IMDb > Pardon Us (1931)
Pardon Us
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Pardon Us (1931) More at IMDbPro »

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H.M. Walker (dialogue by)
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Release Date:
15 August 1931 (USA) See more »
Their jail break is a riot! It will give you the time of your life. (Newspaper ad). See more »
It's Prohibition, and the boys wind up behind bars after Stan sells some of their home-brew beer to a policeman... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
"They'll never recognise us in a hundred years!" See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Stan Laurel ... Stan Laurel

Oliver Hardy ... Oliver Hardy

June Marlowe ... Warden's Daughter
Wilfred Lucas ... Warden
James Finlayson ... Schoolteacher
Walter Long ... The Tiger
Tiny Sandford ... Shields - Prison Guard (as Stanley J. Sanford)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Austin ... Prisoner with Sore Tooth (uncredited)
Chester A. Bachman ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Eddie Baker ... Plantation Boss (uncredited)
Belle ... Bloodhound (uncredited)
Harry Bernard ... Desk Sergeant (uncredited)
Bobby Burns ... Dental Patient (uncredited)
Baldwin Cooke ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Charles Dorety ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Gordon Douglas ... Typist (uncredited)
Bobby Dunn ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Eddie Dunn ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
The Etude Ethiopian Chorus ... Cotton Pickers (uncredited)
Otto Fries ... Dentist (uncredited)
Dick Gilbert ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Charlie Hall ... Dental Assistant (uncredited)
Jack Herrick ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Jack Hill ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Frank Holliday ... Prison Guard in Classroom (uncredited)
Bob Kortman ... Prisoner - Tiger's Pal (uncredited)
Sam Lufkin ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Jerry Mandy ... Prisoner Who Can't Add (uncredited)
George Miller ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Gene Morgan ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
James Parrott ... Marching Prisoner Next to Hardy (uncredited)

Hal Roach ... Marching Prisoner in Front of Hardy (uncredited)
Charley Rogers ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Will Stanton ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
Harry Thomas ... Prison Inmate (uncredited)
Guido Trento ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Blackie Whiteford ... Insurgent Convict (uncredited)
S.D. Wilcox ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Leo Willis ... Prisoner - Tiger's Pal (uncredited)

Directed by
James Parrott 
Writing credits
H.M. Walker (dialogue by)

Stan Laurel  uncredited

Produced by
Hal Roach .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Leroy Shield (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Jack Stevens (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Richard C. Currier (edited by) (as Richard Currier)
Casting by
Jack Roach (uncredited)
Art Department
Frank Durlauf .... set designer (uncredited)
Cedric Gibbons .... art director: main set only (uncredited)
Sound Department
S.C. Baden .... sound mixer
Elmer Raguse .... recording engineer
Ralph Butler .... location sound recordist (uncredited)
John Harrison .... location sound recordist (uncredited)
John Whitaker .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Joe Mole .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Irving Berlin .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Will Marion Cook .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Louis De Francesco .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
M. Ewing .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Marvin Hatley .... composer: theme music (uncredited)
Edward Kilenyi .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Arthur J. Lamb .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Abe Olman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
H.W. Petrie .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Freita Shaw .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Leroy Shield .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frederic Van Norman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
J.S. Zamecnik .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
Hal Roach .... presenter
L.A. French .... purchasing agent (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
56 min | USA:65 min (extended version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System) (A Victor Recording) | Mono
Australia:G | Finland:S | Spain:T | UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Director Cameo: [James Parrott]Marching next to Oliver Hardy after his recapture.See more »
Factual errors: During the breakout Ollie winds up with a Tommy gun - even though he was under suspicion by the "Tiger" and shouldn't have even been close to a weapon. If you look at the gun it has a telescopic sight on it, something a sub machine gun would have never had, owing to the high rate of fire and the propensity of the weapon to "climb" while being fired.See more »
Schoolteacher:Now, what is a comet? You!
Prisoner:A comet. A comet is a star with a tale on it.
[points to Stan]
Schoolteacher:Name one.
Stanley:Rin Tin Tin.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Lazy MoonSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
"They'll never recognise us in a hundred years!", 5 February 2001
Author: The_Movie_Cat from England

So says Ollie at the start of a sustained eleven-minute sequence where he and Stan paint their hands and faces to hide amongst a black community. On two occasions the paint gets washed off and has to be replaced; Stan with dirt from a puddle, Ollie with oil. Like the stereotypical black people that occupy the piece, it's one of those "would never be allowed nowadays" moments that marks Pardon Us out as an unusual curio. The boundaries between innocence and unintentional risk-taking occur throughout. Set largely in a prison, there's a later scene where Stan is threatened by a knife, and an inmate is shown to be a potential rapist when coming face to face with the warden's daughter. Although Stan's sharing a bed with Hardy and the same inmate promising that he and Stan will be "great pals" is played without any form of sexual connotation.

This sort of politically incorrect humour is not only common to Pardon Us, however. In the following year's Pack Up Your Troubles the duo would pretend to have only one arm in order to escape being drafted into the army. Stan would pour boiling hot water over three men, while the two would steal $2000 from a bank. The 1932 film would also tackle the theme of wife battery and feature another race joke, which takes us back to Pardon us. In a curious scene, Stan mistakes two prisoners – one black, one Asian – as the radio "blackface" double-act, Amos and Andy. It's impossible to condemn the film on such matters, and I wouldn't even try, as that sort of thing was commonplace for the time it was made. But it's notable, and slightly alarming, even so. Whoever would have thought such naive humour still had the ability to shock seventy years on?

Laurel and Hardy perhaps never had wide ambitions, though did some pretty groundbreaking stuff in terms of stunts and special effects. More intelligent than The Three Stooges, they nevertheless didn't aspire to the same terms of art and film as, say, Chaplin. But while they may not be as admired as Charlie, Keaton or even Lloyd, they are doubtless more loved. Even though most of the jokes are clearly set-up, their assured execution, by Laurel, particularly, means they never fall flat. It must be said that the interplay between the two stars isn't as good as it would be, and that as their first full-length talkie, the pace is notably slower than what was to follow. The age of the silent movie is still felt throughout, with a lone damsel in distress in a burning building, and some overstated body language from the bit players. The film opens with a caption, and incidental music is almost omnipresent – both now redundant, and slightly distracting. Though while the rapport between the two would be stronger - only their 24th talkie, they would appear in another 52 together after this - Pardon Us is still a fine example of their work. Stan's gormless, inane smile, dopey eyes and sticky ears are a delight, while his mastery of physical comedy is exceptional. Those who wish to build an argument that Stan was the talented one will be served here by a Hardy who gets to be second fiddle all the way, and is encouraged to double-take to camera a few too many times.

Lastly, two points come to mind. One is a dentist calling Stan "Rosebud" – was Orson Welles inspired? And Ollie here says "another nice mess", not the oft-quoted "fine".

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