Should Married Men Go Home?
 
Series: Laurel and Hardy Distribution: MGM  Director: James Parrott  Cinematography: George Stevens
Production: L-11 Type: Sound short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: Richard Currier
Released: 08 September 1928 Length: 2-reels Titles: H.M. Walker Assistant director: Lloyd French

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The Hardys are enjoying a nice, relaxing day at home on the couch.  Mrs. Hardy (Kay Deslys) is making her husband comfortable with some affection and a cigar.  The peaceful atmosphere is quickly broken when Stan turns up unannounced, armed with a set of golf clubs.  Keen to avoid being detected, the Hardys sneak around and pretend not to be at home.  After nobody answers the door Stan gets the message that nobody is in and proceeds to leave his own message and slips it under the door.  He is about to leave (we presume) when the note is unexpectedly pulled through the gap from underneath the door by Ollie on the other side (this gag was later repeated in Come Clean).
Stan goes to the window at the exact same time the Hardys do and all three of them come face-to-face.  With nowhere to hide, Ollie answers the door before announcing he intends to stay in and enjoy the rest of his morning with the wife.  Stan doesn't take the hint and invites himself in and sits down in the sitting room.  A long silence follows before Stan lights himself a cigar, asks to play the gramophone, rips down the window blind then puts his foot through their chair.  The kind of guest you want, really.
After witnessing the destruction of his furniture, Ollie will not allow Stan to operate the record player by himself so instead takes charge, but his heavy-handedness leads to its demise.  Mrs. Hardy at this point has seen enough and instructs them both to leave and go play golf.  Ollie doesn't take much pursuading and after removing his dressing gown he reveals that he is already wearing his golf attire underneath.  They leave and head for the course.  They arrive to find that only parties of four can play that day, which works out well for them as two lovely young ladies are left stranded without playing doubles.
The four hook up and agree to make up the foursome needed to play.  Due to a number of golfers waiting in front of them, they decide to kill some time by getting some refreshment before commencing their game.  Stan only has fifteen cents on him, making it difficult to buy drinks for all so Ollie comes up with the (selfish) idea of Stan refusing to have a drink so that Ollie and the two ladies can each have a drink.  The ladies order cherry, as does Ollie, but Stan who hasn't quite grasped the situation orders a malted milk.  After a stern talking-to from Ollie, Stan slowly begins to understand the dilemma.  The three drinks are ordered and Stan goes without.  Ollie offers to pay but when he receives the bill it is double what he expected so sneakily passes the honour to Stan, who has to leave his watch as security when he cannot pay the full amount (this famous scene was later re-worked a year later in Men O' War with James Finlayson playing the part of the soda jerk.)
The four make their way to the first tee where Stan is first up to play.  Each swing of the club results in his oversized cap falling down in his eyes, much to the annoyance of an impatient fellow golfer (Edgar Kennedy) who is waiting for his turn.  After a few missed swings by Stan, Kennedy pushes him aside to play his own shot only to have his toupee fall from his head onto the grass.  This becomes a running joke when it happens a second time and he replaces it with a similar-looking grass divot he has chewed up from his next shot.  Not wishing to arouse Kennedy's anger further by bringing the obvious to his attention, Stan instead elects to bury the fallen toupee in the grass.
Kennedy realises his embarassment when a group of ladies begin laughing at him.  He moves on, and attempts to play his next shot, but realises his ball has dropped into a large muddy puddle.  Stan catches up with him and anticipates the possibility of cheating so pulls out a rules and regulations card from his pocket and reminds Kennedy that his ball must be played from where it landed.  That's where the fun starts!


His swing completely misses the ball and instead fires a ton of mud in the direction of an innocent woman golfer (Dorothy Coburn, who for the first time gets totally humiliated in a L&H film!)  Muddied up from face to foot, she reprimands Kennedy, but he ignores her and repeats his actions, again spraying mud into her face.
This begins a frantic (and very enjoyable) mud-slinging contest where everybody on the golf course gets involved (see favourite scene).  The last combatant to receive a mud pie to the face is a giant golfer played by John Aasen.  Despite Ollie being the culprit, Aasen picks up Stan and throws him into the mix of puddle people, where Edgar Kennedy unexpecedly surfaces from underneath the murky waters having found his golf ball.
What a great film to watch.  Very little plot but another visually entertaining twenty minutes.

