Written and filmed September, 1932. Released by MGM, November, 1932. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by George Marshall. Two reels.

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch, Billy Gilbert, George Marshall.   

STORY: Hot-tempered Mrs. Hardy has had it with her husband's devoting more time and attention to Stan than to her. She goes on a rampage; Ollie locks himself away in Stan's apartment. Stan convinces Ollie to adopt a baby in order to save the marriage -- which they do, but it is too late. By the time they return home with the infant, Ollie receives word that his wife is suing him for divorce. The Boys spend a sleepless night caring for the baby.


JL:  Same deal as with Men O' War and County Hospital: great film until the end. Has me laughing hysterically in the first five seconds: "Morning, Sugar." "Don't 'Sugar' me!".  The greatest of the Ollie vs. Mae scenes, followed by one of their most subtly brilliant sequences with the two of them (Stan and Ollie) on the bed. But the second half of the film is such a letdown, especially because the premise of Stan and Ollie taking care of a baby is loaded with such unrealized potential (the out-of-synch soundtrack doesn't help matters either). And talk about a what-the-hell ending! "Drinking the baby's milk!". Splash, fade, end. But, oy, what a brilliant first ten minutes.

JB: Actually, I like most of this material, but it doesn't build to anything.  If it had built to something and then had one great wrapup gag, it would have been great, and all the stuff in the second half that you found disappointing might have come off better.  

    I love that melodramatic dialogue scene that ends with Stan saying "Well, I'm gonna lose my hook, line and sinker!".  The whole scene is much more blatantly satirical than anything else the Boys ever did.  It's scenes like that and the "Lord Paddington" scenes from A CHUMP AT OXFORD that show me that as wonderful as they were, they did leave many avenues of comedy unexplored. Not that what we got doesn't beat 90% of most other comedians offered.

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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