Series: Stan Laurel

Director: George Jeske
Producer: Hal Roach
Photography: Frank Young

Stars: Stan Laurel, Katherine Grant, Eddie Baker
Company: Pathé Exchange
Released: 12 August 1923
Length: 1 reel
Production No.: D-12
Filming dates: March 28 - April 6, 1923
Rating: 3/10

Oranges And Lemons

Available on DVD:

This one begins with a humourous intertitle card "some lemons on trees, others in the packing house", as a group of workers box fruit in a warehouse. Our hero, Sunkist (STAN LAUREL) is introduced outside in the citrus groves with "a sunny smile and a foggy mind". Stan is riding a strange contraption: a stationary bicycle with its rear wheel raised so that his peddling acts as a conveyor for the apples which are being loaded by a fellow worker and collected into a large tin by cross-eyed worker GEORGE ROWE beneath. The worker collecting the fruit from the tree notes that George has seemingly fallen asleep and informs Stan, who throws an apple at his head to wake him back up and the two men exchange places with George now peddling the bicycle as Stan sits under the tree to collect the apples. Not a good move as apples begin raining down on Stan's head. After a few apple-knocks Stan gets up, dazed, and pushes George off the bike. George retaliates by throwing apples at Stan which begins an all-out fruit-throwing war.
The boss (EDDIE BAKER) is brought into the story, sitting quietly and minding his own business reading a newspaper under a nearby tree. Naturally, he receives a few wayward apples to his head The boss investigates the mystery of the flying apples to find the workers completely embroiled in what resembles a snowball-throwing competition with apples!
He has the misfortune of placing himself right in the firing line between the three men who are seemingly oblivious to his presence and is constantly pounded by the fruit until he drags Stan up and orders him back to work. Stan jumps back on the bicycle but the boss is felled by the apples moving on the conveyor. Stan helps him up as George takes to the bicycle but it doesn't take long for poor George to cause another accident. The boss is felled again and takes out his annoyance on George by repeatedly punching him in the face as Stan flees to collect fruit elsewhere with the aide of a step ladder which he erects over a small bush. But the boss hasn't finished - he wants words with Stan too and confronts him, only to be felled again by a crate which Stan knocks onto his head from atop of the ladder, which Stan hides under to avoid being seen by the boss (look for the bit shortly after where Stan tries to hind behind a twig!)
Stan goes back to work (again) and is asked to help assist a very large worker (MARTIN WOLFKEIL) reach a large orange which is out of his reach. With the help of the flexible step ladder, Stan climbs up it, and the man, but ultimately they all end up in a heap on the ground. They get up and Stan smacks the man's hand (that's after giving him two kicks to the pants!) After his telling off, Wolfkeil wanders off crying and bumps into the boss who is lurking in the nearby bushes. The boss takes pity on the big crybaby before levelling him with a swift right hand! The boss charges at Stan but gets whacked over the head by the ladder as Stan swings it around.  When Stan realises who has has just clonked he runs off and hides in the bush where Martin Wolfkeil has just gotten up off the floor. He is felled again by a rock thrown by the boss. Stan retreats into the packing room and the boss catches up with him through a series of gags involving swinging doors. During this time Stan swaps hats with fellow worker George Rowe who has entered the room. The boss returns and gives him a kick in the rear, believing it to be Stan and then proceeds to throttling him before realising his error and throwing him off.
Stan enters the room carrying some crates on his head and when he spots the boss he throws them over him and runs off. We next see Stan lying on a conveyor belt meant for the transfer of the boxes with the fruit in an attempt to elude the foreman. Stan then wheels a trolley into the next room and dumps the fruit rather abruptly from it onto the floor.


Copyrighted June 7, 1923.
Originally prod. C-102 (or LC-102).
Some sources list James Finlayson as being in the film. This is incorrect.
Martin Wolfkeil, Katherine Grant and Eddie Baker all feature in the opening scene though it is hard to spot them all as they are all (except for the unmissable Wolfkeil) largely obscured in the background of the shot.
Eddie Baker hits George Rowe seven times in the face after the worker causes his boss to fall down.
There is a very distinctive deterioration in the films' negative in the scene where Stan hides under the stepladder to avoid the boss.
My opinion
Painfully boring. Laurel is at his most annoyingly worst.

Stan Laurel
Katherine Grant
Little Valencia
Eddie Baker
Orange Blossom, the boss
George Rowe
Sammy Brooks
Martin Wolfkeil
Owen Evans
Mark Jones

CREDITS (click image to enlarge)

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Laurel OR Hardy by Rob Stone (book)
Steve Rydzewski (identification of Owen Evans)
Rick Greene (poster)

This page was last updated on: 01 May 2022