.......... ..........

         
Unaccustomed As We Are
 
1929
 
Distribution:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer


Release date:
4 May 1929
  Sound short:
2 reels
  ..........  
Director:
Lewis R. Foster
  Story:
Leo McCarey
Producer:
Hal Roach
  Editor:
Richard C. Currier
Dialogue:
H.M. Walker
  Cinematography:
John MacBurnie, Len Powers,
Jack Roach, George Stevens
     
         
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....... Ollie has brought Stan back to his apartment with the promise of a lovely dinner.  Despite the offer of such a delicious temptation, Stan still feels the need to ask if the meal includes any nuts?  A chance encounter on the landing with neighbor-across-the-hall Mrs. Kennedy (Thelma Todd) sets up an introduction which will become important to the story later on.  It's a polite, slightly over-the-top exchange between Mr. Hardy and Mrs. Kennedy but makes good use of the new 'sound' system which was introduced for the film.
Ollie takes Stan inside and calls out for his much talked-about wife with a "yoo-hoo".  From behind the bedroom door she snaps back, "What do you mean, yoo-hoo?"  It's not the impression Stan was expecting after Ollie had spoken so highly of his wife; so much so that he asks if they are in the right apartment?  An embarrassed Ollie bashfully explains to his wife (Mae Busch) of how he invited his friend home with the promise that he would be treated to a big fat juicy steak for dinner.  Unfortunately, it is one time too many for Mrs. Hardy, who puts her foot down and refuses to play ball.  An argument ensues where nobody can hear anything Ollie or his wife are saying.  When Stan offers to make a comment, Mrs. Hardy slaps him and tells him to keep out of it!
An irate Mrs. Hardy continues to berate her husband, who realises the futility of the situation in trying to reason with her and so tries to drown her moaning out by putting on the victrola.  It does the job, and even Stan finds some comfort in the tune as he bends his legs in time with the music.  Finally, Mrs. Hardy realises Ollie's tactic and smashes the record over his head.  She has had enough and storms off out, kicking Stan in the pants as she leaves.
Ollie assures Stan that they will eat, regardless of his wife's departure and promptly begins preparing the dinner table.  Stan tries to help but only ends up causing more problems for Ollie, who sends him into the kitchen to light the oven.  Stan turns on the gas but when he cannot find a match to light it, he consults Ollie.  Ollie takes matters into his own hands, lights a match and walks into the kitchen.  Seconds later he is flying back into the living room from the resulting explosion!  He gets up, strikes a second match and returns to the kitchen.  Same result.
Ollie takes out his frustration on Stan but his blushes are spared when Mrs. Kennedy appears out of nowhere to offer her help.  She goes out into the kitchen, whilst Stan sits back down in the living room and trips Ollie up again with his legs.  Seconds later, Mrs. Kennedy's screams ring out as she returns with her dress on fire.  The boys try desperately to extinguish the flames and in the panic, Mrs. Kennedy loses her dress (thank you, thank you!!)
Mrs. Kennedy goes to leave, to change her clothes but when she opens the door she sees that her policeman husband (Edgar Kennedy) is just returning home.  She panics, knowing that he will kill all of them and asks what she should do.  Ollie confidently offers to tell him the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; that is until he sees that Mrs. Hardy is also heading towards the apartment.  His confidence is short-lived as he grabs Mrs. Kennedy and runs into the bedroom to hide her.
Ollie opens up a large trunk for Mrs. Kennedy to hide in, but of course Stan gets in first.  Mrs. Kennedy manages to squeeze in and close the lid at the exact moment Mrs. Hardy walks into the bedroom.  Mrs. Hardy has come to apologise for earlier and has even brought Stan some nuts.  It's no good, Ollie tells her, he has packed his trunk and is leaving for South America that night.
Mrs. Hardy erupts at Stan, blaming him for his bad influence and when he tries to defend himself she mistakes him shielding his face as an act of aggression against her.
           