Favourite bit
Hard to pin down a specific favourite moment in this film but I guess it has to be the mud fight (how did you know I was going to nominate that scene?!) It all gets just a little too much out of hand in the end with everybody throwing mud at everybody. It looks messy but also looks like a helluva lot of fun they all had filming it. Well, it makes a nice change from pies being thrown I suppose!
I hope they had some baths nearby for when the days filming wrapped, that's all I can say.

Facts
Production L-11 - Laurel and Hardy series.
Copyrighted September 8, 1928.
Filming dates
March 12-21, 1928, with added scenes March 23 and May 11, inserts on May 2, and retakes May 12, 1928.
Filmed at the Fox Hills Golf Course on March 15, 16 and 19 of 1928, and at the Westwood Public Golf Course on March 20, 21 and 23.
Trivia
The two women at the golf course are Viola Richard and Edna Marion. They had just had their contracts terminated by Hal Roach at the time of shooting.
The very tall golfer is played by John Aasen. Apparently, he was 8'9", which is just silly.
Footage featuring the making of this film can be viewed on YouTube.
The notice on the shop hut at the golf course specifies only groups of 4 can play. Why then, was Edgar Kennedy playing by himself?
When the foursome are walking towards the first tee they are walking towards the camera, which is being pulled backwards. Look at the grass and you can see the indentation of the wheels from the dolly which is housing the mounted camera.
The Hardy's door number is 984.
When Stan rings the doorbell and nobody answers he bashes the door with a golf club. If you look at the exact spot where he hits the door you can see his previous marks where he did the same thing (probably in rehearsal or a previous take?)
When Stan writes his note and slips it under the Hardys' door he signs it, but in the shot where we first get to see the note we cannot see his signature.  It's only when the camera picks it up from outside as Ollie pulls it through under the door can we see his signature.
There is a really nice model ship on the Hardy's mantle piece.
The bar tally for the drinks worked out at each drink costing 10 cents.
The first hole on the golf course is a par 5, at 475 yards to the pin.
Dorothy Coburn is wearing stockings. You can see the fold in them as she bends down to scoop up some mud. Also, if you watch that scene in slow motion you can also see that she laughs as well as mis-places her foot in the mud. Later, I have long wondered whether she actually meant to show so much of her underwear when she first goes into the mud?  The viewer cannot fail to observe a very revealing shot of her with her legs wide open and facing the camera when she is sitting in the puddle.
The order in which the combatants get muddied up:
Edgar Kennedy hits mud into Dorothy Coburn.
Dorothy Coburn retaliates by throwing mud at Kennedy, who ducks as the mud hits Viola Richard.
Richard gets up close and personal with Coburn and returns the favour.
Coburn scores hit number two with Richard by pushing her into the mud on the ground.
Richard gets up and launches a bunch of mud at Coburn but she ducks and it hits a male golfer.
A woman who was playing with the male golfer marches over and pushes Coburn into the mud.
Coburn pulls the woman into the mud before getting back to her feet and launching another hit - this time hitting Edna Marion.
-It's at this point when all hell breaks loose and impossible to keep track!
An off-camera mud-launch hits Hardy in the face. Stan laughs and Ollie threatens to throw him in but his mud throwing hits John Aasen, who then picks up Stan and throws him in with Hardy.
What the experts say
"My personal favourite silent film with Laurel and Hardy." ~ Lord Heath.


Stan Laurel
Stan
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Oliver Hardy
Ollie
Edgar Kennedy
Golfer
Kay Deslys
Mrs. Hardy
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Viola Richard
Brunette golfer
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Edna Marion
Blonde golfer
Dorothy Coburn
Muddy combatant
John Aasen
Tall golfer
Charlie Hall
Soda jerk
Sam Lufkin
Shop Manager
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Clara Guiol
Lady golfer
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Lyle Tayo (?)
Lady golfer
  Jack Hill
Muddy combatant
   
UNIDENTIFIED CAST

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Acknowledgements:
Laurel And Hardy - The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Peter Mikkelsen (stills)

This page was last updated on: 08 September 2017