Los Presidiarios
(De Bote En Bote)

Laurel & Hardy foreign-language (Spanish) feature
Production No. L-25-S-I-G
1931
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
sound feature
56 minutes (6-reels)


Director: James Parrott Cinematography: Jack Stevens
Producer: Hal Roach Editor: Richard C. Currier
Dialogue: H.M. Walker Sound recording: Elmer Raguse

BEST DVD VERSION AVAILABLE

SEE ALSO




The plot and storyline for the film is identical to the American version of "Pardon Us", but with a few differences in plot and cast replacement:
It's Prohibition.  Stan and Ollie stop by at a store to buy ingredients for making liquor.  Unfortunately for them they sell their product to the wrong customer - an off-duty policeman and end up in jail on account.  At the booking desk they are asked to provide their names for the record.  It has already been established that Stan has a loose tooth, which causes a buzzing sound when he speaks, so Ollie warns him to take caution when addressing the officer.
After prison guard Shields (Tiny Sandford) frisks them Ollie surrenders a pocket watch (which he later tries to take back but is later caught because of its alarm) and Stan loses a handful of bottle tops and a can opener.  After being booked in, they are taken for their mugshots and then for a bath, where they are observed by the guard.  Ollie slips on a bar of soap and falls into the tub.  Ollie angrily throws a wet towel at Stan, but he ducks and Shields gets it right in the face!
Next on the list of things to do is a formal introduction with the warden (Enrique Acosta).  He lays out the procedures for the boys and promises them an easy life if they obey the rules. 
Stan's acknowledgement gets them both into trouble when his buzzing tooth plays up again.  The angry warden orders the men to be thrown into a cell with the prison's most notorious criminal, The Tiger (Walter Long).  The Tiger starts out by being friendly with Stan with a pleasant 'hello' (well, he does add 'squirt' afterwards, but still...).  When Stan tries to return the compliment he lets out a raspberry from his tooth.  His 'bravery' is applauded by the Tiger, so Ollie tries to cash in, but gets a smack for his troubles.  Fortunately a passing guard (Silas Wilcox) ends their misery when he orders the cellmates to go to sleep.
Ollie takes the bunk directly above The Tiger, and Stan has to share.  It's Berth Marks all over again as the two try to get comfortable.  Almost three minutes later they eventually end up collapsing the entire bed and come crashing down on the two cellmates beneath them.
Next day and out in the yard a group of prisoners are singing (with Dick Gilbert reprising his role from Pardon Us).  Stan puts in a request for a new song (recognise it?) but a passing guard hears his buzzing tooth and sends him off to the prison dentist to get it fixed.
Ollie sneaks into the waiting room to offer comfort and support to Stan, but Stan's fears are worsened when a couple of guys before him scream out in pain from the dentists' chair next door.
It's Stan's turn and he asks for Ollie to accompany him.  Ollie tries to comfort Stan by telling him to relax and that there is nothing to worry about.  At that moment the dentist (Alfonso Pedroza) emerges from the back and without hesitation yanks out Ollie's tooth... before realising his error and removes Stan's.

Later, Stan and Ollie escape whilst the prison gates are open to allow delivery men to enter the yard (yes, it was that easy!) and disguise themselves in blackface as cotton pickers.  They even somehow manage to use the bloodhounds to their advantage by taking them and befriending them.  Later that evening the negros provide backing harmony as Ollie breaks out in song with a rendition of "Lazy Moon".  Stan is encouraged to dance to the song until he trips and falls into a water hole, exposing his natural white face.  Fortunately Ollie rescues him before any of the group notice.
The next day the boys are picking cotton in the fields (well, that is to say Ollie is picking cotton, whilst Stan is uprooting the whole plants and shoving them into his bag!) when as (bad) luck would have it the warden's car breaks down right outside the field.  His daughter (June Marlowe) asks the boys for their assistance and they oblige.  Ollie gets under the car to check the problem when one of the dogs comes and licks half the paint off his face, exposing him.  Luckily Stan returns the favour and covers him up before the warden sees.  The warden thanks them and is just about to be on his way when Stan's "goodbye" followed by his buzzing tooth give their identities away.
The boys are taken back to jail and thrown into solitary (notice Eddie Baker as one of the guards?)


The Tiger and his gang are still plotting an escape and have sent Stan and Ollie to listen in on the warden's instructions to his guards.  When confronted by the guard, the boys tell him they are now on a hunger strike, though this is short-lived when a promise of a roast turkey and all the trimmings is made.  Like gullible fools, the boys believe the guard and head off for the mess hall where a plot is underway to take the prison seige with the Tiger in charge of distributing firearms among the cons.
When Stan is handed a machine gun he panics and fires off some rounds, which starts a riot.  Prisoners break free from the mess hall and launch an attack against the guards.  All is going well until the Tiger pulls Stan and Ollie into the cell block and threatens to stab them for their betrayal.  The boys hide in their cell and manage to knock the Tiger out when Stan opens the cell door into his face.  Enraged, the Tiger comes after Stan with the knife but Stan accidentally pokes him in the eye and escapes him.
In the staff quarters a fire has broken out on the top floor, where the warden's daughter is screaming for help.  Stan and Ollie rush to her rescue, using a firehose, a ladder and a safety net to catch her and among the commotion they also manage to difuse the riot!  The warden thanks them for their bravery and gives them a full pardon for their bravery.  But Stan has the last word....

  Favourite bit
Stan is awaiting his turn to be called in to see the dentist but his fear gets the better of him.  Ollie tries to comfort him by saying, "Don't think about it".  This is followed by screaming, banging, tables rattling and just a general violence of rage, pain and thunderous noise coming from the other side of the wall.  Then, the patient is wheeled out of the room upside-down on a trolley.  Stan is next in....

