Written and filmed February, 1928. Released by MGM, May, 1928. Produced by Hal Roach. Supervised by Leo McCarey. Directed by James Parrott.
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Anita Garvin, Kay Deslys, Tiny Sandford, Fay Holderness.   

STORY: Henpecked Stan and Ollie have been secretly saving for a night on the town away from the wives. When Stan's wife discovers the scheme, she replaces Stan's hidden loot with cigar coupons. The boys are unable to settle a huge restaurant bill, and their evening ends in a pie-throwing brawl in the restaurant's kitchen.

JB: A good comedy with some well-timed and imaginative sight gags, Their Purple Moment, though not one of their most memorable silents, is still important as a precursor to many of their best films. Plot and gag elements from this short were borrowed and reshaped for Blotto, Below Zero, and most importantly, SONS OF THE DESERT, one of the features most treasured by fans.

       A couple of notes here: While Oliver Hardy plays himself, Stan plays "Mr. Pincher". They still hadn't completely given up character names yet. Soon after this film, with few exceptions, they would spend the rest of their careers playing "Stan Laurel" and "Oliver Hardy". Neither Stan nor Babe had any regrets having their real names associated with such dumb individuals. First, it was a kind of career insurance --- nobody else could use the names and characters ("He who filters your good name steals trash," as Stan says in Tit for Tat). Second, and more importantly, the real Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy truly liked their film incarnations. "He really is a nice fellow," Ollie would later say of his character.

       Final note: Fay Holderness, who plays Stan's wife here, has a memorable turn as Ollie's spouse a few years later in Hog Wild, making her one of the few actresses to play both men's wives. (Vivien Oakland was another.) 

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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