IMDb > Big Business (1929)
Big Business
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Big Business (1929) More at IMDbPro »


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7.9/10   1,915 votes »
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H.M. Walker (titles)
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Release Date:
20 April 1929 (USA) See more »
The story of a man who turned the other cheek-and got punched in the nose.
Ollie and Stanley are two Christmas Tree sales reps who get into one of their usual mutual destruction fights with a homeowner. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Iconic Laurel & Hardy humor See more (29 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Stan Laurel ... Stan

Oliver Hardy ... Ollie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Finlayson ... Homeowner (uncredited)
Charlie Hall ... Neighbor (uncredited)
Retta Palmer ... Neighbor (uncredited)
Tiny Sandford ... Policeman (uncredited)
Lyle Tayo ... Woman (uncredited)

Directed by
James W. Horne  (as J. Wesley Horne)
Leo McCarey (supervising)
Writing credits
H.M. Walker (titles)

Leo McCarey  uncredited

Produced by
Hal Roach .... producer
Original Music by
Robert Israel (2011)
Cinematography by
George Stevens 
Film Editing by
Richard C. Currier  (as Richard Currier)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lloyd French .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Ham Kinsey .... props (uncredited)
Tom Mintz .... property master (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Graham .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Roach .... camera operator (uncredited)
Other crew
Leo McCarey .... supervising director (uncredited)
Dale Schrum .... car customizer (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
19 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Hal Roach bought a house and its contents from a man, and sent him on his way in his Model T. When it came time to film this short, Roach arrived on location late in the afternoon and found that the actors and crew had actually destroyed the house next door.See more »
[opening title board]
Narrator:The story of a man who turned the other cheek - and got punched in the nose.
See more »
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11 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Iconic Laurel & Hardy humor, 29 March 2004
Author: knsevy from KCMO


One of The Boys' funniest silent films, 'Big Business' contains their trademark Reciprocating Destruction theme. Irascible James Finlayson's temper and Stanley's oblivious ineptitude light the fuse to a battle that starts with a broken tree branch and ends with the total destruction of a Model T and the partial destruction of a Culver City bungalow.

It's a sheer delight to watch The Boys and Fin deliberately, and with malice aforethought, find new ways to inflict indignities upon each others' property. Fin cuts up the Christmas tree they were trying to sell, Stanley takes a pen knife and carves the wood off Fin's door frame. From there, we build to a crescendo of Stanley pulling up shrubs and hurling them through windows and Ollie methodically potholing the yard with a shovel, while Fin dances on the rubble that used to be The Boys' delivery truck. The neighbors gather on the sidewalk, unsure what to make of the melee; even the neighborhood cop is too stunned to step in and break it up.

This is a sport at which Laurel & Hardy excelled, and at which they can be seen again in the all-out wardrobe assault of 'Hats Off' and the freeway free-for-all of 'Two Tars', possibly their greatest Reciprocating Destruction movie.

This is a movie you should definitely buy.

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