Facts
Production F-1 - Laurel & Hardy feature.  Originally production L-35-S-I-G.
Copyrighted September 10, 1931.
UK title: Jailbirds.  USA title: Pardon Us.
• Spanish version of "Pardon Us", originally filmed as Los Presidiarios
• Los Presidiarios translated into English means "inmates".

Filming dates
• August 13 - September 12, 1931.

Trivia
Ever wondered just how many times Stan Laurel's tooth "buzzes" in the entire film?  Me too.
(the times noted on the DVD are according to the DeAgostini print)
1-4. (to Ollie) At the shop window [1:13] [1:23] [2:04] [2:19]
5-6. (to Ollie) In the jail at the front desk [3:22] [3:39]
7. (to the desk sergeant) "Senor Stanley Laurel" (pphhhtttt) [4:07]
8. (to the warden) "Si, senor" (pphhhtttt) [10:12]
9. (to The Tiger) At the cell door (pphhhtttt) [11:35]
10. (to The Tiger after he says Hello a second time) Hello (pphhhtttt) [12:36]
11. (to The Tiger) "Gracias" (pphhhtttt) [14:07]
12. (to guard) "muy bien" (pphhhtttt) [20:25]
13. (to the dentist's assistant) "si, senor" (pphhhtttt) [23:48]
14. (to Ollie) in the dentist's chair (pphhhtttt) [25:50]
15. (to the warden) "Adios" (pphhhtttt) [41:35]
16. (to the warden) "Can we take your order for a couple of cases?" (pphhhtttt) [59:42]

Stan speaks in English to confirm his name upon arrival at the jail.
The pocket watch that Ollie gives up during the frisking reads 20 minutes after 2 (same as Pardon Us).
Tiny Sandford is one of the few actors who reprises his role from Pardon Us, as the guard.  However, when he speaks it sounds that his voice was dubbed.
The prisoner numbers given to the boys are: 44633 (Hardy) and 44634 (Laurel).
When Hardy falls into the bathtub he falls backwards with his head to the left of the screen, yet when he emerges he is facing the other way around.
Stan points to the prisoners "Amos and Andy" but unlike in Pardon Us, he doesn't call out their names.
When Walter Long first sees Stan, he says "Hello squirt".  The footage seen in the film is from Pardon Us, as you can clearly see his lips say the words, but his dialogue is dubbed for this version.
The guard who breaks up the Tiger's cell assault on Stan is the same officer on the reception desk.  He replaces Silas D. Wilcox from Pardon Us.
The scene with the marching prisoners in the yard is from Pardon Us.  Notice when they stop walking that James Parrott is standing next to Oliver Hardy but in the next cut it is a completely different actor.  Because both Parrott and Hal Roach are seen in the scene from the film, they are included on this page.
The classroom scene from Pardon Us featuring James Finlayson is completely absent from this version of the film.
Recognise the tune Stan sings to the cons in the yard?  It is the same song Ollie sings to the kids in "Brats".  "Go to sleep my bay-bee".
Eddie Baker has a very brief appearance as the plantation boss who rides up on horseback, blows his whistle.  His dialogue from Pardon Us (he says "call it a day") is cut out.  However, he also appears later in the film as one of the cell guards who throw Stan and Ollie into the solitary cells.
All of the footage of the negros, the cotton fields and Hardy's rendition of Lazy Moon are all in English and are lifted scenes from Pardon Us.  This footage ranges from 31:23 - 36:55.
The license plate on the warden's vehicle is 27-67-78.
When June Marlowe is sitting in the car on her own and tells her dad they are out of gas, there is a fly on the dress of her left shoulder.
Ollie's "negro" name is Sambo.
After the warden hands Ollie his card at the cotton field just after his car starts up watch Ollie throw it away onto the ground.
When the boys are recaptured and we see the prisoners marching out into the yard look out for producer Hal Roach and director James Parrott as two of the marching cons.  They are just in front of Stan and Ollie.
The guys in the dentist's waiting room are Frank Austin (left), Charlie Hall (centre) and Bobby Burns (right).
After Stan 'drops' Ollie onto his head from the cell block during the riot, Hardy's head makes a crack in the cement.  However, in the next shot there is a hole but no cracks around it.  You have to be very fast and use a freeze-frame technique to see this.

Stan Laurel
Stan
Oliver Hardy
Ollie
Walter Long
El Tigre
June Marlowe
Warden's daughter
Tiny Sandford
Gutiérrez, prison guard
Gordon Douglas
Prison receptionist
Enrique Acosta
Warden
Alfonso Pedroza
Dentist
Dick Gilbert
Insurgent convict
Bobby Burns
Dental patient
Frank Austin
Dental patient
Bob O'Conor
Prison guard
*not convinced about this
Leo Willis
Insurgent convict
Bob Kortman
Insurgent convict
Hal Roach
Marching prisoner
*stock footage from Pardon Us
James Parrott
Marching prisoner
*stock footage from Pardon Us
Charlie Hall
Delivery man
*stock footage from Pardon Us
William J. O'Brien
Prison guard
*stock footage from Pardon Us
Eddie Baker
Solitary cell guard

(plus)
Plantation boss*
*stock footage from Pardon Us
O'Reese Corporal
Negro singer
*stock footage from Pardon Us
Laughing Gravy
Dog
*stock footage from Pardon Us
   
UNIDENTIFIED CAST


CREDITS

POSTERS  





SHOT ON THE LOT
The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR
 

Acknowledgements:
http://www.cardmine.co.uk (poster)
http://www.nitrateville.com/ (lobby cards)

This page was last updated on: 27 November 2015