Bonnie Scotland  
 
23 August 1935
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
feature
80 minutes (8-reels)

 

Director: James W. Horne  Producer: Hal Roach
Cinematography: Art Lloyd  Editor: Bert Jordan  Sound recording: Elmer Raguse

AVAILABLE ON DVD


Lorna MacLaurel, the grandaughter and beneficary to the estate of the recently deceased Angus Ian MacLaurel, is summoned to a small Scottish village for the hearing of his will.  During the procession, she learns of a stipulation that her fortune cannot be claimed until she is 21 and until that time comes the estate will be under the guardian eye of one Colonel MacGregor serving with the army in India.  Also included in the will is the man's great grandson, whom he has never seen, one Stanley MacLaurel, who has arrived with his good friend Mr. Hardy on a cattle boat from America to the sound of the 'Cuckoo song' being hammered out by a blacksmith (Lionel Belmore).  The pair stop to ask for directions from a policeman.  "Could you tell us where we could find a policeman?" is Laurel's opening line, before Hardy drags him away.  The boys seek refuge at a nearby inn run by Mrs. Bickerdike (Mary Gordon) before attending the hearing of the will.  After some inadvertent hat-squashing by Hardy, Stan learns he is to inherit a set of bagpipes and a snuffbox, much to the dismay of Ollie, who was expecting to get a mansion instead.  An intertwining sub-plot featuring the sister (Anne Grey) of Colonel MacGregor is trying to make life difficult for the heiress by breaking up her love affair with a young Scotsman (William Janney) so that her brother can marry her instead and get his hands on the estate.
After the hearing the boys leave to contemplate their futures.  Standing on a small bridge, Stan opens his snuffbox, but his incorrect use causes a sneeze so powerful it causes Ollie to fall off the bridge and into the stream below, eventually draining it of all its water.  Wet and annoyed, Ollie retreats to his lodgings to dry out his clothing whilst continuing to mock Stan over his meaningless inheritance; "blown at Waterloo!"  Their conversation reveals they had recently broken out of jail to attend the will hearing, and with Stan offering to go back and apologize to the warden in the hope he would give them their old cell back.  After Stan accidentally burns Ollie's trousers they are faced with the dilemma of him having no clothes for him to go out into public with so Ollie is forced to remain bedridden for three weeks whilst trying to dodge the landlady and her rent payment.  Stan trades their overcoats for a large fish and together the boys cook it using the bed grille with a candle underneath it (it's one of the more memorable scenes in the film) but by the time it is fully cooked however it has shrunk to half its original size.  Stan's inability to get comfortable at the dinner table (a makeshift cabinet drawer thrown over two chairs) sees Ollie go straight through it and give the game away to the suspicious landlady downstairs.  Upon investigation she discovers they have set fire to the room and promptly orders them to leave.
On the street and without any trousers, a good piece of fortune lands in their laps when they receive a leaflet offering free suits to customers.  Upon enquiry the boys fail to notice they have instead signed not for the suits, but instead to enlist in the army.  Over in India Lorna MacLaurel and Colonel MacGregor are getting closer than their platonic friendship originally suggested when Stan and Ollie arrive with their friend Alan.  After their initial introduction with Sergeant 'Leatherpuss' Finlayson, the boys settle in their barracks to hear stories of mirages and other unexplained occurances from a group of army musicians.
Ollie: "You heard what the gentleman said - a mirage is something you see that isn't there - or - something that isn't there that you don't see...."
Stan: "Gee I'm dumb today"

Outside, the General announces the forthcoming wedding of Colonel McGregor to Lorna, overheard by the love-struck Alan, who takes the news bad and ends up in confinement.  A wonderful piece of dialogue follows...
Ollie: "What happened?"
Alan: "Oh I dunno, I kind of lost my head"
Ollie: "Lost your head?"
Stan: "You didn't lose your head, it's still there but you can't see it..."
Alan hands Ollie a note and instructs him to see it reaches Lorna, but it is intercepted by Colonel MgGregor, who questions his sister over the situation and discovers the truth.  Alan meets up with Lorna but tells her he never wants to see her again, after she is seemingly taken in by the scheming sister, Lady Violet.  The new soldiers are then marched to the fort in the desert to prepare for battle against the natives, whilst Lorna is given evidence of Lady Violet's sabotaging by the fired maid (Daphne Pollard), who has retained letters sent to her by sweetheart Alan which Violet had tried to burn.
Stan and Ollie are punished by Sergeant Finlayson, who makes them both clear up the area with a dustcart.  One of the best routines of the film occurs when Stan and Ollie do a wonderful little dance to the sound of the band playing nearby before marching themselves off to jail and thowing away the key.  With nothing left to lose, Alan Douglas volunteers for a dangerous mission to capture the enemy Khan Mir Jutra and his natives.  Stan and Ollie are hand-picked by Fin to go along as expendables, but they end up saving the day when they escape the palace and lead the baddies into a release of angry bees, who chase them from the grounds and into the arms of the waiting army.

