Written and filmed May, 1934. Released by MGM, June, 1934. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by Charles Rogers. Two reels.
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Walter Long, Mae Busch, Harry Dunkinson, Sam Lufkin.   

STORY: Stan and Ollie are key witnesses in a trial that sends criminal Butch Long away for life ("Aren't you going to hang him?" says an indignant Stan to the judge). Long vows to break out of prison and have his revenge on the boys. They are determined to leave town, and advertise in the paper for a traveling companion. The woman who responds to their ad turns out to be Butch's girl friend. Butch has accidently locked himself in a trunk; The Boys, not knowing who is inside, try to free him with blow torches and hoses. Once free, Butch fulfills his promise of breaking The Boys' legs and tying them around their heads.


JB:  This is a short that is hardly ever mentioned as being among Stan and Ollie's best, but I love it more than almost anything else they did. I find it hilarious from beginning to near-end. "Aren't you going to hang him?" makes me laugh, whether it comes out of Stan's mouth or Ollie's. When Ollie gets set to read Stan's advertisement, it shows you how much comedy Stan could get out of such simple things as getting a pair of reading glasses. Two of Ollie's greatest lines appear  in this film --- "Couldn't you see that he was annoyed?" and "Pardon me --- my ear is full of milk." Add the moment where he imitates Stan, and you would almost believe that Ollie is this whole film.      

JL:  I enjoy it immensely until they get to Mae's place with Walter in the trunk. There's some good stuff when they're opening the trunk with the drill and the flames and the water, but Walter Long's moans and groans are the most annoying thing on a L&H soundtrack, and make you wonder what the hell he's doing in that trunk...

    The beauty of their slapstick is that they were never satisfied with, say, Ollie getting a door slammed in his face, ta-da, that's it, end of bit.  Like the closet door business in Busy Bodies or the car door on Uncle Edgar's foot in Perfect Day, they found some ingenious way of piling indignities on top of one another in rapid-fire succession. The milk can is a great example, as is the entire sequence with Ollie getting the bed railing stuck on his head.

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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