Call of the Cuckoos Written and filmed June, 1927. Released by MGM, October, 1927. Produced by Hal Roach. Supervised by Leo McCarey. Directed by Clyde Bruckman. Two reels.
Cast: Max Davidson, Lillian Elliot, Spec O'Donnell, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Chase, James Finlayson, Charlie Hall. 

STORY: Max Davidson and his family are annoyed by the looney antics of their next-door neighbors (Laurel, Hardy, Finlayson and Chase). They move to a new house which immediately starts self-destructing, and find the same neighbors have once again moved next door. 

One film after their first starring vehicle, Laurel and Hardy once again found themselves in supporting roles in somebody else's film. But things were a bit different this time. No longer mere supporting players, they (along with the other Roach "All-Stars," Chase and Finlayson) were now Guest Stars. Filmed but days after The Second Hundred Years, The Boys still sport their shaved heads in an appearance that was designed as a publicity device for the Roach stable of comics.

JL: Laurel and Hardy's appearance in this film seems almost an afterthought, as if their scenes were added to an already finished comedy. Many have pointed out the home-movie quality to their scenes in Call of the Cuckoos: no rhyme or reason to anything they do, it seems they just ad-libbed whatever silly things came into their minds for the benefit of the cameras. Which is, of course, the beauty of it.

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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