Series: Laurel and Hardy

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

Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Walter Long, Jacqueline Wells
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 05 March 1932
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: L-4
Filming dates: September 14-23, 1931;
retakes November 9-11, 1931

Rating: 7/10

Any Old Port!

Available on DVD:

Stan and Ollie are sailors on shore leave as they walk down the street with Stan dragging Ollie's sea bag along the floor. A little further down the street is Ye Mariner's Rest, a small hotel run by the nasty-looking proprietor Walter Long. Inside, he torments his young cleaner (Jacqueline Wells) who is scrubbing the floor into marrying him. He mentally and physically abuses her before the awkwardness is broken by the doorbell. In step Stan and Ollie who ask for a room (after wanting to see the floorplan!) They are required to sign the guest register but what ought to have been a simple matter of putting pen to paper turns into a comical routine with Stan getting flustered with the pencil, an inkpot, the register and his hat. Ollie stands by patiently as Stan's complete incompetence unfolds and finally results in Stan signing with a simple "X".
Mugsie makes a call to Justice of the Peace Bobby Burns and enlists his services to perform a marriage ceremony; at which point the maid runs crying upstairs. Stan and Ollie intervene on her behalf and try to defend the girl from the clutches of the brute landlord but it's futile when two aggressively-thrown pool balls at his head have absolutely no affect. (Ollie's reaction is just brilliant.) The judge arrives and reminds Long that he will require two witnesses for the marriage ceremony. The girl's cries from inside a locked closet are a reminder of her reluctance to be married and Ollie boldly declares that he and Stan will not assist. Stan snatches the key from the locked closet and Long chases him into a dining room where the boys cleverly manage to trap Mugsie in the table before finally managing to escape.
Having left their money in the hotel, the boys are spotted by an old friend of Ollie's (Harry Bernard), who is seated at a lunch wagon in the street. They engage in conversation when Harry offers Ollie $50 to take place in a four-round preliminary boxing bout later that day. Ollie agrees and asks for the fee up front before ordering a huge dinner for himself. Stan half expects the same but is slightly disappointed when he is told he cannot eat because he has to fight later. Stan's fight comes and Ollie leads him to the ring. Both men get inside the squared circle and receive a round of applause and laughs. Stan wipes his feet in the customary wooden box and by doing so kicks it into the bell, bringing the crowd to hysterics. In the opposite corner of the ring the opponent has arrived. It's none other than Mugsie Long. A complete lock of dread fills Stan's face and his ears begin to wiggle furiously before his panic forces him to try and flee.
So convinced that Stan has no chance of winning Ollie makes a private bet with a drunken spectator that Mugsie will win. Mugsie acknowledges Stan with a grimace before instructing his corner man (Dick Gilbert) to fill his boxing glove with heavy metal objects and the fight begins. After a brief struggle both fighters lose their gloves. Stan finds some confidence when he picks up Long's loaded glove and chases him around the ring with it. Long manages to pull his glove from Stan's hand - right into his own face, knocking himself out cold. The referee awards Stan the bout after a countout but he too is knocked cold when Stan's hand lands on his head. When Stan leaves the ring he sees Ollie giving away all of their money to the drunk after the lost bet and takes a swing at him but hits a police officer (Eddie Baker) instead. They make a quick exit.

Favourite bit
During the boxing match with Walter Long, Stan finds some courage when he picks up his opponent's illegally-loaded glove. The underdog (Laurel) begins to chase the much bigger Long around the ring until eventually scoring a knock-out blow and winning the bout in the first round.

