Perfect Day  
10 August 1929
sound short


Director: James Parrott  Producer: Hal Roach  Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Cinematography: ?  Editor: Richard C. Currier  Sound recording: ?


DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - It's Sunday morning and Stan, Ollie, their wives and their gout-ridden uncle are preparing for a picnic.  The atmosphere is good and jolly with the women, despite grumpy Uncle Ed (Kennedy) refusing to come along on account of his bad foot.  Ollie enters the room carrying a large platter containing all the contents of the picnic; sandwiches, apples and bananas.  A sandwich slips off the tray and onto the floor and Ollie asks for Stan to retrieve it.  He does, but the swinging door they have just walked through hits Stan in the rear, forcing him to involuntarily headbut Ollie in the midsection.  Ollie drops the tray onto Stan's back, who stands up and lets it slip off onto the floor.  Tempers flare, sandwiches are thrown, words are exchanged and all hell begins to break loose.  It starts to get out of control when Mrs. Laurel breaks up the fight, reminding the boys it is the sabbath.  The two shake hands and make up, but not for long... Stan accidentally whacks Ollie with the tray; Ollie then hits Stan over the head with it and the tension begins to rise again.  Stan fetches a chair to place the tray on, not realising the uncle is resting his leg on it.  His heavily-bandaged foot falls to the floor and is attacked by the family dog, sitting in the corner.  This leads to yet another struggle which culminates in the boys once again destroying the food.
Outside, everybody gets into the car, with Ollie in the driving seat.  They set off for their intended destination (which they will never reach) but stop after a few yards to bid a friendly goodbye to their neighbor (Baldwin Cooke), who is out watering his lawn.  The exchange of "goodbye" between them all goes of for what seems like forever until the neighbors across the road (Harry Bernard) join in too.  When this gag is completely and absolutely exhausted, Ollie drives off but encounters a puncture in his tyre after just a few seconds, bringing their journey to a premature end.
The boys get out to change the tyre as Uncle Ed takes a breather.  A quick succession of gags sees his foot trodden on, the car door shut on, sat on and the rear wheel rolled over all in the space of a few seconds.  Stan discovers a tack which has penetrated the tyre so pulls it out and discards it in the road.  The wheel is replaced and everybody gets back in.  Ollie tries to pull away only to discover the car is still up on the jack which has been placed under the wheel.  This is then removed, only to find the same wheel which was punctured has simply been put back on without repair.  Ollie is furious and launches the jack at Stan, who ducks as the heavy object smashes through the window of their neighbor.
Mr. Cooke brings the offending item back to them, and returns it through their car windscreen to equal the damage.  It then becomes a battle of tit-for-tat as Stan picks up a brick (which just happened to be lying there by the side of the road), takes it to Cooke's house and throws it through his window.  This action is then replicated by the neighbor, bringing the score to 2-2.  The proceedings are brought to a halt when everybody scrambles inside their homes when they see the local parson approaching on foot.  When the coast is clear, the five of them return to the car and attempt once again to get going.  Stan and Ollie find they have put on each other's jackets by mistake and end up running down the clock by spending an awfully long time trying to exchange them by attempting to dress whilst standing in close proximity to one another.
They do eventually get sorted and get back into the car, albeit at the impatience of their passengers, one of whom objects vocally.  This is noted by Hardy, who reluctantly lets it go, until Stan echoes the remark and gets berated for it.  More moans from the back seat are met with an abrupt "oh shut up" from the driver before he and Stan get out to assess the problem with the car.  Ollie instructs Stan to throw out the clutch, which he does rather a bit too literally.  In return for his ignorance Ollie clumps Stan over the head with it (the sound of which has been voted as one of the best sound effects ever used on film by some fans).  After a brief soaking incident, the car gets going, but no sooner does it leave the street it ends up sinking into a giant mud hole in the road, bringing all prospects of a "perfect day" to an end.

Favourite bit
Ollie has pulled so much time in getting going that frustrations have started to spill out from the passengers.  At one point as he tries to engage the engine his wife (played by Kay Deslys) tells him "come on Oliver, step on it".
A not-altogether-happy Hardy stops what he is doing to turn around and give her a dirty stare as if to silence her.  Then Stan adds insult to Ollie's injured pride by making matters worse with "Step on it, Ollie".  Ollie replies, "I'll step on you in a minute.  And don't call me 'Ollie'!"

Filmed between June 3rd - 8th, 1929.
•Production L-26 - Laurel & Hardy series.
Copyrighted August 12, 1929.
•The house used in the film belonged to the actor Baldwin Cooke, who appears as the neighbor.
•The film is sometimes referred to as "A Perfect Day".
•The house at 3120 Vera Avenue, the "Perfect Day" house, belonged to a Roach electrician named Bailey H. Boone, who lived there with wife Nola and son (yes) Daniel.
Did you notice?
•When Ollie is holding the picnic tray at the beginning, there is one very manky banana on it.
•On "The Essential Collection" DVD print, listen at 02:13 when Stan slips on the sandwiches and falls to the floor.  Somebody FARTS!
•When the neighbor first bids goodbye to the troupe in the car, Edgar Kennedy is the only one who doesn't wave or speak back. He does however offer an indignant nod.
•The damaged tyre is on the rear-left.
•It's Edgar Kennedy's left foot which is bandaged.
•After the passengers get out of the back seat they get back in with Edgar Kennedy and Isabelle Keith swapping places.
•Watch when Stan runs off down the street in fear of the spinning back wheel.  Somebody is seen in the distance observing what is going on.
•After Baldwin Cooke has thrown the brick through the house window the camera turns to the boys and the car.  Look in the background (right) and you can see the friendly neighbors who were seen in close-up earlier in the film.  This shot gives the viewer a correct perspective of their location in relation to the boys' waving previously.
•When Stan throws the brick through Baldwin Cooke's side window, the brick falls back onto the ground and into the flowerbed.  When Baldwin Cooke goes to pick it back up, there are TWO bricks there.  Funny place to have a loose brick lying around?  It's obvious that this second brick must have been used in a previous take and not cleared away by the continuity department.
•Approximately 12 minutes into the film Edgar Kennedy utters the words "oh shit" as he attempts to get out of the car to avoid detection by the passing vicar.  This dialogue is confirmed by Randy Skretvedt in his book.
•In the final scene as the car sinks into the puddle, does Edgar Kennedy elbow Kay Deslys in the face?
•Isabelle Keith is the only occupant in the car whose face does not submerge under the water at the end.  The other 4 do.

Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Edgar Kennedy
Uncle Ed
Isabelle Keith
Mrs. Laurel
Kay Deslys
Mrs. Hardy
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess -
Baldwin Cooke
Next-door neighbor
Lyle Tayo
Next-door neighbor
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - Harry Bernard
Friendly neighbor
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess -
Grace Woods
Friendly neighbor
Charley Rogers
The parson

The 5 indignities of Edgar Kennedy's foot:
Stan treads on it... then drops the jack on it... then sits on it... then closes the door on it... then finally drops the wheel on it!



Acknowledgements: (John Bengston)
Laurel And Hardy - The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Mick Roche, Jay Brennan (observations)
Randy Skretvedt, Nancy Swaim (factual information)

This page was last updated on: 27 February 2018