Friday, 29 July 2011

Laurel & Hardy in Laughing Gravy (1931)

This is one of my favourite shorts.

I decided to go with the three reel version, as I prefer the ending.

Stan & Ollie are renting an apartment from a nasty landlord (Charlie Hall) who has a strict no pets policy, unknown to him Stan has a (very cute) pet dog called Laughing Gravy.

Keeping the dog secret proves to be difficult. The movie opens with Stan & Ollie in bed, Stan has a bad case of the hiccups, his efforts to stop them cause their bed to collapse sending debris on to the landlord in the room below.

When he storms into their room to find  out what on Earth is going on, Ollie tells him that Stan had the hiccups, Stan helpfully demonstrates, making a "hic" noise, which makes the dog start barking.

The landlord insists on throwing Laughing Gravy out into the snow covered streets, he tells them that it's only because he's so kind that they aren't joining the dog.

From this point on Stan and Ollie try to rescue the pooch, with disastrous results.

There are some great moments in this short, the scene where the boys are trying to wash the dog after being covered in soot from falling down the chimney, Stan, hearing a knock at the door throws the dog out of the tin bath and shoves Ollie's head into it to try and hide him!

The two reeler ends with the landlord topping himself when his property is quarantined and he realises that he can't evict the boys.

The three reel version has Stanley get a letter informing him that his wealthy uncle has died and left him an inheritance of $1000, but only if he severs all ties with Oliver, whom he feels is holding Stan back.

Stan decides not to share the details of the letter so as to spare Ollie's feelings, Oliver, desperate to know what was in the letter, gives Stan a really hard time and makes him feel bad.

When Stan finally shows Oliver the letter, Ollie wishes Stan well, and tells him to leave, Stan goes to take Laughing Gravy, and Ollie begs him not to strip him of everything and takes the dog back.

Stan looks really upset, and after a moment he takes out the letter and cheque and tears them up, Ollie is overjoyed that his pal Stan chose him over a personal fortune, then Stan declares that he didn't want to give up Laughing Gravy, cue Ollie going crazy and throwing stuff at his pal Stan!


  1. Although I'm more of a Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton girl myself, just wanted to tell you I'm enjoying your reviews.

  2. Thanks Monica! I adore Buster Keaton, Sherlock Jr is a fantastic movie.

    I was a bit of a late convert to Chaplin, I think he was really the very first international movie superstar. I think his silent movies are best, although The Great Dictator and Limelight (With Buster) are very good.

    Thank you for the feedback :)