County Hospital (1932)

"Mr. Hardy fell on his leg, and was laid up for two months. Mr. Laurel fell on his head -- and hadn't felt better in years."

Produced by Hal Roach
Directed by James Parrott

Featuring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Billy Gilbert


Recuperating from this unexplained accident, Ollie finds himself hospitalized, trussed up quietly in bed with a broken leg. Yet it seems to be a blessing in disguise. Despite being in traction, Ollie has never enjoyed such a peaceful rest. Helpful friend that he is, Stan pays a late morning visit. He had nothing else to do. To cheer Ollie, Stan presents a fine gift of hard-boiled eggs and nuts, which he proceeds to eat himself. The capable Dr. Gilbert arrives with a merry greeting, "Good morning, good morning, good morning. And how is my little patient today?" He’s been fine up until that moment. Whereupon Stan unintentionally triggers several violent accidents and mayhem causing even more bodily harm to Ollie and at the same time propelling Dr. Gilbert out the top floor window as he hangs on for dear life. Pulled back inside, the furious physician suffers a further indignity. His trousers are ripped away in front of the nurses. That’s enough. Mr. Hardy is invited to leave the hospital immediately. So much for the Hippocratic oath. Cured or not, Ollie’s wonderful rest is over.


With ill-concealed dismay and looking daggers at his friend, Ollie sums up the incident for Stan’s consideration, "You had nothing else to do, so you thought you’d come around and see me." Full stop. During all the commotion, a helpful nurse has left a hypodermic needle containing a relaxant drug nearby on a chair. Stan sits down on it. His hat flies off. With typical hardened concern, the nurse finds such an accident laughable. She informs Stan with some delight that he will probably sleep for a month. Downstairs Stan helps Ollie into the back of their car for the trip home. Behind the wheel, a drugged and drowsy Stan can barely keep his eyes open -- usually a prerequisite for driving. Dazed from the sedative he weaves wildly in and out of traffic, narrowly avoiding collisions in a sea of classic flivvers. Ollie expresses some concern. Inevitably a loud smash-up with two city streetcars leaves their Ford bent nearly in two. A policeman orders, "Pull over there!" All Stan can manage is to drive their wrecked roadster around and around in a circle, gesturing helplessly. The cop appears to be provoked.

-- by Richard W. Bann --