Written and filmed December, 1934. Released by MGM, January, 1935. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by Charles Rogers. Two reels.

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall, Mae Busch, James C. Morton, Bobby Dunn, Viola Richard (rumored).  

STORY: Laurel and Hardy are the proud owners of a new electrical supply store. Their new neighbors are the Halls, owners of Hall's Grocery Store, the same couple L&H encountered during their camping trip to the mountains. Mr. Hall is not in a mood to forgive and forget, and another full-scale war develops, leaving both stores in shambles.

The only time Laurel and Hardy attempted a sequel. Them Thar Hills was such a success with the public, they decided to stage another battle with Mr. Hall.  Tit for Tat was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost out to Robert Benchley's How to Sleep at the 1935 banquet.

     Silent film cutie Viola Richard, fired from the Roach lot after her appearance with the Boys in Should Married Men Go Home?, is rumored to be one of the passers-by in the film.


JL:   The ultimate of their "reciprocal retaliation" sound shorts.  For me, it falls into the category of "I don't mind it," nothing more.  Some of the funniest gags have nothing to do with their battle with Charlie, such as the business with the ladder and the light bulbs and Ollie getting trapped on the window ledge. Most of the retaliation gags are funny because of Stan and Ollie's reactions, rather than the gags themselves (although how can you not love Charlie Hall with a bucket of lard on his head?). 

JB: I like it mostly for Ollie's performance. Since most of this film is built on reciprocal destruction, the sequences do not interrupt the flow of the film --- the sequences are the film. I think that is why it doesn't bother me here. I like it better if I watch it directly after Them Thar Hills.

JL: I've always noticed that, around this time, Stan had gained so much weight and Babe had lost so much, that they look to be about the same size in this and their next film. They solved this in later years by Stan leveling off and Babe ballooning to absurd proportions.

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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