Series: Laurel and Hardy

Director: James W. Horne
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Jack Stevens
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: Elmer Raguse

Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Babe London, Ben Turpin
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 16 May 1931
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: L-40
Filming dates: March 9-18, 1931
Rating: 7/10

Our Wife

Available on DVD:

Ollie is in a joyful mood, singing the wedding march song merrily to himself as he prepares for his big day, whilst Stan is in the other room preparing the table. After carrying about fifty plates too many to set the table Stan retreats into the kitchen where the swinging door causes him to drop every plate. After he recovers he notices there are flies on the wedding cake which is seated on the table and tries a number of methods to remove them, such as swatting them with a duster, poking them with a stick and spraying them with poison. Meanwhile Dulcy the bride (Babe London in her only appearance in a Laurel and Hardy film) proudly shows her father (Finlayson) the photograph of her husband-to-be. He is not impressed and emphatically forbids his daughter to go ahead with the wedding, locking her in her room until she comes to her senses.
Outside the door, the butler is overhearing the conversation with his ear to the door and as Fin exits the room he first trips over the nosey servant and then on a sweeping device the maid has abandoned, sending him flying through the air and down the stairs (it's actually a very visually-brilliant stunt). Back at the Laurel-Hardy residence the telephone rings. It's Dulcy informing Ollie of the situation, but their privacy is compromised by Stan's ear-wigging, which Hardy vocally objects to. As Stan has taken such an interest in Ollie's affair he is asked to help out with a car so that the couple can elope. Stan understands - sort of.
The second reel opens with Hardy trying to get the attention of Dulcy, who has been locked in her upstairs room by her father (Finlayson), but before any further progress is made Stan has arrived and already rung the doorbell and inadvertantly informed the butler of the plot to elope. Ollie freaks and hurries up the rescue of his wife-to-be whilst Fin attempts to stop her from leaving the house. As the trio flee the scene they come upon the car which Stan has hired to whisk them all away. The only problem is it is so small that it makes it virtually impossible for them all to get in comfortably. No sooner do they all manage to squeeze themselves in then it's time for Stan to get out (unseen) and knock upon the door of the preacher to request an audience with him so that Ollie and his bride can be married (see favourite scene).
The Justice of the Peace turns out to be none other than the cross-eyed Ben Turpin. If the conversation that had just taken place between Stan and Turpin's wife Blanche Payson wasn't confusing enough, then things weren't about to get any clearer! After reading out the legal vows, Ollie ends up marrying Stan instead of his bride!

Favourite bit
It's the scene between Stan and Blanche Payson after he has rung her doorbell at her home. Stan engages in conversation with her on Ollie's behalf, relaying messages back-and-forwards. "We want to get married" Stan tells her. "Not 'we' - US" Ollie corrects him. Stan repeats the line, adding to the confusion. In the end, and after enduring the conversation for long enough she smacks him one on the chin... and angrily walks off.

Copyrighted April 27, 1931.
The music that runs throughout the film is a variation on "Here Comes The Bride".
This was Babe London's only appearance in a L&H film. She would later be one of the guests at Stan's funeral.
In an interview with Babe London, she claims that the car scene was not as uncomfortable as it looked and took about two days to shoot.
When Fin trips and flies down the stairs look closely and you can see he pops up briefly at the bottom of the screen soon afterwards.
Among the names Ollie calls his bride are 'Flower of my Heart' and 'Ducky lover'.
It takes exactly 2 minutes 16 seconds for all three people to get into the car.
The butler's name is "Meadows". This seems to be a long-running name for butlers in Laurel and Hardy movies.
The name of the insecticide that Stan uses to spray the flies on the cake is Flit.
My opinion
It plods along okay enough and throws in some memorable moments, but seems to be lacking that special spark needed to ignite the potential comedy of the film.

Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Babe London
Dulcy, the bride
James Finlayson
Father of the Bride
Ben Turpin
William Gladding,
Justice of the Peace
Charley Rogers
Meadows, the butler
Blanche Payson
Mrs. Gladding
Eleanor Fredericks

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Laurel And Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Eleanor Fredericks)

This page was last updated on: 16 May 2023