HELP-MATESWritten and filmed October, 1931. Released by MGM, December, 1931. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by James Parrott. Two reels.
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Blanche Payson, Robert Callahan, Bobby Burns
STORY: Ollie's vacationing wife is due home at noon, and his house is a disaster area after a wild party. He enlists Stan to help clean up, who proceeds to ruin two of Ollie's suits, destroy his kitchen, and, finally, burn down his house. The films ends with Ollie, alone in his charred frame of a house, sitting in his chair in the rain.
JL: They don't come any better than this one. Even the "little" gags are hilarious (Stan and Ollie's phone conversation, Ollie washing his hands with the butter,etc.). There's a few others that may be just as funny, but this, Towed in a Hole and Hog Wild define their relationship better than any of them. Stan finds a thousand ways to destroy Ollie's home, and yet Ollie continues to put his faith in Stan. At the end, Ollie is left soaking in the rain, his house and marriage destroyed...and yet you know that he'll be seeing Stan tomorrow and picking up where they left off. Not too much I can say about this wonderful film that hasn't been said many times, only that it gets my vote as having the greatest ending of any of their films.
Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan