Series: All Stars w/Laurel and Hardy

Director: Fred L. Guiol, Leo McCarey
Producer: Hal Roach
Titles: H.M. Walker
Photography: George Stevens
Editor: Richard C. Currier

Stars: James Finlayson, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Noah Young, Edna Marion
Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Released: 10 September 1927
Length: 2 reels
Production No.: S-1
Filming dates: May 26 - June 3, 1927
Rating: 5/10



Sugar Daddies

Available on DVD:
           

Oil tycoon Cyrus Brittle (James Finlayson) is in bed with a thumping headache when butler Oliver Hardy comes to serve him breakfast. Cyrus fails to remember that that got married last night to his new bride (Charlotte Mineau) who is downstairs with her scheming brother (Noah Young) and her daughter (Edna Marion). They patiently await his arrival whilst a plan is formulated into fleecing $50,000 out of the old boy. Upstairs Cyrus calls his lawyer (Stan Laurel) and tells him to come over to sort out the trouble. When Cyrus does finally show his face downstairs to his new family he is met with a cold stare from his new wife.
He eyes up the other family members, beginning with his new brother-in-law (Young) whose intimidating appearance is slightly worrying, and his new step-daughter (Marion) who excitedly welcomes her new step-father with open arms. It turns out Cyrus married his new bride in the lions cage at the circus last night ("I thought she was one of the lions", he quips!) The brother-in-law demands a huge settlement to set things straight but is told to take the matter up with the lawyer, who promptly arrives at the house. Butler Hardy answers the door and, after being assaulted by his umbrella, admits him into the house. The lawyer surveys the family members beginning with the brother. After a brief examination of the facts, the lawyer deduces that blackmail is afoot. The brother-in-law then pulls out a gun and holds it to the lawyer's face, causing everybody to flee the house.
A newspaper headline reveals that Cyrus is continuing to party hard with other women - the exact same behaviour which landed him in the mess with his new wife in the first place. After reading the story, the new family vow to track him down. They travel to the hotel where they suspect Cyrus is staying and demand to know his whereabouts. Lawyer Laurel runs to inform his client that he has been tracked down by the family who are close behind in hot pursuit. The lawyer instigates an unusual plan: he suggests he gets onto the shoulders of Cyrus and throw a long coat over them and walk outside parading as the butler and husband to avoid detection but the plan fails when a dog removes the coat and exposes them.
They escape to the street and into a ballroom. Still playing the legs half of the dressed-up lawyer Laurel, Cyrus is repeatedly kicked in the rear by swinging feet and on occasions gets a boot to the face as he inspects what is going on. This reveals his identity to the brother who spots the act and promptly pushes his way past the man on the turnstiles. The wife follows, though she is thwarted by her diminutive daughter hanging onto her coat. The crowd all end up in a fun house across the street. Through moving floors and wonky wooden barrels they go, pursued closely by the others. Finally the cover-up is exposed when the three men enter a large tumble wheel. As it spins round, Stan, Ollie and Fin end up flying around on their backs. Soon after, the chasing three get on, fall over and get off and chase after the leading trio, who have taken to a downhill wooden slide, ending up in a heap at the bottom. The six of them struggle with one another as they are soon joined by another group of ladies. What happens after this is unseen by the viewer, but the film ends with a couple walking down the street past the previously-seen suspicious policeman, who makes the mistake of lifting up the ladies's skirt to reveal that she is in fact a real woman. She smacks the cop in the face as her husband offers to help him up.

Favourite bit
In this otherwise mediocre comedy, the scene where Stan, Ollie and James Finlayson get caught in a rotating wooden drum in the Fun House is the best scene in the film. As a crowd looks on from behind, the three men spin helplessly around, each taking their bumps and (probably) loving every minute of it. Fin milks the scene, with Stan and Ollie adding to the comedy.

Trivia
Copyrighted August 17, 1927.
Although officially released under Hal Roach's "All-Star" series banner, this was the first film featuring Stan Laurel and Hardy to be released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Stan Laurel was originally cast as James Finlayson's butler, and Oliver Hardy as his secretary.
Dorothy Coburn does double duty in the scenes in the amusement park: Sometimes we see her in a white dress, sometimes in a chequered skirt. She also appears very briefly on the dancefloor in the hotel.
An early intertitle card states the butler (Hardy) was born in 1896. Oliver Hardy was born in 1892.
The calendar in Stan's office is set to December 1926.
The message typed out on Stan's Remington typewriter reads "is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party". You can see they used two different typewrighters for the scene.
Two women are seen dancing with each other on the dancefloor. It's very quick but in the scene you can briefly glimpse Dorothy Coburn behind Noah Young.
he last day of the month sale takes place on a Saturday, according to the newspaper headline.
Laurel, Hardy, Young, Mineau and Marion are all seen wearing hats at some point during the film. The only principal actor who isn't is Finlayson (though he does wear an ice pack on his head at the beginning!)
Look at the way Stan Laurel enters the hotel room of Finlayson - practically in mid-air. It's very fast and easy to miss.
Another example of Stan Laurel's problem with eye contact is seen where he is in James Finlayson's hotel room. Stan is seen looking at the top of Oliver Hardy's head.
Your picture in one minute will cost you 10 cents on the boardwalk.
The routine of two people dressing up as one on top of the other in an effort to avoid detection was later re-used (this time with Finlayson looking on) in "Chickens Come Home".
As Stan, Ollie and Fin take to the stage in the fun house there is a large sign saying "Hats off please".
The Fun House charges for admission to all guests but everything inside is free.
Fin is the first to exit the tumble wheel, followed by Stan and then Ollie.
When the ladies start coming down the indoor slide Dorothy Coburn can be seen wearing a black dress in the right-hand lane. In the very next shot she is seen again in the same lane coming down in a white dress. See here.
My opinion
Average. The film picks up towards the end but by then the viewer's attention had already waned and the scenes in the fun house are mere time fillers to wrap up a thin plot. Nothing special.

James Finlayson
Cyrus Brittle, oil tycoon
Stan Laurel
Brittle's lawyer
Oliver Hardy
Brittle's butler
Noah Young
Brittle's brother-in-law
Charlotte Mineau
Mrs. Brittle
Edna Marion
Brittle's daughter
Charlie Hall
Hotel guest
Sam Lufkin
Fun House ticket taker

Dorothy Coburn
Hotel guest/
Girl in fun house
Eugene Pallette
Mistaken husband in final scene
Budd Fine
Policeman
Villie Latimer
Mistaken woman
Clara Guiol
Hotel guest
Jack Adams
Man trying to hold down
his wife's skirt in Fun House
Jack O'Brien
Pedestrian
Charles A. Bachman
Hotel desk clerk
Ed Brandenburg
Elevator operator
Bob Minford
Man on dance floor
Jack Hill
Hotel guest
Sidney Gordon
[?]
Will Stanton
[?]
Ray Cooke
Bellboy

UNIDENTIFIED CAST

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

POSTERS
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STILLS
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SHOT ON LOCATION
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INTERIOR SHOTS
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Acknowledgements:
Richard W. Bann (identification of Budd Fine)
Eric Schultz (identification of Clara Guiol)
Steve Wright (trivia; identification of Clara Guiol second scene)
Steve Rydzewski (identification of Jack Adams)
Robin Cook (identification of Charles A. Bachman)
Patrick Vasey (identification of Villie Latimer)
Jesse Brisson (identification of Bob Minford and Ed Brandenburg)

This page was last updated on: 13 March 2022