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One Good Turn (1931)

Passed  -  Short | Comedy  -  31 October 1931 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 734 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 2 critic

Stan and Ollie are down on their luck and beg at an old lady's house for food. While they are eating they overhear a villainous landlord (Finlayson) threatening to evict her if she does not... See full summary »

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Title: One Good Turn (1931)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Mary Carr ...
Old Lady
James Finlayson ...
A Community Player
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Storyline

Stan and Ollie are down on their luck and beg at an old lady's house for food. While they are eating they overhear a villainous landlord (Finlayson) threatening to evict her if she does not pay the mortgage. Not realizing that they are hearing a rehearsal for a play, the boys decide to auction their car to help. In the confusion surrounding the auction, Stan finds himself in possession of a fat wallet and Ollie accuses him of stealing the old lady's money. When the truth is revealed, Stan exacts painful retribution. Written by Stephen Harrison <stephen@telos.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Seeing America: Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy have cast off all financial worries- Total assets: one Ford, model 1911, one tent, model 1861, One union suit, two shirts and three socks.

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 October 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Retter in der Not  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The finale in the film, where Stan retaliates against Ollie, was inspired by Stan's daughter (Lois). After Lois had seen so many movies in which Ollie mistreated Stan, she became fearful of Ollie (known to her as "Uncle Babe"). So, Stan decided to write a scene that showed his character could stand up for himself. After that, Lois got along just fine with Ollie. See more »

Quotes

Old lady: [Ollie shoves Stan through the door] What on earth is the matter?
Oliver: Madam, my one-time friend Mr. Laurel has a confession to make.
Old lady: Confession?
Oliver: Yes. He's the one who stole your money and left you at the mercy of that villain!
Old lady: There must be some mistake.
Oliver: There's no mistake. It's all too true. Why I caught him red handed.
Old lady: There hasn't been any money stolen. We were just rehearsing a play for the community players.
[laughs]
Oliver: [after long pause; nervously twiddles his tie] I must have made a faux pas.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: Yankee Doodle Doctor (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Consistently funny short
23 July 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Laurel and Hardy are destitute – living by the river in a tent and their car. When Laurel manages to destroy most of their few remaining possessions they are forced to beg door to door for food. A misunderstanding with a kindly old lady leads the duo into a kind act that ultimately leads to a division between them.

This film has no one major strong scene that stuck in my mind, but it does have a consistently funny tale that made me laugh the whole way through. The plot starts with the usual `down on their luck' set up that works very well – Laurel playing with fire is well done. The actual plot device used to create the main story is a little contrived but it is played so well that it doesn't really matter.

All though the short there are lots of nice touches.- Hardy's looks are as good as ever. Some fans may feel that this is more low key than they expected due to the lack of a big sequence, but the smaller, consistent jokes work well to produce a short that lacks a major peak, but then manages to have no dips either.

The cast are good. The little old lady is a little clichéd and James Finlayson has little of value to do, but Laurel and Hardy are both good. Here Laurel keeps his usual character but he also adds a tougher edge. In other shorts he has tended to be one or the other (often being tougher in later films) but here he gets the mix right (apparently due to Laurel wanting to let his daughter see her dad stand up for himself onscreen). Hardy is as good as always.

Overall this lacks peaks but makes up for it by being consistently funny from the opening campfire sequence right through to logs a-flying!


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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