Series: Laurel and Hardy

Director: Raymond McCarey
Producer: Hal Roach
Dialogue: H.M. Walker
Photography: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard C. Currier
Sound: James Greene

Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Richard Cramer, Arthur Housman, Vivien Oakland
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 10 September 1932
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: L-9
Filming dates: June 14-23, 1932; retakes July 4-9, 1932
Rating: 7/10


Available on BLU-RAY & DVD:

Laurel and Hardy are in court charged with vagrancy where the growling judge (RICHARD CRAMER) summons them to get out of town within the hour and to never return. Outside in the rain they encounter a drunk (ARTHUR HOUSMAN) attempting (unsuccessfully) to get into his car. After he falls to the ground he loses his key down a drain. The boys try to lend their assistance but for their efforts they all end up falling down it! The grateful drunk offers to take the boys home for the night and leads them back to a house, which we later learn is actually owned by the judge. When no door keys can be found, Ollie goes off in search of an open window. He just happens to find one and calls for Stan to help him to crawl in through the open gap.
As Stan and Ollie fumble about trying to clamber through the window, the drunk happens to lean against the front door and falls backwards through it. Unseen by the boys, they continue their quest to gain access via the window. Stan is successful, and then tries to pull Ollie through. By this time, the drunk has fallen asleep in an armchair, huddled to his gin. The noise of the boys crashing in through the window wakes up the butler. With the boys now in the house they look for their new friend (they actually walk right past him in doing so) and open the front door to look outside. Stan closes the door behind them and they end up right back where they started. They go to the window and Ollie proposes they take a look and see if he's in there, and gets down on all fours (to allow Stan to climb onto his back). Stan does climb up onto Ollie's back and looks through the window, but their drunken friend is nowhere to be seen. The boys return to the front door, where Stan has the ingenious idea of ringing the bell!
The drunk answers the call and invites the boys into 'his' house and tells them to make themselves comfortable whilst he puts the car away. He then pours himself a drink and goes upstairs, and is confronted by the butler who orders him to leave. The drunk falls down the stairs (and is not seen again) and the crashing noise brings the lady of the house, Mrs. Beaumont (VIVIEN OAKLAND) out of her bedroom to inquire with the butler what has happened. Stan and Ollie have made themselves very comfortable by the time they encounter the woman, who faints upon seeing them in her house. Ollie tells Stan to fetch some water in order to revive her, believing the woman to be the wife of the drunk. Stan pours the 'water' into a glass and Ollie gives it to the woman.
Formal introductions are made and the boys are invited to sit with the woman in her bedroom and it doesn't take long for the effects of the gin to kick in! Initially Stan and Ollie are bemused but eventually embrace her infectious laughing fit. The three of them laugh until their sides are splitting until the lady demands to dance. Ollie refuses, stating that her husband may not be acceptable to it but she turns on the pianola and completely loses all her inhibitions, dancing erratically around the room with Ollie who is desperate to escape her clutches. She has some fun with Stan, poking him in the neck and forcing his tongue to poke out. Her husband - "the judge" arrives home and hears the commotion coming from upstairs. She gets the hic-cups and Stan pours her another glass of 'water' - right under the nose of her husband on the landing. She takes the drink and the laughing fit starts all over again. Until her husband walks in and sees the three of them... and the lights go out!

Favourite bit
Ollie is trying to fetch the key from down the drain, but as he opens the grille up, Arthur Housman drunkenly falls backwards without a care in the world, taking Ollie with him! This scene is so funny it requires you to watch it again and again!

Copyrighted September 12, 1932.
The title card and credits uses the same painted backdrop as those used in the previous film, County Hospital.
This film was made after the completion of Pack Up Your Troubles, yet was released one week before it, in September 1932.
The original credits in the film mis-spell both Arthur Housman AND Vivien Oakland's names.
One of the men awaiting his hearing in the courtroom is Charles Dorety. He is sitting next to Hardy on the bench before the boys are called. The foreman is Baldwin Cooke, though you only see him briefly (he tells Stan to "take off your hat"). Sam Lufkin is the policeman who stands guard at the rear.
The judge, Richard Cramer, utters the title of the film when he orders Stan and Ollie to leave the court.
The car Arthur Housman is trying to get into is parked in front of a fire hydrant.
After Arthur Housman informs the boys that he has lost his key, it's a little co-incidental that Ollie finds it so easily. I mean, of all the places a key could have been lost, it wasn't an obvious place for it to be found?
Watch Ollie's mouth as he delivers the line, "We'll have it in just a jiffy". Arthur Housman repeats the line, but Ollie mouths the line as well.
How is it that when Ollie first attempts to lift the drain grille, he claims it is too heavy, and yet after Stan gets the umbrella stuck down there, Ollie manages to lift it without any effort? Then later as he opens it back up for Stan to fall down!
When the policeman chases Ollie around the block, he skids into the open drain. As he does, his cape opens up a little like Batman!
The house that the boys take Arthur Housman to is the same one they show up and ruin the wedding in their next film, Pack Up Your Troubles.
Stan and Ollie were obviously so desperate for somewhere to sleep that they were willing to allow a man so drunk he couldn't even stand up, drive them to his house!
Just how easy was it back in those days to break into someone's house? It seems that no matter where you look, there's always an accessible window open for anyone to climb through! Having said that, how easy was it for the drunk to gain access to the house as well? All he had to do was put a little weight on the front door and it opened. Was the judge (whose house it was) asking to be burgled, do you think? Bad lapse in security, me thinks.
The seams under the arms of Stan's jacket are splitting. This is evident when he is trying to climb up on Ollie to get into the house.
The time on the butler's alarm clock when the boys crash through the window and into the house is 3:15am.
The seams under the arms of Stan's jacket are splitting. This is evident when he is trying to climb up on Ollie to get into the house.
On the doorstep, after coming out of the house, Ollie asks where the other guy had gone? Stan suggests he may have followed them through the window. The mere thought of this improbability, given the drunk's state, is laughable in itself.
Arthur Housman tells the boys to make themselves comfortable whilst he puts the car away. He does no such thing. He makes a drink and goes upstairs.
Vivien Oakland asks for another glass of water when she gets the hic-cups. Ollie asks her "if I give you another glass of water will you go to bed?" He says almost the same identical line to his children in Brats - and look how that turned out!
At 19:31 on The Essential Collection DVD, Vivien Oakland leans forward on the bed whilst laughing. A considerable amount of her cleavage can be seen for a split second.
At the end of the film when Stan sees the judge in the bedroom, he sits up straight on the bed with a deadpan face. As he moves to get up, look at Ollie behind him breaking character with a chuckle!
My opinion
Decent Laurel and Hardy comedy.

Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Richard Cramer
Judge Beaumont
Arthur Housman
Vivien Oakland
Mrs. Beaumont
Wilson Benge
Hawkins, the butler
Sam Lufkin
Policeman in courtroom
Baldwin Cooke
Court recorder
Charles Dorety
Charles McMurphy
Patrol cop
Four defendants


CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Laurel And Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies by Randy Skretvedt (book)
Ed Bolson (still)
Rick Greene (lobby card)
Jerry Murbach/Dr. Macro (stills)

This page was last updated on: 10 September 2023