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Putting Pants On Philip

Release date:
3 December 1927
  Silent short:
2 reels
Clyde Bruckman
Leo McCarey, H.M. Walker
Hal Roach
Richard C. Currier
Supervising director:
Leo McCarey
George Stevens
 2009    2004    2004    2000
Film No.
....... The Honourable, influential, diginified and proud Piedmont Mumblethunder (Hardy) is at the docks awaiting the arrival of his Scottish nephew, Philip (Laurel).  He reads the request letter from his sister to meet and greet Philip and make him feel welcome.  And then there's the P.S. - Philip has a weakness with the women!
The kilt-wearing Philip disembarks the ship along with a fellow Scot who is dressed almost identical to him and the two shake hands.  The elder Scotsman leaves as Philip is summoned by the ship's welfare officer (Sam Lufkin) for a medical examination before he can be cleared.  Philip is told to open his mouth so the officer can examine him.  He obliges, rather animated in his compliance, but the officer is immediately concerned and takes Philip's pulse, as others laugh on in the background.
The bemused officer continues to look at his watch whilst holding Philip's wrist in his other hand.  Philip is equally bemused by his emotionless face.  Eventually Philip understands the predicament and bursts out crying.  The gag does becomed a little over-worked here as the officer pops a thermometer into Philip's mouth, whilst counting the seconds on his watch.  After a few seconds the thermometer is removed from Philip's mouth (well, half of it is) and the observing crowd continue to crack up at the spectacle in front of them.
His uncle Piedmont also laughs and confides in a bystander that "somebody has to meet that!", little realising that in a few seconds he himself will be introduced to "that!"  Still the medical exam continues, with the viewer getting a little tired of the routine by now as it is evidently being used as a time filler for the film.  The officer bangs on Philip's chest and tells him to cough.  Philip obliges and blows the officer's hat off.  The attention then turns to examining Philip's hair for lice, something Philip is not keen on.  After several unnecessarily aggressive attempts to check Philip's hair, Philip turns the tables on the officer and does likewise on him, almost turning it into a physical fight.  Philip is then asked if he has been vaccinated?  Philip says he has, but not in the arm!  Philip is eventually dismissed.
Although the laughing crowd continue to mock him, Philip realises whom it is he is supposed to meet, and pulls out a photograph of his uncle from his pocket.  Piedmont immediately stops laughing when he sees.  They quickly leave...
Outside in the fresh air, with the ships in the background, Piedmont asks what Philip is interested in.  Philip shrugs his shoulders and watches as a woman walks past.  He quickly gets excited (well who wouldn't, seeing as the woman is Dorothy Coburn!) and becomes animated.  Piedmont calms him down and tells Philip that he should walk behind him as Piedmont is a highly respected gentleman around town and doesn't want his reputation ruined by a horny Scotsman.... well, words to that affect!
Piedmont and Philip turn the corner and walk along the street, with Philip innoncently hanging onto his uncle's arm.
Favourite bit    
•Filmed September 13-27, 1927. [source: Randy Skretvedt]

•Some sources claim this to to be the first official teaming of the boys.

DVD comparisons: Lost Films vs. Universal DVD - Facts

•Both copies are similar sharpness-wise, but Lost is cleaner and better graded. However, Lost is missing 3 segments: 1) At around 8'10 in, it is missing 12 secs of Ollie rescuing Philip from the crowd; 2) In the tailor's shop, one of the attempts to take Philip's inside-leg measurement (lasting about 31 secs) is missing; 3) A short shot of a man raising his hat to Philip on the bus (at 15'46 in Kirch). There is also some difference in editing when the ladies faint after Philip's kilt blows up. [observations courtesy Steve Phillips]

Did you notice?

•Mumblethunder's sister is called Louise.
•The boat on which Philip arrives on is called the S.S. Mirimar.
•The woman on the dock (the beautiful Dorothy Coburn) looks like she is lost?  I mean, doesn't she look just a little out of place?

Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Piedmont J. Mumblethunder
  Charles A. Bachman
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Chet Brandenburg
Streetcar conductor
Harvey Clark
Dorothy Coburn
Girl chased by Philip
Sam Lufkin
Ship's doctor
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Venice Lloyd
Woman in cloche hat
Alfred Fisher
Fellow Scot
  Don Bailey
(unidentified character)
  Jack Hill
(unidentified character)
  Eric Mack
(unidentified character)
  Tom Mintz
(unidentified character)
  Bob O'Connor
(unidentified character)
  Retta Palmer
(unidentified character)
  Lee Phelps
(unidentified character)
Woman sitting in front of Ollie on bus


Robin Cook (identification of Alfred Fisher)

This page was last updated on: 11 March 2017