Copyrighted February 4, 1932.
This was the second film released by Hal Roach with this title. The other was a Snub Pollard film released in 1920. Sammy Brooks appears in both films.
Released on the same day as the similarly themed Boy Friends' film The Knockout. Dick Gilbert, who plays Walter Long's second in the boxing sequences, was a boxer in real life and appears in both films.
Filmed September 14-23, 1931 (by James W. Horne). Additional scenes were filmed November 9-11, 1931 by James Parrott (these were the boxing sequences).
Stan and Ollie had completed their scenes for On The Loose and Helpmates before re-shoots were required in November.
This was one of only a small handful of their films which was not made available in colour on DVD.
Scenes involving James Finlayson and Tiny Sandford were shot but later deleted.
The title of the film shown in the opening credits is spelled out with rope.
The name of the hotel run by Walter Long is Ye Mariner's Rest. When we see the first shot of the hotel Walter Long can be seen through the net curtains inside. Also a man can be seen outside the window lying down with his feet up on the side and a hat pulled over his face.
A cafe called 'Pete's For Eats - Steaks & Chops' is seen a couple of times throughout the film on the same street as the hotel. Laurel and Hardy once ate steak at a small cafe called Pete's in Below Zero.
When the boys check into the hotel they are given the room upstairs, third door on the left.
There is a framed lobster at the foot of the stairs and a stuffed monkey at the top, in the hotel.
Ollie suggests he and Stan shoot some pool. He had obviously forgiven Stan for the pool incident in Brats then!
The stairs to the first floor in the hotel go up and to the left.
There are eleven pool cues in the rack at the pool table. The triangle for the table is resting above the scoreboard.
It's not clear to see which balls are thrown at Walter Long's head, but the first one Stan throws is a 'stripe' ball (which would mean the it would be a number between 9-15). The second ball (the one Ollie throws) is the white (cue) ball.
There is a fire extinguisher hanging next to the main desk in the hotel.
For two men in a panic and trying to barricade themselves into the kitchen very quickly, I think it's amazing how accurately they manage to balance a huge barrel on top of the cupboard next to the door.
In the kitchen when Ollie slams into the wall, the whole wall shifts. Shortly afterwards Walter Long places his left hand upon the same wall to steady himself and again the wall moves. It certainly wasn't made of bricks - that's for sure!
It is not clearly seen whether that is Walter Long jumping into the water or not, though he is seen at the foot of the rungs with his leg in the water and his clothing is wet.
The grocery shop on the corner has adverts in the window for Rinso washing powder and Calumet baking powder.
The meal that Ollie orders at the wagon: a bowl of clam chowder, a large porterhouse steak smothered with onions, a baked potato, lima beans, buttered beets and a combination salad. For dessert; a double portion of apple pie with a large piece of American cream cheese and a flagon of coffee. I think it would be highly unlikely that a wagon with such a limited amount of space and menu would be able to provide everything Ollie had ordered!?
The lunch wagon owner, Frank Terry is smoking a cigar... something he wouldn't get away with doing in the food industry in today's world! Also, as he raises his right arm it appears he has a tattoo on his wrist.
When we first see the crowd at the boxing match Baldwin Cooke appears in the second row back on the end of the row on the right-hand side.
In the scene where Ollie demonstrates his limbering up and bends down to stretch he rips his pants. There is a woman (believed to be Helen Gilmore) in the front row-right of the audience who faints and has a man next to her waving his hat to revive her.
I seriously doubt Walter Long would have needed a loaded glove to defeat Stan in a boxing match, do you?
It's Long's right-hand glove which is loaded with the metal.
Ollie's ringside bet with spectator Will Stanton is with odds at 10/1. Stanton accepts the bet at $5.
Will Stanton is in seat 10.
If Stan and Ollie had no money and then earnt $50 for their fight, how was it that Ollie was able to give the drunk all fifty dollars? Who paid for Ollie's lunch then?
When the referee introduces the fighters to the crowd, Ollie is seen outside the ring on the floor. But in the next shot when the fighters walk towards the centre of the ring Ollie is with Stan.
The chief of police (Eddie Baker) is wearing a ring on his right hand and has the number 27 on his cap.
Stan knocks out three men: Walter Long, Sam Lufkin and Eddie Baker.
My opinion
It's okay. I guess it would rate in the middle somewhere when you rate their best-to-worst films. There is a dark, sinister theme to the film which depicts mental and physical abuse of a woman being thrown to the floor by Walter Long. That is uncomfortable to watch. As for the comedy scenes they stand up as being sharp and well timed routines. The spectacle at the end is okay; brief but enjoyable and it's a good outcome for Stan as he (accidentally) beats Mugsie in the fight. Oh wait - there's a spoiler. Stan beats Mugsie in the fight(!) Ollie's character has to be applauded for stepping inbetween the bully Long and the victim Wells earlier in the film.

Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Walter Long
Mugsie Long
Jacqueline Wells
Eddie Baker
Police chief
Harry Bernard
Harry, boxing promoter
Bobby Burns
Justice of the Peace
Dick Gilbert
Mugsy's secoind
Charlie Hall
Stan's second
Sam Lufkin
Will Stanton
Frank Terry
Lunch wagon owner
Baldwin Cooke
Charles Lloyd
Pete Gordon
Mugsie's second
Sammy Brooks
Helen Gilmore
Spectator at ringside/
and at the back of arena
Ed Brandenburg
Jack Hill

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CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Laurel And Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Rick Greene (lobby card)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Pete Gordon, Sammy Brooks and Helen Gilmore at back of arena)
Craig Calman (identification of Helen Gilmore at ringside)

This page was last updated on: 25 September 2021