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One Good Turn (1931)

Passed  |   |  Short, Comedy  |  31 October 1931 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 795 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:

 »
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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

[after their tent has gone up in flames]
Oliver: Well, our earthly possessions are slowly getting less and less.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
An occasionally decent turn
18 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The comedy short One Good Turn stars Laurel and Hardy as victims of The Great Depression, more specifically, poor beggars trying to live life in the middle of nowhere. They cook their own poorly-prepared food, they wash the two pairs of clothes they have, and they simply try to make it to the next day alive and well. The two manage to muster up the courage to ask a friendly old lady for some food, and she kindly provides food for the both of them. While inside, eating at her kitchen table, Laurel and Hardy overhear the woman talking to the landlord, who threatens to throw her out of her home if she cannot pay her mortgage. However, the lady was robbed and doesn't have the funds to pay for overdue bills. Feeling the need to repay the woman for her kindness, Laurel and Hardy attempt to sell their automobile in town square.

One Good Turn functions more like a Three Stooges skit than one featuring the comic talents of Laurel and Hardy, featuring more of an emphasis on slapstick humor than verbal wit and situational escalation. This is especially surprising given the presence of director James W. Horne, who finds inventive ways to conjure up situations for Laurel and Hardy to haplessly fall into. The humor of One Good Turn is present on occasion, but one finds it treading far too close to familiar territory that is often explored by the aforementioned comedy troop. Our senseless heroes are always fun to spend time with, but here, it feels as if they are forcing themselves into a box they can't quite fit into.

Starring: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Directed by: James W. Horne.


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