The King  
 
14 June 1930
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
sound short
2-reels

 

Directors: James W. Horne, Charley Rogers  Producer: Hal Roach  Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Cinematography: Len Powers  Editor: Richard C. Currier  Sound recording: Elmer Raguse

REVIEW BY MICK ROCHE A very bad tempered Queen, played exceedingly well, by our very own Thelma Todd, has returned from vacation and wants to see her husband, the King. (Harry Langdon) Who acts more like her son! Eyes seeking left and right, she storms through the palace, with fanfare, ignoring the servants bowing respectfully. Her fierce expression and swaying hips, not only enhance her beauty, but encourages us to make our first cup of tea! She finally reaches her throne and sits down absolutely fuming, asking her royal advisor (James Parrott) in a sinister voice, "Where is the King?" Under his ridiculously large moustache, Parrott repeats Thelma's question dumbly. This doesn't decrease Thelma's temper in the slightest, so asks the question in a louder voice. Stupidly, Parrott says "Hmmm" and asks the question AGAIN, in a SLOWER tone! You know Thelma, she's had enough, so, up lifts her chin and down slams her hand on the arm of the throne. This FINALLY galvanises Parrott into action and moves quickly to find the King. Thelma is left fuming more than ever and twisting her mouth in temper.
Parrott sees his wife and warns her not to flirt, as he lost his last position "Through thy foolishness." The wife tells him not to be silly. He says, "Well, I warn thee!" (Tough, eh? He wasn't acting so brave with the Queen a minute ago!) Parrott seems to be distracted with something off-camera, but then goes to the garden to find the King playing 'hunting in the woods' with his soldiers. He is aiming his gun at a can on the wall, but shoots wildly, smashing a window, then a pot plant. Parrott is asking a guard (Otto Fries) the whereabouts of the King. "Hunting in the woods? Are you sure?" The third bullet then knocks off the guard's hat, who answers, quite casually, "Quite sure, your excellency." Harry goes back to his soldiers, who march about at his will. Parrott tells Harry that the Queen, "Requests your presence in the throne room." Harry and the soldiers sulk and moan "Ah, zooks!" Then resume playing, 'being on parade'. Playfully, a Lady In Waiting (Dorothy Granger), lines up also. Harry dusts down and pats his soldiers for inspection and stops himself just in time before patting Dorothy's stomach. She gives him the 'come-on' and says "I've been looking for thouest, in the throne room." Harry is very pleased at this, especially when Dorothy puckers up her lips for a kiss! He gets excited (well you would!) and stutters "Oh-oh", a few times. IMAGE COMING SOON
IMAGE COMING SOON As what normally happens in these situations, when Harry and Dorothy start kissing, Harry's Wife/Mother/Queen (take your pick!) appears, together with her entourage that carries her robes. Parrott tries to warn Harry, "The Queen, The Queen!" In a voice that tries to shout quietly! (We've all done it!) One by one, the soldiers, Parrott and eventually Harry, all run for their lives shouting "Oh-oh!" Harry blows his whistle in a vain attempt to call his soldiers back, to no avail. Thelma and the Ladies In Waiting, still carrying her robes, all chase Harry around the park bench. His whistling increases along with his fear and trips over in front of the bench and Queen Thelma lifts him effortlessly across her knee, tries to hide a smile, then chin up and spanking begins! Poor Harry whistles in pain! After a few smacks, SHE yells, "OUCH?!" Her hand is in great pain. She peels back his pants to reveal a horseshoe! (How mad IS this film?) The smacks continue even harder, Harry's still whistling and asks his advisor Parrott, who is on his knees to talk to Harry, "What do you advise now?" Parrott replies, "Well I told you the Queen wanted you in the throne room!" Harry, still being spanked, not impressed with his advisor's 'advice', tells him "Yeah, you give me a pain in my palace!" At last, spanking over, Thelma grabs Harry's hand to take him to the throne room. Parrott tries to explain how he 'did the best he could'.
Thelma holds her hand aloft and says loudly, "Silence!" She mistakenly grabs Parrott's hand and takes him towards the palace. As Parrott is too stupid to tell Thelma she's got the wrong man, Harry makes his getaway. He sees Parrott's wife and she tells him that she is from a neighbouring kingdom. Harry is pleased that they are 'neighbours' and as he turns to walk away, she purposely drops her handkerchief. Harry picks it up and proceeds to dust himself down with it! He gives it to her and she rewards him with a long kiss that causes his gun to go off (oh missus!) and faint. She runs away and it is left to Parrott to help Harry to his feet. Parrott's wife is now making eyes at one of the guards. Unfortunately for him, Parrott sees this, grabs him and shouts, "SO! At last I've caught you!" Harry, enjoying all this, chimes in, "Ah, we caught you, see?" He also joins in with Parrott when he rips off the guards epaulets and calling him a 'scoundrel'. Then Parrott punches the poor guard on the nose, knocking him to the ground. This happens three times, on each occasion Harry holds his nose in sympathetic pain, but yelling "Fight!" in enjoyment. The guard is then led away, at Parrott's order, into 'the deepest dungeon'. Parrott's wife faints and Harry catches her. "What did he do?" Harry asks Parrott about the descending guard. Parrott replies, "He winked at my wife!" This makes Harry laugh and he asks where Parrott's wife is. "There!" Parrott answers, pointing to the woman in Harry's arms.
IMAGE COMING SOON Harry is in immediate fear, gibbering stupidly, "I did not kiss her, I did never did kiss her, near the garden wall!" Luckily, Parrott's not listening, because he has finally noticed that his wife has fainted. Thankful for the change of subject, Harry suggests, "Water, water, water...." and slapstick ensues as each goblet of water thrown by Parrott, hits Harry in the face, no matter how he tries to avoid it. Then, Harry's protesting mouth is filled with a goldfish and the next goldfish-filled goblet, lands on the chest of Parrott's wife. Harry tries to grab it (the goldfish!) but it slips down into her dress. Parrott shakes his wife in an attempt to awake her and she mumbles, "Oh King, kiss me again!" Parrott looks at Harry and yells, "WHAT?!" A nervous Harry tries to make light of the situation , by telling him, "She's walking in her sleep!" He makes his way to the top of the stairs and from that safe distance, boldly announces, "Supposing I DID kiss your wife? Supposing I DID?" He doesn't notice Queen Thelma, still fuming, creep behind him and listen as Harry continues, "Don't forget after all, I'm the King here (Puts on a deep voice and stamps his foot to emphasise..) and I do as I please!" Thelma yanks his outstretched arm, pulling him to the floor inside. She shouts, "You do as you please, do you? I'll show you who's King around here!" Surprisingly, Harry shows a little bravery, by saying, "You show me, huh?" Thelma locks the door and places the key down her bra. Annoyingly to Lord Heath, she isn't wearing one and Harry catches the key as it falls between her feet. As he tries to unlock the door, he is knocked down again by a parade of guards who are right outside. Thelma's temper rises another notch and throws a pot plant at him, as he makes his escape to the bedroom. He closes the door just in time and tries to barricade the door with his bum, but from the other side, Thelma pushes so hard, that Harry is sent reeling across the room, completely under the carpet and out the other end, only stopping when his head crashes through the skirting board. Inquisitively, he puts his hand in the hole and is scared by a rat that runs out. Thelma is running out of notches and Harry is frightened by the sight of her glaring at him with hands on her hips. So frightened in fact, he attempts to leap out of the window, but Thelma foils him and throws him back inside. She scolds, "You little chaser! You're just like your father!" Harry looks at the portrait of his father (Who looks uncannily like him!) smiles and winks. Thelma asks, "And where do you think you were going?" Harry dramatically answers, "I was gonna jump out the window and end it all!" Thelma chuckles and says, "Why, you haven't got the nerve!" While Harry explains that he HAS, Thelma searches for and finds elegantly studded bracelets with a connecting chain, to be used as handcuffs and slips one bracelet on Harry's wrist and the other on her own. She informs him, "I'm sick and tired of chasing you all day! I'm worn out and you're going to bed right now!" Then she tugs on the bracelets/handcuffs and pulls a reluctant Harry towards the beds. (More tea, Matron!) Thelma instructs, "Now you get ready for bed, you'll find your pyjamas there. And be careful of that new bedspread!" A defeated Harry nods sadly, then tries to get undressed, but Thelma is doing the same and Harry's hand keeps being pulled away. He gets fed up of this and spots a pair of scissors on the bed, (which is HIGHLY fortunate doncha fink?) which gives him the silly idea that he can cut the chain with them. As he snatches the scissors, the blades slice through the new bedspread. He covers the damage with a pillow, but slices that also. He hides the scissors under the bed, nudging Thelma's nightgown while doing so. This reminds him that Thelma is undressing behind the curtain, so he teases her by saying, "I think I'm gonna peek at you!" Thelma warns, "You hadn't better!" He jokingly warns back, "I guess I will peek!" Thelma sternly says, "Don't you dare!" He pushes a pillow to the curtain and pretends, "I'm peeking!" Then Thelma punches him in the face through the curtain! (Looks quite painful too!) He picks up a banana-shaped cushion and tries to figure out what it's for. He places it on his head and shakes his head, 'no.' Then across his chest like a bra and VERY quickly takes it off, head shaking! Lastly, he puts it around his bum and nods his head, 'yes.' Although, what Thelma needs with a 'bottom-enhancer', I cannot fathom! 