Series: Stan Laurel

Director: Scott Pembroke
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Frank Young

Stars: Stan Laurel, Katherine Grant, Eddie Baker, Mark Jones, Noah Young
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 15 July 1923
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: D-5
Filming dates: March 6-13 & April 7-9, 1923
Rating: 6/10

Kill Or Cure

Available on DVD:

Stan is a salesman trying to sell his bottle of "Knox All" a rather dumbfounded man before realising hs is standing outside a deaf and dumb institution. Having learnt his lesson, Stan tries some sign language on a woman (Helen Gilmore) coming out of the complex but she gives him a mouthful for assuming she is one of the patients. She gives chase down the street, continuing her verbal assault on him as he tries to escape from her. Damn, that woman just doesn't give up! Speedy Sam (Mark Jones) gets introduced as a drunk who gets into an altercation with the sheriff on a street corner. Sam sees Stan trying to sell his bottle to an uninterested customer and doesn't ask any questions - he gives Stan some money and just takes the bottle.
Stan's next stop is a young maid (Katherine Grant) who is besotted with her caged budgie. After pestering her, she finally gives in and buys one of his bottles but pays for it with a fake coin. Stan's bad luck continues as he is duped into cleaning a man's (Noah Young) car with his product which the guy then refuses to pay for. So Stan retaliates by throwing flour all over him! (see favourite bit). Stan's last attempt to sell his bottle leads him to a narrow row of houses where he thinks he finally manages to make a sale (to Sammy Brooks). A bunion doctor is forcibly ejected from the house and Stan is invited inside, only himself to be thrown out of the door moments later by the nagging woman he encountered at the beginning of the film. Stan walks off down the street picking bits of cactus out of his pants.

Favourite bit
Stan spends all that time polishing Noah Young's car only to have him complain and then refuse to pay up. Stan does the unthinkable and completely ruins the man and his car with flour.

Copyrighted June 7, 1923.
Originally production no. C-95 (or LC-95).
When we first see Helen Gilmore in the scene where she gives Stan a tongue lashing at the gate, she just reminds me of Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West. In her first piece of dialogue she describes herself as a "defenseless young girl". I would suggest she is none of those!
The maid names her bird 'Rudolph'.
When Stan rings the doorbell of the maid for the second time she answers immediately.
My opinion
To be fair this one isn't that bad (which is a big step up from the usual mediocrity of Stan Laurel's solo films). The quality of the print definitely helps the viewing pleasure and considering the film is 100 years old it looks pretty good. It's a shame that so much effort has been made to preserve such relatively poor quality films when other, better films from the same period are in desperate need of preservation and/or release to DVD.

Stan Laurel
Katherine Grant
Maid with birdcage
Eddie Baker
Mark Jones
Speedy Sam
Noah Young
car owner
Helen Gilmore
Aggressive woman
George Rowe
Deaf man
William Gillespie
Charles Stevenson
Resident at 1313½
Jack O'Brien
Resident at 1313
Roy Brooks
Resident at 1311½
Sammy Brooks
Resident at 1311
Chris Lynton
Man on street corner
Jack Ackroyd
Owen Evans
Ivadell Carter

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

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(click any image to enlarge)

Laurel Or Hardy by Rob Stone (book)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Ivadell Carter and Roy Brooks; also thinks that 'Jack O'Brien' may be Noah Young?)

This page was last updated on: 09 September 2021