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    West Of Hot Dog    
    Director:  Scott Pembroke
Producer:  Joe Rock
Assistant director:  Murray Rock
Cinematography:  Edgar Lyons
Editor:  (unknown)
    Joe Rock Comedies/Standard Photoplay Company/FBO
30 December 1924
silent short/2-reels
Stan is a tenderfoot roaming through the countryside in a horse-drawn wagon with a female companion, the sheriff's daughter, Little Mustard (Julie Leonard).  He reads his book in silence, occasionally glancing over to the obviously uninterested woman.  Their wagon is spotted by two masked cowboys on horseback.  The leader, 'Bad Mike', holds up the coach and orders the surrender of its passengers.  A third, until now unseen passenger gets out along with the young woman, but Stan tells the robber that he prefers to stay where he is.  After a brief struggle Stan tries to exit via the opposite door but catches his braces.  Every time he tries to put his hands in the air, as instructed by the robber, his trousers fall down.
Bad Mike holds his gun to Stan's ribs but all this does is tickle him.  It becomes apparent that the third passenger in the coach is in on the act when he directs the robber's attention to Stan's boot, where he obviously is keeping his money.  Stan makes a break for it when the robber turns his attention towards the lady but then returns to confront the robber with a clenched fist when he sees the man manhandling the woman.  The robber is not intimidated and quickly rides off with his accomplice and the fellow passenger from the coach.
Little Mustard isn't impressed with Stan's show of cowardice and suggests he should drive her into town if he was half a man.  Stan climbs up to take the reins as she gets back into the coach.  Stan attempts to muster the horses a bit too much, to the point where they bolt and leave him and the coach stranded on the spot.
The next day in the western town of Hot Dog, Stan and Little Mustard are reunited briefly in the middle of the dusty street.  She walks towards him, stops as he tips his hat and then carries on walking, uninterested in his courtesy.  His hurt feelings are evident all but for a moment until he is chased down the street by the five-strong men on horses.  Stan stops outside a lawyer's office and thinks he has evaded the posse.  After stepping on a lose plank which springs up and hits him in the rear, he goes into the building.  Inside, he is reunited with the robber from earlier, along with the other man from his coach , who is obviously part of the gang.
Stan is invited to sit down on a bench between the two men.  One of the men pulls out a letter which notifies him to attend the hearing of his late uncle's will.  Stan happens to read over his shoulder and see the letter before claiming to have one that reads similar.  The letter is passed to Bad Mike, who promptly picks Stan up and throws him out of the first floor window.  Stan dusts himself off and returns to the building to find the will already being read out to the two other gentlemen, by the lawyer.  Stan makes several attempts to pass his letter to the lawyer, who always seems to miss seeing it.  The lawyer then excuses himself for a moment as the three men in the room are asked to take a seat in his absence.
A bashful Stan walks back over to the bench he was previously sitting on under the window, as the two other men follow.  Remembering what happened last time, Stan casually closes the window.  The three men all laugh, but the closed window makes no difference to the two robbers and out Stan goes once more.  Unpeturbed by the constant bullying from the men, Stan again returns to the building and is again confronted by the two men.  This time they only have to indicate what will happen before Stan goes up to the now glass-less window and throws himself out.
Stan still doesn't take the hint and so returns again to the building where the will is in the middle of being read out to the other two men.  It states that Stan is to receive the Last Chance Saloon.  The news is not well-received by the two men, who draw their guns in anger.

Stan ducks under the table as the lawyer continues with a clause in the will.  In the event of Stan's death, the entire fortune will be awarded to the other two men.  Both men offer Stan a firm handshake then leave.  Later, Stan walks into the saloon and stumbles upon a crooked card game between a group of cowboys.  Bad Mike calls one of the card players a cheat and shoots him before kicking his body through a trapdoor and into the cellar, with the assistance of the barman.  Stan witnesses it and quickly departs.  Outside he leans on the wooden support for the saloon and brings the structure down on his head.
Stan clumsily mounts Bad Mike's horse (backwards) but quickly falls off again, much to the humour of a passenger stranger whom Stan calls over to ask for the nearest route of of town.  The man sees that he is weak and offers Stan some whiskey, which brings about some violent hic-cups.  Back at the saloon, the bad guys rob the safe and flee.  The sheriff is called into action and drives off in pursuit of the criminals in his car, accompanied by his daughter.
Stan has wandered into an empty house in the middle of nowhere and is soon joined by the gang.  He barricades himself inside a room as the criminals gather to discuss their devious intentions.  When Stan uses a hammer to nail the door shut it arouses the gang.  Two of them descend upon the intruder and one ends up shooting the other through the wall by mistake.  A fortunate Stan tries to sneak out undetected until he gets his foot stuck in a metal bucket and strays back into the room where the rest of the gang are still present.  As luck would have it, one of the gang shoots at Stan, misses, and hits another gang member.
A chase through the house results in all the gang members ineptly peeling each other off with gunshots intended for Stan, which he has somehow managed to avoid.  The sheriff and his crew of five men arrive at the house as Stan makes his exit through the back.  He finds a discarded gun and runs around the front - into the sheriff and his men.  The sheriff thinks that Stan has wiped out the gang and applauds his actions, despite Stan's insistence of his innocence.  The sheriff sends Stan back into the house to finish off the ringleader, Bad Mike.
Stan clumsily empties all the bullets from the gun before proceeding inside.  He climbs up a ladder which leads to the attic.  Moments later Bad Mike is thrown from the upstairs window in similar fashion as Stan was earlier.  Bad Mike is apprehended by the sheriff, whilst his daughter attempts to reconcile with Stan.  But he rejects her and walks off in the opposite direction.

Favourite bit    
      It's a sneaky little moment near the beginning when Stan's stagecoach is being held up by the masked robber known as 'Bad Mike'.
Firstly,  when Stan is told to get out of the carriage by the armed robber, Stan replies that he would prefer to stay inside, and then soon after when being held at gunpoint he sneaks a look under the robber's mask.  "I see you".

•Filmed circa October 1924 at Universal Studios. [source: Rob Stone]
•Stan's character is a 'tenderfoot'.  A slang term for an inexperienced person, particularly one who is not adapted to a rural or outdoor lifestyle setting.
•Intertitle card count: 35.
Did you notice?
•The book Stan is reading at the beginning is titled "Let Brotherly Love Continue".
•Stan's coach is pulled by four horses: two dark and two light.
•What happened to the stagecoach driver?  He is seen pulling up at the start of the robbery, but when the bandits leave afterwards it is only Stan and Julie Leonard in the coach.
•Hot Dog is the name of the town.
•When the two men pick Stan up and throw him from the window for the first time, Stan is lying down and facing up.  In the next shot, as we see him from the outside, he is faced down as he falls.  Quite a poor continuity error.
•The second time Stan makes his unceremonious exit from the window, he lands on the ground then sits up, wearing his hat.  This scene is reminiscent of the opening shot of The Lucky Dog when Stan is thrown out into the road by his landlady.
•The lead villain, Bad Mike, calls his horse 'Babe Ruth' because it always heads for home.
•When Stan is shot at for the third time (when he has the bucket on his foot), the bullet obviously hits him because an animated "?" appears next to him.

Stan Laurel
Stan, a tenderfoot
Julie Leonard
Little Mustard, Sheriff's daughter
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/ Lew Meehan
Bad Mike
Harry Martell
Coach passenger/Gang member #2
Joe, the lawyer
Crooked card player
Man in street

Steve Rydzewski (identification of Harry Martell)
Steve Massa (help)

This page was last updated on: 14 January 2018