'Seating arrangements'- wise, Mother Nature was very generous! He throws it towards Thelma, who throws it back at him with another warning, "Now listen here young man, I'm just gonna give you two minutes to get into bed!" By now, she has let her long hair down and I am in need of more tea! After lots of chain tugging and bed bouncing (!!), Harry is finally in his pyjamas, in his bed, pretending to be asleep. The maid asks Thelma, "Your Majesty, wouldst thou have thy bath now?" Thelma indicates to be quiet, checks on the 'sleeping' Harry, undoes her bracelet/handcuff and sneaks off with the maid for a scrubbing. (Where IS that tea?) Hearing them go, Harry picks up his clothes and sneaks away on heavy tiptoes a la Oliver Hardy! He faces Parrott's wife again, who 'drops' her handkerchief (again) and says, " Oh, were you looking for me?" He quickly returns her handkerchief answering, "NO!" He tries to go, she leans in to kiss him and spies Thelma's end of the handcuffs, clips it on her own wrist and proclaims, "Oh, what a beautiful bracelet. Is it for me?" Harry quietly howls in fear and says, "Now you went and done it!" Just then, they hear Parrott shout, "I must see his majesty at once!" His wife fearfully declares, "My husband!" and tries to run for it, to no avail, as she is now attached to a very frightened King! Lots of to-ing and fro-ing ends, when Parrott knocks on the bedroom door, saying that he must see the King at once. Full panic now as Harry accidently stands on the wife's dress and as she attempts to run away, it completely rips off, leaving her in her naughty night attire! (Pause for another mouthful of tea!) Where can she hide? In Harry's bed, of course! In she leaps and Harry tucks in her torn dress too! Parrott is finally told by Harry, in a shaky voice, to 'come in.' Parrott proceeds to drone on about his living conditions and How the King could improve them. Harry is too concerned of the shape of Parrott's wife in his bed, especially when a rat runs into the bed and makes his wife scream! Then follows plenty of rather sexy squealing noises from Parrott's wife and Harry puts a pillow over her head and sits on it, in a vain effort to keep the noise down. This of course, doesn't work, but Harry convinces Parrott that it is an 'ill' Thelma under the covers. Unsympathetically, Parrott drones on about living quarters, ham and eggs for a better breakfast etc. Meanwhile, the rat climbs through a hole in Harry's pyjamas, interrupting Parrott's waffling with Harry's jerking, falling and giggling. Parrott stares at his King as if he were mad! Harry then takes a lump of cheese, from the lump of cheeses selection, next to his bed (W H A T ?) and puts it in the hole in his pyjamas, to give the rat something ELSE to nibble on! This is followed by a mousetrap, which quickly snaps, jerking Harry into Parrott and pulling Parrott's wife out of the bed and leaving the three of them to tumble onto the floor. "MY WIFE!" shouts Parrott, "KING OR NO KING!" The chain breaks as they fearfully run and jump on the beds, in a desperate attempt to get away from Parrott. Harry hides in a too-small box, which is easily detected by Parrott, who lifts the box, including Harry and throws them out of the window and into the pond! Thelma rushes back into the bedroom, to see what all the commotion is in aid of. The top notch has been reached, temper at a very high level, hands, as usual, on hips, commands, "ENTER!" at the knocking on the door. Two scared guards carry their King inside, explaining that they found him in the pond. (He doesn't look too wet, to me!) Thelma hollers, "TO BED WITH HIM! TO BED WITH HIM!" The guards place Harry on the bed and a very impatient Queen pulls at their jackets saying, "Out, out, out, out!" Which they quickly and wisely do. She looks at her King sympathetically and in a loving voice, asks, "You're not really going out tonight, are you dear?" Harry replies, "Oh no, I don't think I will." Thelma asks again, "You really think you're not going out dear?" Again, Harry replies, "No, I don't think so." Thelma lifts her chin up, in only the way SHE can, pulls a vase from where it was hidden behind her back and smashes Harry's poor little head with it! Cue cartoon twittery bird noises and an unconscious King sinks into oblivion! Thelma confirms, "Now I KNOW you're not going out!"

  Favourite bit
Undecided.

Facts
•Production S-31 - All Star series with Harry Langdon.
•Filmed February 7-22, 1930.
•Copyrighted April 21, 1930.
•Also filmed in German as Der Konig.
Did you notice?

DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Harry Langdon
The King
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Thelma Todd
The Queen
Dorothy Granger
Lady in waiting
Geneva Mitchell
Royal advisor's wife
Otto Fries
Guard
  Charles McAvoy
Guard
  Brad Michigan
The guard
  James Parrott
Royal advisor
   

 

Acknowledgements:
Mick Roche (review, published 29 December 2013)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Geneva Mitchell)

This page was last updated on: 25 April 2017