Our Relations  
 
30 October 1936
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
feature
6-reels (74 minutes)

 

Director: Harry Lachman  Producer: Hal Roach  Associate producer: Stan Laurel  Screen story: Richard Connell, Felix Adler
Suggested by the story 'The Money Box' by: W.W. Jacobs  Adaption: Charley Rogers, Jack Jevne
Screenplay contributions: Stan Laurel, Mauri Grashin, Clarence Hennecke, Harrington Reynolds
Cinematography:
Rudolph Maté  Editor: Bert Jordan  Production assistant: Charlie Hall
Music: Leroy Shield  Sound: William Randall  Special photographic effects: Roy Seawright
Casting: Joe Rivkin  Set decoration: Arthur I. Royce, William L. Stevens  Assistant director: Chet Brandenburg
Unit management: William H. Terhune  Production management: L.A. French, Henry Ginsberg, David Loew
Construction co-ordinator: Matt O'Brien  Still photographer: Stax Graves  Superivisor: L.A. French
Grip: Barney Carr  Assistant to Mr. Roach: Lawrence Tarver
Stunts: Ed Brandenburg, Jerry Breslin, Bobby Dunn, Ham Kinsey, Charles Phillips, David Sharpe, Cy Slocum

AVAILABLE ON DVD

DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ The Laurels and the Hardys are seated at the table for late afternoon tea, slowly getting disorganised with the passing of cutlery around in circles.  Finally Stan and Ollie announce "that is the best cup of tea you ever made" in unison.  It is a pleasant atmosphere and it's a good start to the film.  The clock chimes to bring an end to the proceedings and the ladies prepare themselves for their regular bridge game with Mrs. Addlequist.
A telegram arrives for Ollie, who attempts to read it aloud over the amplified crunchings of Stan and his celery.  It contains a photograph of Stan and Ollie with their identical twin brothers, Bert And Alf. [see 'Did you notice? section for a disection of this]  Ollie is quick to point out to Stan (and for our benefit) who is who in the picture before reading further that the twins joined the navy and got themselves a poor reputation.  To prevent the wives finding out about their family history, Stan decides to burn all evidence of 'Bert and Alf'.
The aforementioned twins are aboard the Periwinkle, a ship docking in the local harbor.  They are preparing to go ashore and spend their earnings when their dodgy shipmate Fin talks them into handing over their money to him as a savings investment.  The gullible pair oblige with their $74.
Before leaving the ship, the captain (Sidney Toler) summons the boys to explain that they are to remain on board to receive a valuable package and to bring it to him when it arrives.  Later, Bert and Alf stop to ask a cop (Harry Bernard) for directions to 'Denker's Beer Garden'.  After giving them the directions, Bert and Alf make their way to their intended destination, whilst Stan and Ollie also bump into the same cop just moments later.
Bert and Alf order a beer and two clean straws from the owner (Alan Hale).  An inquisitive Bert (Hardy) opens up the package intended for the captain to reveal a beautiful pearl ring.  This is overseen by two pretty girls who are seated nearby.  The owner/waiter brings over the most froth-filled glass of beer ever seen and receives complaints (justifiably) from Bert.  After a stunt with one of the straws goes wrong, the ladies' drinks are spoiled by Bert, who offers for the women to join them.  After the introductions are sorted out, the ladies take no time in ordering the biggest meals on the menu.
Afraid they don't have enough money to pay for the extravagant meals ordered by the ladies, the boys speak in private and use a nearby vacant telephone booth.  The already-cramped confines of the booth is further filled when a drunken customer (Arthur Housman - who else?) also climbs in to answer a call he has been waiting for.  The three men uncomfortably scramble around as the drunk takes the call from his wife.  After a squashed struggle, eventually the booth topples over, spilling the men out onto the floor.  The owner isn't happy.
Bert and Alf attempt to leave quietly in order to get more money to take care of the ladies they have met but are forced into handing over the valuable pearl ring as a security deposit with the owner before he will let them leave.  The boys seek out Fin and demand their money back.  When he refuses to co-operate, the boys search the hotel room (and Ollie's pockets!) before stealing Fin's clothes and pawning them for $2.  In a clever double-cross, Fin tells the boys that their money was sewn in the lining of the clothes Bert and Alf just pawned.  The boys are forced to take off their clothes so that Fin can use them to go and get his own clothes back.
With Bert and Alf left stranded and semi-naked in the hotel room, their twin brothers Stan and Ollie turn up at the Denker's Beer Garden and are joined by their wives.  They sit down and order dinner, but are quickly accosted by the two ladies who have been waiting for Bert and Alf to return.  This is where the confusion begins!  The waiter confirms the identities of Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy as having been there earlier in the day and the wives erupt!  Ollie is forced to settle the check and is handed 'back' the ring 'he' left as security previously.  Nobody knows what is going on.

DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/

DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/
  To make matters worse, Fin arrives to further add insult to injury by claiming not only that he knows the boys, but the last time he saw them they were naked!  He even produces a revealing photograph of them to really stick the knife in.  The wives have seen enough and take off.  Stan and Ollie, without speaking a single word of dialogue, take turns to assault, humiliate and violently ruin Finlayson's head!

