From Soup To Nuts  
 
24 March 1928
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
silent short
2-reels

 

Director: Edgar Kennedy  Producer: Hal Roach  Writers: H.M. Walker, Leo McCarey
Cinematography: Len Powers  Editor: Richard C. Currier

AVAILABLE ON DVD

Two of Laurel and Hardy's fiercest opponents coming together and arguing is always a pleasure to witness, as Anita Garvin and Tiny Sandford go at it as hosts of a dinner engagement for their friends.  Sandford announces he would rather be out on the porch in bare feet than to endure what is to follow.  Just at this moment Stan and Ollie arrive at the front door as servants for the occasion.  They are shown in by maid Edna Marion, as Stan produces a calling card with their business on it, believing it should be placed with the calling cards of the guests.  Ollie is offended that Stan continues to wear his hat and reminds him that it is considered rude manners, and constantly reprimands his friend.  The maid shows the boys to the host Mrs. Culpepper (Garvin) for their formal introductions, though her initial response is bewilderment at what she sees before her!  Ollie is impressed with the beauty of his new boss and even dares to state as much to her husband:
Ollie: "Some wiggler?"
Sandford: "That wiggler happens to be my wife!"
Ollie: "Nevertheless, some wiggler!"
The boys enter the kitchen to find the maid and cook at work.  The continued reminder of no-hat-wearing whilst in the house is now extended to the cook (Otto Fries) as Stan tells him that Ollie "doesn't like it".  After three attempts to remove his cooking hat, Stan finally throws the cook's hat on the floor and kicks it skywards.  This prompts a reaction from the cook, who takes a saucer and smashes it over Stan's head.  Naturally Stan responds in kind; then the cook again, until it gets silly.  Ollie comes over to break it up before it escalates further, only to then fall over with a tray whilst trying to impress the maid (watch carefully as she tries not to laugh and break character).
Out in the dining room the party is in motion with all the guests sitting down and eating.  Hostess Garvin is having trouble with her etiquette by refusing to use her hands to pick up a cherry from her fruit salad despite her obvious troubles when it keeps falling off her spoon.  One of the guests (Dorothy Coburn) is seated next to the hostess' husband Sandford when she feels movement between her legs (it's a dog with a banana, folks!)  Thinking he had something to do with it she elbows him in the ribs and tells him to be a gentleman.  (How many times have you seen Tiny Sandford abused in his films?  Not many!)  Meanwhile, further attempts by the hostess to eat her cherry result in her tiara falling over her eyes and thus rendering her blind.  The boys, now dressed and ready to serve the guests are standing by a cabinet at the side of the room when Stan accidentally spills the soup over Ollie's feet.  Unpreturbed, Hardy moves on to serving a ridiculously sized cake but as he begins to walk over to the table he slips on the discarded banana peel left by the dog and... well, you can guess the rest.  After the 'incident' he throws the banana peel across the room, little realising that Stan will soon be aquainted with it.  Stan, who has taken advantage of Ollie's misfortune by offering a smile, has his own problems when he drops a serving spoon into the soup bowl and has to try and retrieve it without putting his hands in.  In the end he decides to dip plates into the bowl and serve them, but in his efforts he too slips on the banana peel and drowns the guests with the content of the dish.  Mr. Culpepper (Sandford) is one of the guests on the receiving end of Stan's mishap and gets in Stan's face over it, pulling out Stan's dress short to wipe himself down.  Unimpressed by his lack of manners, Stan retorts with doing the same.  Sandford takes even more abuse as Stan chins him and sends him back to his seat.
Off goes Ollie to fetch another cake but once again, slips on the same banana peel and... yep, you guessed it!  He then fetches a third (of course, they just seem to have loads of enormous cakes lying around the kitchen!) but chooses this time to wheel it in on a tea trolley.  The hostess asks for the salad to be served - without dressing.  A simple instruction which the boys somehow misinterpret to serve the food whilst wearing a bare minimal of clothing.  Stan confides in the maid;
Stan: "I have to serve the salad - undressed"
Maid: "I always serve it that way"
Stan: "What kind of a party is this?"
Ever the obedient, Stan does his duty and walks out in front of the guests semi-naked.  It doesn't take long before heads start turning and tongues start wagging, as the hostess explodes with rage upon noticing the faux pas and demands an explanation from her undressed servant.  Naturally the innocent Stan points the finger at Ollie, from whom he received the instruction in the first place.  Garvin whacks Hardy so hard that he falls on the (third) cake - a cake that, it seemed, was destined never to be consumed by the guests!





Favourite bit
Stan has slipped on a banana peel whilst carrying the soup dish.  He falls, it spills, the guests get covered. Beefy host Tiny Sandford angrily reacts to this and tries to intimidate poor Stan by threatening to hit him.  The much smaller Stan anticipates the assault and beats him to the punch. So much so that it sends Sandford on his way without retaliation.
It's always a joy to see the boys getting the upper hand on one of their closest 'rivals', especially somebody the size of Tiny Sandford, who to be fair gets an unfair amount of punishment in this film from everybody!

Facts
•Filmed between December 1927-January 1928.
•The basic plot of the film was recreated as part of the extended scenes which were re-shot for A Chump At Oxford. In that film, Garvin reprises her role (with James Finlayson taking over Tiny Sandford's role as host) and plays the character Mrs. Vanderveer - a reference to one of the dinner guests in this film, Ellinor Vanderveer.
•At the time the filming wrapped, Oliver Hardy was already filming the Our Gang comedy Barnum & Ringling, Inc.

Did you notice?
 
On the card Stan pulls out of his pocket it reads, "Laurel & Hardy - Waiters. All we ask is a chance"
•After their initial introduction, Ollie definitely eyes up Anita Garvin from the rear as she walks off.
•Dorothy Coburn's dress. Yummy!
•When Anita Garvin's head gear falls over her eyes, she actually asks Stan to lift it back up for her again, yet earlier in the evening when it happens she lifts it back up by herself.
•Ollie destroys three cakes.
•Including the hosts Garvin and Sandford and guests, there are 11 people at the dinner table.
•The dog's name is Buddy.

Stan Laurel
Stan
Oliver Hardy
Ollie
Anita Garvin
Mrs. Culpepper, the hostess
Tiny Sandford
Mr. Culpepper
Dorothy Coburn
Guest
Edna Marion
Maid
Ellinor Vanderveer
Dinner guest
Otto Fries
Chef
Sam Lufkin
Dinner guest
Gene Morgan
Dinner guest
   
UNIDENTIFIED
Dinner guest
UNIDENTIFIED
Dinner guest
UNIDENTIFIED
Dinner guest
   
UNIDENTIFIED
Dinner guest

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Acknowledgements:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018083/ (IMDb.com)
"Laurel And Hardy - The Magic Behind The Movies" by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Jerry Murbach (2 stills)

This page was last updated on: 24 March 2015