Call of the Cuckoos Written and filmed August, 1927. Released by MGM, December, 1927. Produced by Hal Roach. Supervised by Leo McCarey. Directed by Clyde Bruckman. Two reels.

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Harvey Clark, Dorothy Coburn, Sam Lufkin.   

STORY: Millionaire J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Hardy) goes to the docks to meet his Scottish nephew, Philip (Laurel). Mumblethunder is aghast at Philip's appearance in traditional kilt, and does all he can to avoid being seen with him as they walk the streets. Philip is also obsessed with the opposite sex, and will brave any obstacle to chase a skirt. 

JL: The second entry in the "Laurel and Hardy Series" is an atypical effort from the team. It is the only time they played leading roles quite unlike their Stan and Ollie characterizations. Regardless, both Stan Laurel and Hal Roach cited this film as a personal favorite. Not Laurel and Hardy as we're used to seeing them, but a great comedy nonetheless.  

JB: One of those films that shows that Laurel and Hardy could have been funny as something other than the "Stan" and "Ollie" characters they developed. Ollie here is almost the Ollie we know, but Stan is an impulsive, girl chasing Scotsman. Not quite the same Stan we come to know later on.

     This film, like some of the other early silents, as well as later films such as A CHUMP AT OXFORD and JITTERBUGS, offer an insight into what was out there for Laurel and Hardy, if they hadn't so steadfastly stuck to the idea that they had to be "Stan" and "Ollie".  

     In the silent films, Ollie found himself pretty quickly, but Stan certainly gained a great deal from the switch to sound. Once we could hear him speak (and once he found the wonderfully expressive range of his voice), we (and he) discovered the inner working of "Stanley's" mind --- which, we found, didn't work too well at all. 

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

PreviousThe SilentsNext Film