Twice Two  
25 February 1933
sound short


Director: James Parrott  Producer: Hal Roach
Cinematography: Art Lloyd  Editor: Bert Jordan  Sound recording: James Greene


Brain specialist Hardy (M.D.) sits in his office typing out a memo on his typewriter when he stops to take an exaggerated sip of water.  In typical Ollie fashion, he exercises his familiar mannerisms by running his finger along the side of the glass to mop up excess spill before setting the drink back down on his desk followed by knocking the whole thing into his upturned hat with the typewriter.  Associate advisor Laurel enters the room and in the ensuing discussion he reminds Ollie that it was a year ago that day they each married the other one'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 a 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 he berates him.  This then leads to a series of exchanges between the two boys, including blown wires, water poured down the receiver and a pot of ink being blown into Hardy's face - whilst all the while Mrs. Hardy is on the other end of the line asking why their conversation had abruptly ended!  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 (although he does a pretty good job of hiding the big rip in the clothing by ingeniously re-attaching the chain to Ollie's suit and using a button from it to close the gap.)  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, but then Stan emerges through the back/kitchen door and 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".  He leaves and manages to further aggravate Ollie when he pushes a door into his face.  Ollie then decides to retaliate by pushing the door back - just as his wife (Mrs. Hardy) is coming through it carrying some plates.  She hits him over the head with one for his troubles.
In the bedroom, Mrs. Laurel (Hardy) is in her underwear (the thought of it is disturbing enough!) getting ready for the dinner when she summons husband Stan.  She firstly asks if he has any money and when he pulls out a handful of coins and a handful of notes she takes the notes and tells him to go down to the store with the fifteen cents he has left and get some ice cream.  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 and both being quick enough to point it out as Ollie sits by awkwardly.  The tension is broken when the telephone rings.  It's Stan to tell them that the store does not have any strawberry ice cream.  He is asked to buy Tutti-Frutti instead.  Moments later the phone rings again and Stan tells his wife the store does not have the requested flavour, so is then told to get chocolate instead.  Stan asks the clerk to give him chocolate and again is told "we haven't any".  This message is then of course relayed back home over the telephone.  This time Ollie answers the call and tells Stan to get vanilla!

When the store clerk claims not to have any of that either Stan asks what exactly does he have?  It turns out he has gone to the wrong store, and the ice-cream vendor is next door.
The anniversary dinner continues with Mrs. Hardy eating the loudest celery stick known to man just as Stan returns to the house empty-handed.  When asked why he didn't go somewhere else to buy the ice cream Stan replies that he spent all of his money phoning home to tell his wife the store he was in didn't have the ice creams she requested each time.  Finally, 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 when Stan asks his wife to go in the kitchen and get him some horses's radish (a more bizarre request one could not think of to ask).  When she belittles him in front of the other guests it begins a verbal war of words with Mrs. Hardy who accuses the host of always picking on her brother.  The topic of discussion then shifts into who wears the pants in which family!  Stan (as Mrs. Hardy) responds to being accused of having a big mouth with a lovely answer;
"I haven't got a big mouth, have I?"  The way (he) says it is the funniest on-screen/synchronised piece of dialogue throughout the entire twenty minutes.  After all the bickering Ollie puts a stop to it when he demands everybody behave themselves so that he can discover what his big surprise is.  Of course this announcement drops Stan in the dirt as it exposes the fact he has breached his wife's trust by telling Ollie in advance.  Mrs. Laurel smashes a plate on Stan's chin for doing so but Mrs. Hardy respsonds by blowing pepper into her face from off her hand.  With the resulting sneeze Mrs. Laurel manages to get a potato stuck on her nose, which she then hurls in the direction of her guests.  Mrs. Hardy ducks and the cabinet loses a glass window.  In return she picks up a bunch of crockery and prepares to launch them back across the table before husband Ollie intervenes.  An exchange of name-calling and an argument over who owns the house escalates the heated atmosphere further before Ollie and his wife go to leave.  Further indignities are suffered when Stan tries to stop his wife from a physical confrontation with Mrs. Hardy by ripping the sleeve of her dress, and the surprise cake which arrives (courtsey of Charlie Hall) gets delivered right into Mrs. Laurel's face!

Favourite bit
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!

•Filmed between December 9-15, 1932.
Carol Tevis provided the speaking voice of Mrs. Hardy and May Wallace provided the speaking voice of Mrs. Laurel.

Did you notice?
•In the opening scene Hardy types on his typewriter;

The glass of water Ollie sips in the opening scene in his office is raised on two books.
•Hardy's telephone number is Waterloo 2-2 (pretty obvious really in a film called "Twice Two").
•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.
•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 noticable 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.

Stan Laurel
Stan/Mrs. Sandy Hardy
Oliver Hardy
Ollie/Mrs. Fanny Laurel
Charlie Hall
Delivery boy
Baldwin Cooke
Soda jerk
Ham Kinsey
Stan Laurel's stunt double



Acknowledgements: (Jerry Murbach)

This page was last updated on: 12 September 2015