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The Pajama Party (1931)

 |  Comedy, Short  |  3 October 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 37 users  
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After running their car off the road, a society matron insists that the girls spend the evening at her mansion.



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Cast overview:
Elizabeth Forrester ...
Mrs. Van Dyke
Eddie Dunn ...
Donald Novis ...


After running their car off the road, a society matron insists that the girls spend the evening at her mansion.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mansion | See All (1) »


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

3 October 1931 (USA)  »

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Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Followed by On the Loose (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

The Japanese Pagoda
12 June 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

This is one of several (at least l7) Hal Roach comedy shorts from 1931-1932 featuring two of the brightest and funniest comediennes ever to grace the silver screen, Thelma Todd and Zasu Pitts. Hal Roach had a gift for finding the best and a skill for making them shine on the big screen. Thelma Todd and Zasu Pitts worked well together with Zasu playing the dipstick with almost as many humorous mannerisms as Stan Laurel. Todd at times played it straight for Zasu but more often she was Zasu's equal in the comedy department. Todd was also a beautiful blond, never a dumb one, always clever and crafty. Like the later Lucille Ball, Thelma Todd combined beauty with being a clown.

"The Pajama Party" features music of the early 30's, sort of a holdover still from the Jazz Age. The short also highlights the antics of two of Hal Roach's most creative support players, Billy Gilbert as the polite and correct Butler--can anyone imagine Billy Gilbert as being restrained?--and Charlie Hall as an inebriated pest who attempts to latch on to Zasu. Both often appeared in Hal Roach's Laurel and Hardy series.

Thelma and Zasu have boyfriends who are part of a jazz band that plays on radio and at private affairs. The boys have a booking for an all-night party for the idle rich in Long Beach. The girls decide to drive down, do some relaxing, then hook up with the boyfriends the next day for some swimming. Thelma at the wheel tries to avoid an oncoming car, ending up in a lake. The lady that ran them off the road invites them to come to her house across the road and dry off. The lady asks,"Please tell me you're not hurt." Thelma replies, "Who says we're not hurt? I can't find one of my legs." All sorts of fun is in store for the viewer once Thelma and Zasu get inside the mansion where a party is just beginning. Thelma makes the mistake of telling Zasu to do as the other guests do leading to all kinds of shenanigans. One of the most hilarious routines occurs when Thelma and Zasu confront the French Maid, especially when the French maid begins to undress Zasu for her bath. Zasu exclaims, "Well, I always took my own clothes off in Joplin."

Most of the humor is as fresh today as it was in 1931 with a few exceptions. Putting a turtle down Zasu's dress is sophomoric by today's standards, though it must have been a laugh riot back then. Popular music has changed tremendously since 1931, but those who still love Jazz Age band music with matching vocal harmony will enjoy it. All in all, a pleasing Hal Roach short. Though not up to Laurel and Hardy standards, it is still well above most of the comedy shorts of the period.

Postscript: The pickup line used in the short,"Would you like to see the Japanese pagoda?" didn't work then; so be hesitant about using it today.

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