Be Big (1931)

"Mr. Hardy is a man of great care, caution and discretion - Mr. Laurel is married too."

Produced by Hal Roach
Directed by James W. Horne

Featuring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Anita Garvin, Isabelle Keith, Charlie Hall


The Laurels and the Hardys are busily packing for a holiday by the sea in Atlantic City. Stan is ready upon finding his toy boat. Then a pal phones from the boys' lodge. He offers secret news of a surprise party in their honor to be held at the club that night! Stan and Ollie would never, ever change their plans and disappoint their loving wives, at least not until Ollie gets an earful over the phone of all the forbidden delights in store for them at this stag evening. Coached to Be Big, Ollie feigns sudden illness in front of his "Ducky Lover." He appears to feel faint, light as a feather, with spots before his eyes.


Ollie insists his "Honey-Bub" and Mrs. Laurel go on ahead and enjoy their trip. He assures the ladies he will feel better soon and follow them to Atlantic City. He also invites Stan (who appers clueless because he didn't hear the phone call) to stay behind and help him. Would he mind? "Well, " Stan answers, "if it's all the same to you, I'd rather go.. After a sly kick on the shins, Stan decides otherwise, and the ruse works. The wives leave. Then Ollie is free to explain everything to Stan, who understands some of it. Now to get dressed. Changing into their club uniforms --- horse-riding regalia - gets to be a big problem. Takes forever. Especially troublesome are the boys' boots. The wives move faster than their husbands, although they arrive at the railway station just in time to discover they're too late. They have missed the last train to Atlantic City that night. Returning home, the ladies find two healthy lodge members in full uniform. Realizing the deception, the wives are shocked and appalled. Stan and Ollie momentarily vow to be big, but are quickly panic-stricken and retreat into a bedroom where they hide in a wall bed. For good reason, too, since the wives follow with shotguns to demonstrate their blasting skills. The result is a shower of bricks, feathers and smoke as the boys and their bed crash down to the street below.

-- by Richard W. Bann --