One positive point from the film is the production quality, which is a noticeable step up from previous feature films of theirs.  On the down side, this film often appears to be a distraction from the boys in the feature roles much like the later Great Guns, giving way instead to a complex sub-plot involving a love affair which is developing against the odds.  Unfortunately, the film fades out with a comical attack of bees without wrapping up some loose ends, including the outcome of the Lorna/Alan/McGregor love triangle.







Favourite bit
The impatient landlady (Mary Gordon) is frantically banging on the boys' door, waiting to be admitted though her pleas to let her in go unanswered.  Stan finally decides to open the door just at the exact moment she enters abruptly - hitting him square in the face so hard that he shoots across the room and onto the bed without any word of apology!

Facts
•Production F-7 - Laurel & Hardy feature.
•Filmed May 1 - June 15, 1935, with reshots in late July 1935.
•Copyrighted August 20, 1935.
•Re-released February 1, 1954, as Heroes Of The Regiment.
•This film was reissued in the early '50s as three separate short subjects.
Did you notice?
•When Ollie presents Mr. Miggs with the paperwork with his and Stan's photographs on, they are their mug shot photos from Pardon Us (1931).
•A 'Home Sweet Home' plaque hangs over their bed.
•When the landlady (Mary Gordon) comes into the boys room to demand what is going on, the fire under the bed comes within an inch of singing her dress.  Look quickly because the camera cuts away at just that exact second.
•When the boys go to get measured up for their suits there is a calendar in the office which says the date is June 16th.  This is of course Stan Laurel's real birthdate.
•Stan and Ollie travel to a foreign country at the beginning of the film for the hearing of a will in which Stan inherits something.  They would do the exact same thing sixteen years later in their last movie, Atoll K (1951).
•The sweat patches under Stan's arms when he is in his army uniform.

Stan Laurel
Stanley MacLaurel
Oliver Hardy
Ollie
June Lang
Lorna MacLaurel
William Janney
Allan Douglas
Anne Grey
Lady Violet Ormsby
Vernon Steele
Colonel Gregor McGregor
David Torrence
James S. Miggs, the lawyer
James Finlayson
Sergeant Finlayson
Daphne Pollard
Millie, the maid
Mary Gordon
Mrs. Bickerdike
Claude King
General Fletcher
Phyllis Barry
Gossip
Dan Maxwell
Highland Quartet member
David Clyde
Highland Quartet member
James P. Burtis
Highland Quartet member
Noah Young
Highland Quartet member
Marvin Hatley
Highland Quartet member
Sam Lufkin
Native henchman
Carlotta Monti
Dancing girl
Dick Wessel
Assistant blacksmith
Lionel Belmore
Blacksmith
Maurice Black
Khan Mir Jutra
Barlowe Borland
Mr. Bunts
May Beatty
Mrs. Bunts
Murdock MacQuarrie
Recruiting clerk
Olaf Hytten
Scottish Recruiting Sergeant
James T. Mack
Thomas, the butler
Jack Hill
Newly drafted soldier
James May
Postman
Bobby Dunn
Man dispensing flyers
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Minerva Urecal
Store keeper
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Charlie Hall
Native henchman
(he hands L&H the pillow with the guns)
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Margaret Mann
Housekeeper
Elizabeth Wilbur
Gossip
   
UNIDENTIFIED
Policeman
UNIDENTIFIED
(Standing) relative at will reading
(Margaret Mann seated)
UNIDENTIFIED
Relative at will reading
UNIDENTIFIED
Gossip
UNIDENTIFIED
Native

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Acknowledgements:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0026126/ (IMDb.com)
Jim Clewer (help and information)
Jack Tillmany (identification of some cast)

This page was last updated on: 29 June 2015