Series: All Stars w/Laurel and Hardy

Director: James Parrott
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Photography: George Stevens
Editor: Richard C. Currier

Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Anita Garvin, Kay Deslys, Fay Holderness, S.J. Sandford, Lyle Tayo, Leo Willis
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 19 May 1928
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: S-10
Filming dates: February 15-24, 1928; retakes March 7, 1928
Rating: 6/10

Their Purple Moment

Available on DVD:

Stan is 'Mr. Pincher', a simple working man who arrives home one day only to have his wife (Fay Holderness) ready and waiting to demand he hand over all of his money to her. Stan hands over most of his cash to her but manages to sneak the rest of it into a rather ingenious hiding place - on the inside lining of a picture on the wall which opens up to reveal a pocket stuffed full of cash. Soon after, Ollie and his wife arrive and he reveals how his wife found all his money too ("she's a bloodhound", he quips.) Oblivious that Stan's wife has switched his hidden money with some coupons the boys suggest they be allowed to go to the bowling alley, which surprisingly the wives agree to. It is soon apparent however, they have other intentions on their minds.
The boys arrive at The Pink Pup nightclub and find a couple of ladies (Kay Deslys and Anita Garvin) outside who are getting a grilling from the owner after their fellas have fled and not paid for the bill. Confident he has enough money to take care of the payment, Stan agrees to clear the debt if the ladies agree to dine with him and Ollie. They do, but not before the local gossip sees them and runs home to tell their wives. Stan and Ollie take the two girls inside the nightclub and order four large steaks. The two ladies are keen to reveal their concealed weapons (Garvin's knife and Deslys' gun) in case of future issues with men but Stan has nothing to fear as he seeks comfort in the knowing his heavy wallet will more than take care of their meal. Stan demonstrates some table skills when he flicks a spoon into a glass of water to impress the girls before Ollie attempts the same routine and fails miserably. A group of midget performers dressed as soldiers take to the dance floor and Stan happily buys them all treats from the cigarette girl. Everybody is happy.
It's at the point when Stan goes to pay the girl he realises he doesn't have any money and nervously tells her to put it on the check. Stan sits there dumbfounded as their meals arrive at the table. As Ollie and the ladies tuck into their food Stan fidgets around worried about the consequences of not being able to pay the bill. Meanwhile the gossip has gone to Stan's house to tell the wives about where their husbands really are and they head off for the nightclub. An impatient cab driver demands payment for the girls' fare from earlier and Ollie invites him to join them at the table for a steak (I have to admire how quickly his food arrives!) Stan manages to relay the bad news to Ollie that his wallet has no money in it and the two of them seize an opportunity to try and flee when the lights are dimmed for a stage performance.
Stan is brought the check, which he asks to pay after the entertainment is finished. If things couldn't get any worse the two wives turn up at the venue looking for Stan and Ollie. But things get a lot worse when the head waiter (Tiny Sandford) discovers Stan's empty wallet! The boys make a break for it and end up in the kitchen where Ollie drops his best friend right in it by telling the wives that it was Stan's idea to come to the nightclub. Stan tries to hit Ollie with a pie but instead he hits Ollie's wife with it. Ollie retaliates by hitting Stan's wife with a pie. And then it all kicks off. The chef gets involved, then the waiter, and then the maitre d'... More wasted food ends up on the faces and heads of them all, with Ollie laughing at the maitre d's face covering. It all ends with the boys and their wives covered in pies and a very angry owner berating his waiter.

Favourite bit
It takes a brave man to laugh in the face of the burly Tiny Sandford! But it's the way Sandford rubs the pie into Ollie's face afterwards which is particularly amusing.

Copyrighted May 19, 1928.
Some of the sketches used here were re-worked into Laurel and Hardy's Blotto (which once again features Anita Garvin and Tiny Sandford), and Below Zero (Sandford again as the head waiter when the boys can't pay for their meals).
In the Laurel's hallway there is a portrait where Stan hides his money. The man in the picture is Frederick Sullivan.
This was the last 'Laurel & Hardy' film to be released under the All Stars banner.
The European DVD copies of the film (UK, Germany, Netherlands for example) all derive from the same print and has a cropped frame. (See this DVD comparison). The American DVD prints show the full width of the picture.
The number 1750 is painted on the kerb outside Stan's house but his door number appears to be 1751.
I am not 100% but I think that one of the men who runs out of the Pink Pup to avoid paying the bill when Stan and Ollie arrive at the nightclub is Ham Kinsey (he's the one that falls over). I watched it several times slowly and it definitely looks like him. Plus, he did perform some stunts in their films and the timeframe is right for him.
This is the best shot I could get of the advertisement board outside the Pink Pup.
Ollie remarks that the steak costs only $2.60. Adjusted for inflation that would have been approximately $39 in 1928.
Dorothy Coburn has approximately 7 seconds of screen time, seen in the background around 18 minutes when Stan and Ollie try to flee the nightclub. She is sitting on the desk before jumping down in the next scene.

My opinion
A relatively decent silent film from Laurel and Hardy. Where it lacks in laughs it gains in storyline and tension.

Stan Laurel
Mr. Pincher
Oliver Hardy
Anita Garvin
Ollie's girlfriend
Kay Deslys
Mr. Pincher's girlfriend
Fay Holderness
Mrs. Pincher
Tiny Sandford
Lyle Tayo
Mrs. Hardy
Leo Willis
Cab driver
Jack Lloyd
Harry Earles
Midget performer
Jack Hill
Pink Pup patron
Sam Lufkin
Dorothy Coburn
Hat check girl
Dorothea Wolbert
Clara Guiol
Cigarette girl
Chet Brandenburg
Ed Brandenburg
Nightclub patron/
Waiter who gets tripped
Jack O'Brien
Nightclub patron
Bob Minford
Ham Kinsey
Man fleeing nightclub
Edgar Dearing
Waiter who serves
Mrs. Laurel & Mrs. Hardy
Evelyn Burns
Nightclub patron
The Erwings' Band
Nightclub orchestra
Gene Morgan

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CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

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Chris Bungo's "Then & Now" video presentation

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Laurel And Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Richard W. Bann, Jim Clewer, Jesse Brisson (help)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Edgar Dearing and Evelyn Burns)
'More In The Attic' (2 stills)

This page was last updated on: 14 February 2022