Their Purple Moment (1928)

"Dedicated to husbands who 'hold out' part of the pay envelope on their wives -- and live to tell about it."

Produced by Hal Roach
Directed by James Parrott

Featuring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Anita Garvin, Kay Deslys


Each payday, to curb his wife's spending, Mr. Pincher (Stan) diverts part of his salary to a secret savings hiding place. After Mrs. Pincher discovers her husband making one of these deposits, she quietly substitutes a roll of worthless grocery coupons. Whereupon their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Hardy, pay a visit. Also henpecked, Ollie has been holding out money on his wife too, but he's been caught and chastised. Stan boasts to Ollie of his supposed success and retrieves the hidden wallet. It's fat with grocery coupons instead of real money, but Stan fails to look at the contents.


Ollie suggests a night on the town, using Stan's wad of bills. They tell the wives they're going bowling. On their way they pass the town's prissy busybody. Grim visaged, she eyes them with suspicion as they pause outside the Pink Pub Cafe. Seems two refined and lovely ladies have been deserted by their deadbeat dates. Who will pay for their expensive dinners? The head waiter wants to know. With their usual gallantry, Stan and Ollie volunteer. Inside, the cheery foursome orders the works, enjoys the jazzy floor show, and then Stan discovers his bulging billfold contains coupons but no dough. Stunned, is Stan. Paralyzed in dawning the horror, his mind absorbs their predicament. Meanwhile the gossip is delighted to have informed the boys' wives, who arrive to watch how they delay paying the check. Finally Stan and Ollie attempt a surreptitious departure, but are cornered in the kitchen. In desperation, Ollie admits what happened. They were on their way to the bowling alley, he insists, when Stan "dragged me into this den of vice." Stan disapproves such betrayal, grabs a convenient pie to smash Ollie, precipitating the inevitable pastry-slinging melee.

-- by Richard W. Bann --