Written and filmed May, 1927. Released by Pathe, July, 1927. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by Fred Guiol. Story by Hal Roach. Two reels.

 Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Noah Young, Frank Brownlee, Will Stanton.    STORY: A murderer (Young) vows revenge on a judge (Finlayson) for sentencing him to death, so the judge hires two private detectives (Laurel and Hardy) for protection. The gumshoes bungle their way along, but manage to capture the criminal.

 Though they were a few films away from becoming an official team, Stan and Ollie are here closer to being Stan and Ollie than ever before. They are a bit more well-groomed than their familiar selves; but as this film marks the first appearance of the derbies and the traditional costumes, many fans think of as the first true Laurel and Hardy film.

JL: Do Detectives Think? is a bit like watching a very early episode of your favorite sitcom: all the familiar elements are there, but the actors and writers still have a while to go before hitting a groove and locking into their characters. It's also unusual in the sense that it has more of an ensemble feel to it than any L&H film.

     Rather than being a star vehicle, Jimmy Finlayson and Noah Young are afforded nearly as much screen time as Stan and Ollie. Both are excellent in their roles, and leave more of an impact than supporting players in L&H films usually do. It's more a good film than a good Laurel and Hardy film. But as it marks the first real appearance of The Boys, it was the most important film they had made to date.

Thanks to Dave Heath, of Another Nice Mess: The Films of Laurel and Hardy ( for the use of this picture.

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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