Written and filmed July-August, 1927. Released by MGM, November, 1927. Produced by Hal Roach. Supervised by Leo McCarey. Directed by Hal Yates. Two Reels.
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Anita Garvin, Dorothy Coburn.   

STORY: Washing machine salesmen Laurel and Hardy attempt to deliver one of their machines to a house atop a huge flight of steps. A scuffle develops between The Boys, who start ripping each other's hats. Soon, passersby are drawn into the melee, and the scene becomes a hat-tearing free-for-all.

Randy Skretvedt, author of the great Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind The Movies, has appropriately dubbed this film "The Holy Grail of Laurel and Hardy movies." It was, at the time, L&H's most popular and successful comedy to date. Since then, it seems to have vanished off the face of the earth. No known print of Hats Off exists -- not a rarity for a silent film, but especially unfortunate in this instance, as it received widespread critical praise and was the genesis for their Academy Award-winning short from 1932, The Music Box.

Thanks to Dave Heath, of Another Nice Mess: The Films of Laurel and Hardy (http://lordheath.com) for the use of these pictures.

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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