|Written and filmed March-April, 1930. Released by MGM, May, 1930. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by James Parrott. Two reels.
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Fay Holderness, Dorothy Granger.
STORY: Ollie wants to join Stan for an afternoon of fun, but his wife has other ideas. She demands he install the radio antenna atop their roof, a job he has been neglecting for several weeks. Soon, Stan stops by to "help" his friend. After destroying the Hardys' chimney and falling from the roof several times, they perch a ladder in the back seat of Stan's car. The car shifts into gear, and speeds out-of-control through the downtown streets, Ollie still atop the ladder.
JB: Simply one of the five greatest comedy shorts ever made, hands down, case closed. Laurel and Hardy playing with tools, Ollie being pestered by a mean-tempered but somehow endearing wife, plenty of the Boys falling off the roof, being pummeled with bricks, lots of little gags in between the major ones, and a rousing slapstick finale that manages to be funny and in character (Ollie tips his hat to the bus passengers). This just may be my favorite Laurel and Hardy film -- and that takes in features, silents, shorts and later Fox and MGM efforts. Perfect from beginning to end, with a wonderful runaway car sequence that was not really part of Laurel and Hardy's domain.
JL: I don't put it at the top of my list as do you, but I'd certainly rank it among their four greatest sound shorts (along with Helpmates, The Music Box, and Towed in a Hole).
The opening scene with Ollie and his hat may be my favorite
Ollie-without-Stan scene of all time. It's a doozy, to be sure. I even
love the dog at the end. There they are in their squashed Tin Lizzie,
midst the chaos they've created, and a little dog strolls nonchalantly
across the screen in the background. I'm sure it wasn't planned and
most people probably don't even notice it, but it's a little intrusion
from the real world that I think punctuates the end of the film
Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan