Series: Laurel and Hardy
Director: Charley Rogers
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Bert Jordan
Sound: James Greene
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson
Released: 22 April 1933
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: L-13
Filming dates: mid-late March 1933
Me And My Pal
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It is the morning of Ollie's wedding. In a half-hour's time he will be marrying the daughter of a famous oil tycoon, the one and only Peter Cucumber (James Finlayson). As Ollie demands a fresh slice of toast from his butler (Frank Terry), the radio show he is listening to is suddenly interrupted with a message relating to the forthcoming ceremony. As the proud Hardy listens to his name being announced for the world to hear he starts to quickly become irritated when the message continues on into the words of best friend, Stan Laurel. Some off-topic ramblings force Ollie to turn off the radio in disgust.
Just at that moment the aforementioned Mr. Laurel arrives at the house armed with a conspicuous looking wedding gift. He is greeted by Ollie with a dry quote "Mr. Laurel says". Stan assures his best friend that he has everything in readiness for the day to run smoothly, including the ring, the flowers and the railroad tickets. Of course, Ollie cannot fail to notice the package under Stan's arms and enquires as to what it is. Stan has bought him a jigsaw puzzle because he wants them to have something to play with once he is married. Ollie reminds him that their playing days will soon be over and that he will no longer have the time to entertain such falderdash.
Ollie: "You know what a magnet is, don't you?" Stan: "Sure, a thing that eats cheese".
The butler interrupts them to inform Ollie his taxi is on the way. Ollie instructs him to get the bags ready to go as Stan sits at the table to begin with the puzzle. With a small amount of time to spare whilst Ollie waits for the cab, his intrigue of the jigsaw grabs his attention as Stan starts to really get into it. The two of them sit there at the table with Stan trying to find pieces to fit the picture whilst Ollie assists. Eventually the taxi arrives and Ollie urges them to get going. Whilst sitting patiently in the back of the car Ollie begins to wonder what is keeping the driver who had gone into the house to fetch the bags. Upon investigation he is found to be engrossed in the puzzle himself, along with Stan. A traffic cop arrives to issue the cab driver a ticket for parking in front of a fire hydrant but the driver is uninterested and simply slips the bill into his jacket pocket.
Whilst this is all taking place, the impatient father-of-the-bride rings the house to find out where the groom is. Ollie is fast becoming infuriated with the time wasting and instructs the cop to get people moving. They get back into the taxi where Ollie asks to make sure Stan has the ring. Stan searches his pockets for it and pulls out a piece of the jigsaw before rushing back inside. At the ceremony the doorbell rings and in walks delivery boy Charlie Hall armed with a wreaf. The host explodes and immediately makes his way to the house of Mr. Hardy to demand an explanation. In the mean time a telegram arrives for Ollie, delivered by a cross-eyed messenger, adding yet another observer into the mix of jigsaw-mania. He is followed shortly by Finlayson, who almost clears the house except for the cop who demands nobody can leave until the last piece of the puzzle has been fitted. This doesn't go down too well with the guys, and a brawl breaks out, sending the table with the jigsaw puzzle spilling out onto the floor. The cops are alerted and they arrive to arrest everybody for the disturbance; everybody that is, except for Stan and Ollie who have taken to hiding under the upturned sofa (Stan) and up the chimney (Ollie).
It is obvious that the wedding is now off and surely that should be Ollie's worst news of the day. But he gets to read the telegram which arrived for him a short while ago and the news doesn't get much better for him. Ollie's investment in the Great International Horsecollar stock has taken a teremendous crash in the market and burned. He has potentially just lost two million dollars. Stan decides to leave his pal alone and goes to exit when something catches his eye. It's the missing piece of the jigsaw they couldn't find earlier. Straight away, he is down on the floor trying to put the puzzle back together. Ollie forcibly ejects him from the house then completely loses it, kicking and throwing the pieces of the puzzle all over the place.
It may come as a surprise to know that even though most of the film centres around Ollie and Stan with the jigsaw routine, my favourite bit features neither of them. During the fight sequence traffic cop James C. Morton comes off worse for instigating the riot and takes some comical knocks to his head. Firstly by James Finlayson, and then later in this scene when the two Dunns (not related by the way) are brawling on the floor. Morton steps in to break it up and gets a smack to the chin by Eddie Dunn for his troubles. I think the sound effect helps!
• Copyrighted May 10, 1933.
• The film began life under the title of The Best Man.
• The title Me And My Pal is a play on words of a Spencer Tracy film the same year called Me And My Gal.
• The voice on the radio is that of Frank Terry, the same guy who plays Hardy's butler Hives.
• The print on "The Essential Collection" DVD is slightly cropped. Notice the partial " which precedes the title in the opening card on the DVD, whereas it is complete on all other prints. You can compare this by looking at the DVD comparisons at the foot of this page.
• The exterior shots of Hardy's home were filmed in front of 2115 Wellington Road in the Lafayette Square district of Los Angeles, four miles east of the Roach lot. This would ostensibly be Ollie’s home, although we never see its exterior in the film. The house we see across the street is 2108 Wellington. In the shots showing Stan and Ollie waiting inside the taxi, we can see one house prominently through the rear window; this is at 1857 Wellington. The house with the narrowly-peaked, long, slanted roof is at 2026 Wellington. These homes were built in 1922 and ’23, so this upscale neighborhood was well established by the time the L&H crew came around a decade later. In the film, Ollie’s address is supposed to be “6311 Old Fashioned Way” When the climactic fight begins, the police dispatcher’s notice of “Old Fashioned Way — it’s a riot” seems to be an endorsement of W. C. Fields’ feature film of that title, but it hadn’t begun production yet and wouldn’t be released until July 1934.
• The film begins at 11:30am - as noted by the clock in the opening scene.
• The wedding ceremony was scheduled to take place at the bride's home at high noon.
• Upon getting married, Ollie was set to become the general manager of his company.
• Early in the film Ollie asks the butler to bring him some fresh toast, but this seems to have been forgotten.
• Despite Ollie's instructions for tickets to Saskatchewan, Stan instead gets tickets for Chicago.
• The jigsaw puzzle is No. 86 and has an expected working time of 2 hours. The illustration used for the jigsaw puzzle is a 1930 Brown & Bigelow print named "White Feather," an illustration created by R. Atkinson Fox. It's also interesting to note that nowhere on the box does it state the dimensions for the size of the jigsaw, so when Stan starts to assemble it on the table how does he know that the puzzle will actually fit onto the surface?
• After Ollie instructs his butler to get his hat and coat there is no dialogue whatsoever for 2 minutes 26 seconds until the cab arrives.
• The taxi pulls up and parks in front of a fire hydrant - an absolute no-no!
• The taxi company is The Yellow Cab Company; taxi number is 219, and has the code LE 4200 - the same number as seen on Eddie Dunn's cap.
• The taxi meter was manufactured by Ohmer Fare Register Co. in Dayton, Ohio.
• The policeman walks straight into Hardy's house without knocking. That could be seen as illegal trespass. He also physically puts his hands on the cab driver when Hardy tells him they have to leave. Again, the policeman had no legal right to even touch the driver.
• It was the cab driver, Eddie Dunn who knocks the jigsaw on the floor during the brawl. Later, Peter Cucumber also just walks straight into Hardy's house without knocking.
• Of all the crimes committed in this film, none is more serious than when Eddie Dunn (the car driver) assaults the police officer!
• You can clearly see the jigsaw puzzle is not on the table before Eddie Dunn tipples it over. The shot cuts from him falling on the table, which has a vase on it, to the puzzle falling off. What happened to the vase?
• The address of the house is given as 6311 Old Fashioned Way. It is first heard over the police radio and then later confirmed when Ollie reads his telegram message.
• When the call comes out over the police radio, the cop car is parked outside a pawn shop.
• The telegram is dated March 20 1933.
• It's a shame that author Glenn Mitchell regards this film as a 'lesser short' because personally I think it's one of the better ones.
What the experts say
• "It's a perfect example of comedy genius when Laurel and Hardy could take a simple plot of doing a jigsaw puzzle and making it last twenty minutes and having it work on screen and keep the audience entertained. Wonderful." ~ Lord Heath.
Voice of Police Dispatcher
|James C. Morton
Hives, the butler/Voice on radio
|CREDITS||POSTER & TITLE CARDS|
|SHOT ON THE LOT
The following scenes were filmed on the Hal Roach Back Lot and are included in the TOUR
Laurel And Hardy - The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Randy Skretvedt (location filming information and jigsaw details)
Melanie Thompson, Ken Runyan, Phil Posner(information pertaining to the jigsaw puzzle)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Edgar Sherrod)
This page was last updated on: 22 April 2019