Written and filmed October-November, 1928. Released by MGM, January, 1929. Produced by Hal Roach. Directed by Leo McCarey. Two Reels.
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Del Henderson, Josephine Crowell, Harry Bernard, Sam Lufkin.   

STORY: The Boys are stablehands, who overhear that "the valuable Blue Boy" has been stolen. Reasoning that this must refer to a resident horse of the same name, they set out to return the animal to its millionaire owner. At the millionaire's mansion, they are instructed to put Blue Boy atop the piano, which they attempt. After the horse runs wild through a few rooms, they are able to lure him on the piano, nearly crushing poor Ollie in the process. The real Blue Boy (the Gainsborough painting) is returned, The Boys realize their mistake, and leave sheepishly with their four-legged friend. The millionaire follows, armed with shotgun.

JL: Maybe not one of their very best silents, but I love this film. Again, Laurel and Hardy defy convention and prove that you can indeed steal scenes from an animal (though the horse does have some cherce moments). The gags may stem from their characters less so than usual (though the situation certainly does), but they're funny enough so as not to matter.  The sight of (in descending order) horse, piano, Ollie (hoisting both on his back), and piano leg under Ollie's chin has to be one of the classic images in all of Laurel and Hardydom.

JB: We often think of Stan and Ollie as plain dumb, but what really made them special was that dumbness walked hand in hand with a childlike innocence and a belief that the world was All Good and All Kind.  So when they are told to put "Blue Boy" on top of the piano, perhaps they question it for a moment or two, but then they go right ahead and do exactly what they are told, knowing that things will always work out (even though they never do.)  Similar to this is my favorite moment in PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES when they are told, sarcastically, to bring the garbage to The General, and do exactly that. 

Copyright © 2012 John Larrabee, John V. Brennan

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