Laughing Gravy (1931)

"Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy stuck together through thick and thin - one pocketbook between them - always empty."

Produced by Hal Roach
Directed by James W. Horne

Featuring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall, Charles Dorety, Harry Bernard, Laughing Gravy (dog)


Stan and Ollie are tenants in a boarding house. Trying to sleep on a cold winter night, Stan gets the hiccups. The noise attracts the attention of his pet pup, Laughing Gravy. The canine starts to bark. Ollie is afraid that the landlord, a traditional enemy, will hear and eject the animal. Seems their bristling landlord - Charlie Hall, in an obnoxious mustache - dislikes dogs. Laughing Gravy continues to bark, and eventually Charlie discovers the dog and cruelly tosses her into the snow.Ollie objects. The snarling response: "Listen: If I wasn't so kind-hearted, I'd throw you out too. Now get to bed!"


Ollie attempts the first of several rescues, only to find himself locked out of their dilapidated lodgings, shivering in the cold. Stan drops knotted sheets from their second story bedroom window. This enterprise lands Ollie in a rain barrel of ice water, surrounded by gentle snow flurries. Back upstairs, Ollie, frozen, retreats to bed, which for the second time promptly collapses causing plaster from the ceiling to crash down on Charlie, who is trying to sleep in the bedroom below. This time the nasty little landlord tells his tenants they must leave first thing in the morning. Meanwhile Laughing Gravy, hiding in the fireplace, has scampered up the chimney and onto the icy, snow-covered roof. The boys follow. The commotion attracts Charlie to his window. Ollie's size breaks the chimney and the bricks, so dislodged, descend upon Charlie as he peers outside, knocking him out cold. "Now look at us," complains Ollie filthy with soot, "we'll have to take a bath before we go to bed." This leads inevitably to the usual hurled buckets of water, several of which help revive the enraged landlord. Now, with revolver in hand, he orders Stan and Ollie out of his boarding house in 15 minutes. Whereupon a policeman happens to arrive at the hour of four a.m. to quarantine the premises for smallpox, a story point never previously hinted at until that moment. No one can leave, for two months. "This is more than I can stand," declares Charlie, driven to distraction. Off-screen, shots ring out. The despondent dog-hating landlord has killed himself. Showing respect, Stan and Ollie bow their heads as they solemnly return to their rooms.

-- by Richard W. Bann --