Rupert Of Hee Haw • Another Nice Mess


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

         
    Rupert Of Hee Haw    
         
    1924    
         
    Director:  Scott Pembroke
Producer:  Hal Roach
Cinematography:  Frank Young
Editor:  Thomas J. Crizer
   
    Hal Roach Studios/Pathé Exchange
8 June 1924
silent/2-reels
   
         
       
         


....... The princess (Mae Laurel), surrounded by her servants, is upset and crying.  The Duke of Bromo (George Rowe) tries to offer her some comfort but has her flowers shoved in his face instead.  Elsewhere, the King (Laurel with a monacle) is staggering around and trying to sober up.  After a couple of failed attempts to replace the bottle on the nearby table, he instead pulls the table over to him and slams it down on the surface.  With the room spinning around in his head, he staggers hopelessly towards the door but falls flat on his back after the wall physically pushes him over before retreating.  He emerges at the top of some stairs as the princess and her servants look on with dread.  Dislodging a water-filled glass bowl with a fish in it, he places it down on the ridge before falling over and down the stairs the hard way.  Clambering to his feet he sways and knocks over a vase at the bottom of the stairs (very deliberately it would appear) and is once again on the floor before being helped up by a tiny guard (Sammy Brooks).  The sound of a cuckoo clock triggers a violent reaction from the king as he shoves his hand into the face of the guard and sending him backwards into the bottom of the stairs and onto the ground (see Favourite bit).
He grabs a gun and takes aim at the clock, blowing it to bits and causing a suit of armour to raise its hands in surrender.  Still inebriated, the king wanders off and finds his princess, pats her on the shoulder and tells her to stick around.  An assortment of servants bring the king a variety of items including an empty glass, some water, a bottle, and finally a napkin.  Afterwards he excuses himself and makes his way to the basement for some further drinking.  The rotund guard ('Tonnage' Martin Wolfkeil) gives a firm pat to the princess's back, causing a dusty emittance from her clothing.  The princess retires in her chamber to write a note and orders her guard to deliver it along with a gift (a banana) to one Rudolph Razz (Stan Laurel again), in Europe.
One of the servants then hands the princess a note which she appears to find upsetting.  The king re-emerges with a series of violent sneezes which dislodge various items close by, such as the guard's wig.  An energetic Rudolph Razz knocks at the door but finds himself squashed by the large guard as he answers the call.  The intoxicated king leaves to mail a letter and the spritely Rudolph as admitted.  It becomes obvious to the viewer that the mistaken identity will create the confusion among the others as time wears on...
Rudolph rushes in and embraces one of the guards (George Rowe) right under the princess's nose before getting up and patting her on the back in the same way as the king previously.  She explains that her letter to him was intercepted by the Duke of Aspirin (Pierre Couderc), who makes his presence known to them at that moment.  In an attempt to pass himself off as the king, lookalike Rudolph is exposed by the Duke when he realises his impersonator is sober.  The servant brings the Duke a letter from 'Rupert of Hee Haw', a seventh son who knows all.  Rudolph struggles with a typewriter with an overly huge sheet of paper which he pulls from its rollers and instructs a servant to deliver his 'note' to Rupert.  The imposter then reclaims from the duke the stolen letter only to have it taken from him by an onlooking spy who walks outside to read it just as the king reappears to take it from him.  Rudolph hands the letter back to the princess and promises to spank the Duke for intercepting her private mail.  She begins to despair that the king is missing.  Outside a group of children excitedly welcome the king (actually Rudolph) but when he pays too much attention to a cute little girl (Kornman) one of the group (Daniels) kicks him in the pants for ignoring the others.  Back indoors word reaches the princess that the king is dead, and of course the football result.  In a confusing shoving match, the Duke is dumped in the garbage bin head first as the search for the missing letter continues.
Rudolph confronts Rupert Of Hee Haw (Finlayson, who makes a late showing) in an attempt to retrieve the letter.  When he refuses to hand it over they draw swords and engage in a duel.  A dog attaches itsself to the rear of Rupert and with a little assistance from Rudolph, he is brought down and the letter is back in safe hands.  Finally, he gets to read it - and then wishes he hadn't.  The princess declares her love for the Duke of Bromo and leaves with him; her female servant takes the rotund guard, which leaves only Hee Haw's maid (Ena Gregory).  She leaves empty-handed as Rudolph joins his nemesis Rupert on the floor to lick his wounds.

Extremely long and drawn out.  Painfully slow and bordering on boring.  James Finlayson has a minimal amount of screen time, and the dual roles of Stan Laurel become confusing, irritating and just plain daft.  There are some great solo films out there with Stan.  Unfortunately this isn't one of them.
           




Favourite bit    
      Stan Laurel as the king has been helped to his feet by the smallest guard you can imagine (Sammy Brooks, a real-life midget actor) in an act of duty.  The sound of a cuckoo clock triggers a rather unnecessary reaction from him and he forcibly shoves the tiny guard to the ground by pushing the palm of his hand into his face.  It's both cruel and funny at the same time!

Facts
•This was the penultimate film featuring both Stan and Mae Laurel.
•According to the title card, this film is a sequel to The Prisoner Of Zebra (a parody to The Prisoner Of Zenda).
Did you notice?
•There are 14 steps in the castle which separate the two levels.
•The print on the Lobster DVD runs at 23 minutes.  This is due to the intertitle cards being held on the screen for longer periods of times, thus making the film appear longer than it actually is.
•In the close-up shots of Mae Laurel and her servant when the princess is informed the king is dead, the servant's nipples are clearly seen poking through her clothing (trust me to notice that!)
•Later in the film Stan Laurel pushes Billy Engle in the face in the same way he shoves Sammy Brooks earlier.
•The Giants won 4-0.
•Why does everybody keep saluting all the time?  It's embarrassing!
•James Finlayson, the title character, doesn't show up until after 19 minutes into the film.
•There is a shield of swords in the princess' chamber which is the same prop which shows up later when Stan and Fin meet.  Look for it in the background.

 
Stan Laurel
The King / Rudolph Razz
James Finlayson
Rupert of Hee Haw
Mae Laurel
The princess
Billy Engle
Short officer
Ena Gregory
Hee Haw's Maid
Eddie Baker
Spy
Sammy Brooks
Palace guard
Pierre Couderc
The Duke of Aspirin
George Rowe
The Duke of Bromo
'Tonnage' Martin Wolfkeil
Rotound officer
Jack Gavin
Fourth servant
Mickey Daniels
Boy who kicks Rudolph
Mary Kornman
Girl at palace gate
Jackie Condon
Boy at palace gate
Ernest Morrison
Boy at palace gate
Joe Cobb
Boy at palace gate
Irene Lentz
Lady T. Pott Dome
   
UNKNOWN
Servant to the Princess
UNKNOWN
First servant
UNKNOWN
Second servant

LOBBY CARD

Acknowledgements:
http://laurelorhardy.blogspot.com/
Jorge Finkielman (lobby card)

This page was last updated on: 12 November 2017