and decide to go and look for him. The boys venture out onto the landing and at the same moment they are seen by Mrs. Beaumont. She screams at their presence and collapses in a heap on the floor. Ollie tells Stan to fetch some water in order to revive her, believing the woman to be the wife of the drunk. Stan pours the 'water' into a glass and Ollie gives it to the woman. Of course, we know this is the liquor which was in the possession of the drunk prior to his departure.
Formal introductions are made and the boys are invited to sit with the woman in her bedroom. It doesn't take long for the effects of the gin to kick in with Mrs. Beaumont and she is soon giggling to herself for no apparent reason. Initially Stan and Ollie are bemused but finally give in to her infectious laughing fit. The three of them laugh until their sides are splitting, drawing the viewer's reaction to do likewise. The momentum broken only by Stan's mis-placed elbow on his knee, bringing about a look of pain to his face. Finally, she breaks the fit and demands to dance. Ollie refuses, stating that her husband may not be acceptable to it but she turns on the pianola and completely loses all her inhibitions, dancing erratically around the room with Ollie who is desperate to escape her clutches.
She has some fun with Stan, poking him in the neck and forcing his tongue to poke out. Her husband - "the judge" arrives home and hears the commotion coming from upstairs. She gets the hic-cups and Stan pours her another glass of 'water' - right under the nose of her husband on the landing. She takes the drink and the laughing fit starts all over again. Until her husband walks in and sees the three of them... and the lights go out!
Ollie is trying to fetch the key from down the drain, but as he opens the grille up, Arthur Housman drunkenly falls backwards without a care in the world, taking Ollie with him!
This scene is so funny it requires you to watch it again and again!
•Filmed June 18 - circa July 1, 1932.
•The title card and credits uses the same painted backdrop as those used in the previous film, County Hospital.
•This film was made after the completion of Pack Up Your Troubles, yet was released one week before it, in September 1932.
Did you notice?
•One of the men awaiting his hearing in the courtroom is Charles Dorety. He is sitting next to Hardy on the bench before the boys are called. The foreman is Baldwin Cooke, though you only see him briefly (he tells Stan to "take off your hat"). Sam Lufkin is the policeman who stands guard at the rear.
•The judge, Richard Cramer, utters the title of the film when he orders Stan and Ollie to leave the court.
•The car Arthur Housman is trying to get into is parked in front of a fire hydrant.
•After Arthur Housman informs the boys that he has lost his key, it's a little co-incidental that Ollie finds it so easily. I mean, of all the places a key could have been lost, it wasn't an obvious place for it to be found?
•Watch Ollie's mouth as he delivers the line, "We'll have it in just a jiffy". Arthur Housman repeats the line, but Ollie mouths the line as well.
•How is it that when Ollie first attempts to lift the drain grille, he claims it is too heavy, and yet after Stan gets the umbrella stuck down there, Ollie manages to lift it without any effort? Then later as he opens it back up for Stan to fall down!
•When the policeman chases Ollie around the block, he skids into the open drain. As he does, his cape opens up a little like Batman!
•The house that the boys take Arthur Housman to is the same one they show up and ruin the wedding in their next film, Pack Up Your Troubles.
•Stan and Ollie were obviously so desperate for somewhere to sleep that they were willing to allow a man so drunk he couldn't even stand up, drive them to his house!
•Just how easy was it back in those days to break into someone's house? It seems that no matter where you look, there's always an accessible window open for anyone to climb through! Having said that, how easy was it for the drunk to gain access to the house as well? All he had to do was put a little weight on the front door and it opened. Was the judge (whose house it was) asking to be burgled, do you think? Bad lapse in security, me thinks.
•The seams under the arms of Stan's jacket are splitting. This is evident when he is trying to climb up on Ollie to get into the house.
•The time on the butler's alarm clock when the boys crash through the window and into the house is 3:15am.
•On the doorstep, after coming out of the house, Ollie asks where the other guy had gone? Stan suggests he may have followed them through the window. The mere thought of this improbability, given the drunk's state, is laughable in itself.
•Arthur Housman tells the boys to make themselves comfortable whilst he puts the car away. He does no such thing. He makes a drink and goes upstairs.
•Vivien Oakland asks for another glass of water when she gets the hic-cups. Ollie asks her "if I give you another glass of water will you go to bed?" He says almost the same identical line to his children in Brats - and look how that turned out!
•At 19:31 on the "Essential Collection" DVD, Vivien Oakland leans forward on the bed whilst laughing. A considerable amount of her cleavage can be seen for a split second. See here.
Hawkins, the butler
Policeman in courtroom
"The Magic Behind The Movies" by Randy Skretvedt