....... Outside, Mr. Kennedy cannot fail to hear the noise and investigates.  Mrs. Hardy explains to Kennedy that Stan is trying to entice her husband to 'escape' from her and then runs off crying into the bedroom.  Kennedy warns them that if any man would interfere in his marriage, he would cut their throat.  Ollie tries to leave with the trunk (with Mrs. Kennedy inside) but is thwarted by the cop.  The sound of a woman's voice is heard crying out as the trunk is slammed down to the ground.  Mr. Kennedy gets wise to what the boys are up to and calls for Mrs. Hardy.  He tells her to go and fix up a supper for the lads whilst he instructs them to take the trunk over into his apartment.
Stan and Ollie do as they are told and when Kennedy gets them behind his closed door, he applauds their efforts in a round-about way.  He gives them advice on how to stay as far away from their wives as possible, and to take a leaf out of his book.  Of course, he still doesn't realise the woman in the trunk is his own wife!  The three men return to the Hardy's apartment whilst Mrs. Kennedy seizes the opportunity to get out of the trunk back in her apartment.
Stan, Ollie and Mrs. Hardy sit down for their dinner, whilst Kennedy returns to his apartment to lure the woman out of the trunk.  He is caught red-handed by his wife, who sneaks up on him from behind.  Kennedy is assaulted, beaten and humiliated by his fiery wife after she launches a sustained (and loud) attack on him.  The noise and groans can be heard by Stan and Ollie from inside Hardy's apartment as they sit nervously listening to the rumblings from across the hall.
The noise finally dies down and Kennedy re-enters the Hardy's apartment, beaten and bruised.  He summons Ollie outside in the hall.  Moments later Ollie returns with a bruised nose.  Kennedy hasn't finished yet and summons Stan outside with some whistling signals.  Stan reluctantly obliges through tears and the fear of receiving the same treatment as Ollie.
Out in the hallway, Stan is told to close his eyes; but just as Kennedy is about to strike, Mrs. Kennedy ambushes him from behind with a large vase and knocks him unconscious.  It's a lucky break for Stan, who returns to Hardy's apartment, fetches his hat and then leaves, whistling to himself.
Ollie is confused and follows Stan outside and sees Kennedy on the floor.  Stan indicates that he had played a part in the assault and bids Hardy goodbye before falling down the stairs with an amplified sound affect.

Favourite bit    
      In the final scene, Stan is called out into the hallway by Officer Kennedy to receive the same treatment as Ollie - a beating.  However, Mrs. Kennedy sneaks up from behind and smashes a vase over her husband's head, knocking him out cold.  Stan returns to Hardy's apartment, grabs his hat and leaves - without a scratch.  Ollie, astounded, walks out into the hallway to see Kennedy in a heap, believing that Stan had beaten him up!

