Series: Stan Laurel

Director: Ralph Cedar
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Photography: Frank Young
Editor: Thomas J. Crizer

Stars: Stan Laurel, Ena Gregory, James Finlayson
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 11 May 1924
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: L-5
Filming dates: September 26 - October 9, 1923;
added scenes December 16-17, 1923

Rating: 2/10

Near Dublin

Available on DVD:

In the peace-loving Irish town of Shillalah a young maid Colleen (Ena Gregory) is sweeping the step of her house when her lazy father Old Man Dugan (Patrick Kelly) tells her that Sir Patrick, a recently widowed gentleman, wants to marry her but she retorts that if he wasn't so lazy she wouldn't have to marry anyone! Along comes the village postman Con Corrigan (Stan Laurel) on a horse, reading people's letters before he delivers them. Sir Patrick, the widower (James Finlayson) is taken off his feet when Corrigan dives on the ground to catch a pig that has escaped from his mail bag. Corrigan quickly exits and is about to deliver his next letter to a woman who proudly tells her neighbour of how well her son is doing for himself. When the postman reads the letter he sees that her son is in fact in prison and not wanting to disappoint her he rips it up. Sir Patrick witnesses this and retrieves the pieces of the letter before summoning Old Man Dugan to pay his rent or face eviction. Con comes to the rescue and pays the rent for him.
At the barn dance Corrigan is on hand to cause mayhem when he causes a barrel of beer to explode and then takes part in trying to bite an apple attached to a string whilst blindfolded. Things get interesting when one of the villagers substitutes the apple for a brick. Corrigan doesn't take too kindly to this and levels the guy responsible. Before you know it, in typical Irish fashion all hell breaks loose and a fight is in full swing with bricks being thrown everywhere. The fight is quickly brought to a halt when Sir Patrick arrives with a cop but no sooner as they leave everything resumes!
When we next see Con he is in jail and confined to watch from behind his cell bars as the ever horny Sir Patrick continues to molest, harass and sexually assault Colleen. Even when Con uses the bendy bars to fire a conveniently located brick into Sir Patrick it doesn't deter him. Con manages to easily escape from his cell when the dumb cop enters and tries crawling around on the floor looking for something he doesn't even know he is looking for. Con rescues the girl in time but gets a chair over his head from Sir Patrick for his troubles. Con plays dead and Sir Patrick is arrested and thrown in jail by the cop. Colleen takes Con to the barn - "where all public amusements, including murder trials, were held"... where he is forced to hide to avoid being seen alive.
Sir Patrick is brought from his cell and his trial begins. Con, who is hiding out at the top of the barn continues to launch objects at him from above causing Sir Patrick to be knocked out. The cop has to keep reviving him by clonking him over the head (this goes on and on). Con pours some horse medicine directly into the judge's drink from directly above. This somehow finds its way into the cop's drink and he makes a quick bolt for the exit after he tries a mouthful. Sir Patrick offers to show the judge exactly how it all happens and proceeds in smashing a chair over his head. The judge orders Sir Patrick to be put in stocks before discarding his lighted match into the straw which of course sets fire to the barn. In a panic Con pours a bucket of water he just conveniently seemed to have down onto the ground to extinguish the flames and by doing so exposes himself (no, not in THAT way) to the fact that he is still alive. Sir Patrick breaks free of his confines and goes after Con, who skips out of the barn with Colleen. Weird ending.

Favourite bit
When Stan picks up Fin's wallet and is chased off down the street by him.

Copyrighted February 20, 1924.
My opinion
It's just flat. Laurel isn't as annoying as he usually is but does have a couple of those scenes where he looks ridiculous laughing at himself. There is a very long scene where he keeps throwing objects at James Finlayson and hitting him in the face followed by George Rowe clonking him over the head to wake him back up again which goes on too long. The final few minutes are played out with tedious slowness. This is one of Stan Laurel's better solo films - and for that I rate it 2/10!

Stan Laurel
Con Corrigan
Ena Gregory
Colleen Dugan
James Finlayson
Sir Patrick, brick merchant
George Rowe
Officer O'Toole
Patrick Kelly
Old Man Dugan
Helen Gilmore
Dick Gilbert
Card player
Sammy Brooks
Barn dance musician
Leo Willis
Mae Laurel
Jack Ackroyd
Fred Karno Jr.
Jack Gavin
William Gillespie
Barn dance musician
Al Forbes
Courtroom official
Glenn Tryon
Don Maines
Fanny Kelly
Charley Lloyd
Charlie Hall
Eddie Baker
James T. Kelley
Billy Engle
Earl Mohan


CREDITS (click image to enlarge) INTERTITLES (click image to enlarge)

(click any image to enlarge)

Laurel OR Hardy by Rob Stone (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Fanny Kelly, Don Maines, Al Forbes, Fred Karno Jr and Glenn Tryon)
Fran Gilbert (still)

This page was last updated on: 28 May 2022