REVIEW IS INCOMPLETE TO 50%

Favourite bit
In what can only be described as a brutal, prolonged revenge attack from Stan and Ollie, they subject James Finlayson to a terrifying ordeal at Denker's Beer Garden.
1. The slap a heap of mustard on Fin's bald head and slap down his toupee on top.
2. They shove a lightbulb in his mouth and slam it shut, setting his mouth on fire.
3. Then they take the electric light holder and place it on Fin's nose, turn it on and burn him.
4. And to top it all off, the boys pour a pint of beer into Fin's hat and pour it down over his head.

Facts
•Filmed March 16 - May 4, 1936.
•With the exception of "Hal Roach Studios presents...", Hal Roach's name does not appear anywhere on the credits.
•Television revivals have been ruthless to this film in terms of cutting.  There is even a one-reel version under the title of "Sailors Downfall".
•Production F-11 - Laurel & Hardy feature.
•Copyrighted September 29, 1936.  Re-released in January 1948.
Did you notice?
•The first line of dialogue goes to Daphne Pollard; "No Betty, this is yours."
•The afternoon tea scene at the beginning takes place at 4:30pm.  The chimes from the clock are those of Big Ben (the famous bell from the Houses of Parliament in London).
•In the photograph Ollie receives from his mother, Stan is seen holding a toy yaucht.  This is very similar to a shot of Stan seen holding a toy boat in the hallway in Be Big!
•In the photograph Ollie receives, don't you just think it typical that it would be Ollie sitting in the chair with Stan standing?
•The brothers are Stan and Alf & Ollie and Bert.
•Look closely at the photograph.  Firstly, Ollie holds it and we see a close-up, and then Stan holds it.  The photo which is shown to the camera is slightly different.

On the left is Ollie holding the picture, and on the right is Stan holding the picture.
Notice the almost-identical poses, but look closely and you can definitely spot the difference!  For one, they are not even wearing the same clothes!
The question is, why would the props department need to take two separate photos?  Why couldn't the one picture be used in both shots?  Strange.
•The name of the ship that Bert and Alf are sailing on is the Periwinkle.
•Bert and Alf have been sailors on the Periwinkle for 15 years.
•The boys hand over $74 to Fin as their investment.  He returns $1 to them for shore spending money, but when Fin fills out the receipt he states an I.O.U. of $74.
•Why entrust a "couple of mugs" to take care of such a valuable package?
•Bert claims that his mother's name was Alice.  When he is challenged, he quips, "That was her second name on my father's side."
•Alice orders, among other things, mock turtle soup.  Hardy used this dish as one of his specialties years later in Nothing But Trouble.
•The reason that Arthur Housman was waiting to use the phone booth was so that he could tell his wife that he was bringing home the milk.
•In Going Bye-Bye! Ollie complains that his ear is full of milk.  In this film, it is Stan whose ear (and face) is covered in milk when a pint of milk is spilled on him in the phone booth.
•The man who is called over to help pick up the fallen phone booth in Denker's Beer Garden is Sam Lufkin.
•The pawn shop is the "A And Z" pawn shop.
•Look quickly and you can see that the owner of the pawn shop is none other than Charlie Hall.  Hall worked as a production assistant on the picture.
•As the boys stand in the street and call up to Fin (29:41 on 'The Essential Collection' DVD), notice a wire behind then, running horizontally.  A few seconds later, it is used to pull an automobile into view.  This is evident from the fact there is no sound of an engine as the vehicle passes.
•Ollie tells his wife that Stan took him to see a punch and judy show.  This must have been the second time then because the last time he made such a confession he was berated by previous wife, Mae Busch for having done so, in Their First Mistake.
•There is a risque piece of dialogue spoken by Finlayson in Denker's Beer Garden when he tells Mrs. Laurel and Mrs. Hardy that the last time he saw their 'husbands' they had no clothes on!
•James C. Morton plays a barman who keeps a mallet behind the bar.  He also played a barman with a mallet in Way Out West.

Stan Laurel
Stan / Alf Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Ollie / Bert Hardy
Alan Hale
Joe Grogan
Sidney Toler
Captain of the S.S. Periwinkle
Daphne Pollard
Mrs. Daphne Hardy
Betty Healy
Mrs. Betty Laurel
James Finlayson
Finn
Iris Adrian
Alice
Lona Andre
Lily
Ralf Harolde
Gangster boss
Noel Madison
Second gangster at Pirate's Club
Arthur Housman
Drunk
Sam Lufkin
Joe, the waiter
Charlie Hall
Pawnbroker
 
Dell Henderson
Judge Polk
Fred Holmes
Bailiff
 
James C. Morton
Beer Garden bartender
Harry Bernard
First police officer
Tiny Sandford
Tiny
Constantine Romanoff
Tuffy
Walter Taylor
Snuffy
Joe Bordeaux
Concreting tough
Ruth Warren
Mrs. Addlequist
Foxie Hall
Cake waitress
 
Bobby Dunn
Telegram messenger
John Kelly
First mate
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Lee Phelps
Pirates Club barman
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/
Leo Sulky
Courtoom extra
     
UNIDENTIFIED
Ship's mate





Acknowledgements:
http://www.laurel-and-hardy.com/films/features/ourrelations-c&c.html (Laurel And Hardy.com)
Laurel And Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
'The Films Of Laurel And Hardy' by William K. Everson (book)

This page was last updated on: 07 December 2015