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From Soup to Nuts (1928)

 |  Comedy, Short  |  24 March 1928 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 547 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 1 critic

Inexperienced waiters (Laurel & Hardy) are hired for a swank dinner party.

Director:

(as E. Livingston Kennedy)
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Title: From Soup to Nuts (1928)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Anita Garvin ...
Mrs. Culpepper
Tiny Sandford ...
Mr. Culpepper
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Storyline

The newly rich Mrs. Culpepper, eager to make an impression in high society, has planned a big dinner party. Her husband is less than enthusiastic, and she herself has much to learn about society ways. But her worst problem is that the two special waiters whom she has hired turn out to be clumsy and inexperienced bumblers. Written by Snow Leopard

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

24 March 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Let George Do It  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This entire movie was re-worked into a smaller timescale eleven years later in the first part of A Chump at Oxford (1940), with Stan & Ollie posing as maid & butler. Also, Anita Garvin re-prised her role in that movie as the host, and adopted the name "Mrs. Vandervere" as her character name. This is the real-life name of one of the party guests seen in THIS movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Guest House Paradiso (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Miss Anita Garvin, courtesy of E. Livingston Kennedy
7 March 2002 | by (Westchester County, NY) – See all my reviews

From Soup to Nuts is an amusing two-reel comedy that many Laurel & Hardy fans regard with special fondness, thanks largely to the performance of Anita Garvin, a gifted comedienne who never received the recognition she deserved. Barely in her 20s when this film was made, Miss Garvin was given the plum assignment of playing the socially ambitious Mrs. Culpepper, "idol to the snobs," a classic New Money hostess -- in a tiara, no less -- who throws the sort of dinner party designed to show the world that the Culpeppers Have Arrived. The source of the recently-acquired Culpepper fortune is never revealed, but one look at Mr. Culpepper (6 ft. 5 in. "Tiny" Sandford) suggests that bootleg gin or perhaps concrete might be involved.

But where any number of other actresses might phone in a pompous Society Lady role such as this one, Anita Garvin shows us the insecurity under the pose, flashing quick nervous looks at her guests as if to say, "Am I doing this right? Or do they suspect I'm a fraud?" In a highly appropriate running gag, the lady's tiara keeps slipping down her forehead and falling over her eyes. Garvin is seen to best advantage during the extended, genuinely funny sequence in which she attempts to retrieve a stray cherry that rolls off her fruit cocktail and becomes stubbornly lodged under the rim of the sundae glass. At first, she tries to maintain proper decorum, but eventually becomes so involved in pursuing the wayward cherry that all pretense of refinement slips away. But any hope of dignity is a lost cause anyhow, since by that time hired butlers Laurel & Hardy have turned the party into a fiasco.

Stan and Ollie have an ideal comic premise to work with here: we know from the start that they're going to ruin this party, but, considering the host and hostess, what better party to ruin? A highlight comes when Stan misunderstands an order to serve the salad "undressed," and, reluctantly, strips down to his skivvies before bringing it in. (Today, this gag would be played without the skivvies, perhaps by Adam Sandler in a G-string; does that mean we're more sophisticated, or less?) Dishes are broken, soup is spilled, cakes are ruined, seams are split, and ultimately Mrs. Culpepper, "idol of the snobs," hauls off and belts Ollie, decorum be damned. In the end, I believe, her roots are showing.

An interesting footnote to this film: it was one of only two Laurel & Hardy comedies to be directed by "E. Livingston Kennedy," better known as Edgar, the boys' frequent nemesis in such films as Bacon Grabbers and Perfect Day. His venture into directing was brief, but the results are so felicitous (this was followed by You're Darn Tootin', a genuine L&H classic) that one wishes he could have worked behind the camera more often.


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