Facts
•Filmed March 25-30, 1929. [source: Randy Skretvedt]
•This was the first 'sound' film made by Laurel & Hardy, though a silent version of the film has been released on DVD.
•The title of the film refers to the "unaccustomed" venture into making a sound film for the first time.
•The entire story of the film is quite stretched out to fill the two reels it occupies.  A simplified version of the exact same routine was later re-worked into Block-Heads.
•The silent version of the film is approximately 2½ minutes shorter.  One of the reasons for this is the scene with the victrola, as it was obviously designed for use in the sound version.
•This film was shot concurrently with The Little Rascals' first sound short, Small Talk.  The Rascals short was filmed during the day, whilst the L&H film was shot during the night, as both sets had to share the recording equipment.
•On a table in the hallway, at right of the frame, can be seen a bust of Shakespeare, apparently bronze.  This same bust can be seen atop a cabinet in the Warden's office in Pardon Us. [observation: Bruckman64]
•On the wall just above the victrola can be seen a painting of a Venetian-like scene.  This painting had earlier appeared in We Faw Down and is even more prominent in Brats, where it is located on the wall behind the pool table.
 The walls and doors seen in the apartment can be glimpsed as part of the nightclub set design used in Their Purple Moment and That's My Wife, and are also visible in Our Gang's concurrently-filmed Small Talk.  Presumably, the Laurel and Hardy set was on the same soundstage used by the Our Gang unit, and possibly the two sets were contiguous, thus minimizing the necessity of moving the sound equipment about. [observation: Bruckman64]
•The tune heard from the victrola is an orchestral arrangement of "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" by Leon Jessel. [observation: Bruckman64]
•Above the sideboard is a painting of a forest scene, which can also be seen above the fireplace in Billy Gilbert's home in The Music Box.  To its right is a long tapestry, situated at a slight diagonal angle, which can also be seen hanging in the foyer of James Finlayson's house in Our Wife. [observation: Bruckman64]
Did you notice?
•The first line of dialogue is spoken by Oliver Hardy.  The last line is spoken by Stan Laurel.
•The Kennedy's live in apartment 724, and the Hardy's live in 725.
•In the opening scene where Ollie talks to Thelma Todd on the landing, she can be seen to be wearing a black shoulder strap on her right shoulder.  It is later revealed this is her negligee.
•In the introduction scene between Stan and Thelma Todd, Ollie refers to her by her name, "Mrs. Kennedy" a total of six times.
•There is a victrola just inside the front door of the Hardy's apartment, a painting on the wall just above it and two framed portraits on the adjoining wall.
•Ollie confesses that prior to bringing Stan back to the apartment, they were downtown playing pool.
•Mrs. Hardy refers to Stan as a "bum" and a "peanut" - right within his earshot.  Talk about a hostile hostess!
•Ollie claims to have known Stan for five years.
•When Mr. & Mrs. Hardy are arguing at the beginning and neither can be heard, Ollie repeatedly pats Stan on the shoulder in a sign of affection for his friendship with him.
•The victrola has been playing for a full 22 seconds before Mrs. Hardy even realises it is on.
•When Mae Busch kicks Stan in the pants (just after she has stormed out but briefly returns), as she raises her leg to kick him, quite a considerable amount of her left leg can be seen!
•Mae Busch and Thelma Todd never appear on-screen together at the same time.  The closest they get is when Thelma climbs inside the trunk just as Busch walks into the bedroom.  They miss each other by a mere second.
•One of Ollie's most popular lines, "Why don't you do something to help me?" began here.  He first says it after tripping over Stan's legs whilst preparing the dinner table.
•When Ollie goes to strike a second match and realises it is a nail, listen to the ripping sound affect.  It doesn't quite correspond with Ollie's actions on-screen.
•When Mrs. Kennedy enters the Hardy apartment (after Hardy's second exit from the kitchen), we hear a knock (presumably on the door) and then she appears.  Now, given that she wasn't actually invited into the room, she appears very quickly after the knocks.  She would have had to have opened the door and walk across the room to where Ollie was standing - this would have taken a few seconds.  The scene in real time suggests that Mrs. Kennedy was already in the room when the knocks were made by somebody off-camera.  There is no other logical explanation for this.
•A big thank you is in order for Oliver Hardy when he pulls off Thelma Todd's dress when it catches fire!
•As Mrs. Hardy is about to re-enter the apartment, Ollie takes Mrs. Kennedy into the bedroom to hide.  Stan physically jumps into the room.
•Both Mr. Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy enter the Hardy's apartment without invitation.
•Mrs. Hardy makes spaghetti for dinner.
•A total of 5 sets are used in the film:  Kennedy's living room; Hardy's living room; the hallway; Hardy's bedroom and Hardy's kitchen.

Stan Laurel
Stan
Oliver Hardy
Ollie
Edgar Kennedy
Officer Kennedy
Mae Busch
Mrs. Barbara Hardy
Thelma Todd
Mrs. Kennedy

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