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The Music Box (1932)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 16 April 1932 (USA)
Like the legendary Sisyphus, deliverymen Laurel and Hardy struggle to push a large crated piano up a seemingly insurmountable flight of stairs.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

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Storyline

The Laurel & Hardy Moving Co. have a challenging job on their hands (and backs): hauling a player piano up a monumental flight of stairs to Prof. von Schwarzenhoffen's house. Their task is complicated by a sassy nursemaid and, unbeknownst to them, the impatient Prof. von Schwarzenhoffen himself. But the biggest problem is the force of gravity, which repeatedly pulls the piano back down to the bottom of the stairs. Finally, the irate Professor explodes in fury to discover the "mechanical blunderbuss" in his home, not knowing it was a surprise birthday present from his wife. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy decided to reorganize and resupervise their entire financial structure- so they took the $3.80 and went into business.

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

16 April 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caixa de Música  »

Company Credits

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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

Unlike now, when sound effects and background noise are usually created in post-production, recording engineers went on location to pick up authentic ambient noise. See more »

Goofs

The player piano is equipped with a large "on-off" control-lever that causes the unit to shut off when the lever is moved to the left. Yet while the piano is playing "The Star Spangled Banner", the Prof silences the piano by pushing its control-lever further to the right, which should not cause it to shut off. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen: [Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen is in the showroom listening to a player piano] Oh, I think it looks gorgeous, I'll take it!
Piano Salesman: I'm so glad you like it. As you can see, it's the latest model.
Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen: Can you deliver it right away?
Piano Salesman: Right away, madam.
Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen: You see, it's my husband's birthday, and I want to surprise him.
Piano Salesman: Oh, I understand. And the address, please?
Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen: 1127 Walnut Avenue.
Piano Salesman: [the salesman writes down the address] 1127... Walnut Avenue.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Devil's Brother (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(1860) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Performed offscreen on piano by Marvin Hatley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What Is The Meaning Of This? A Beacon Of Light.
19 October 2005 | by (Derby, UK) – See all my reviews

The Music Box was the first programme on TV that I saw my daughter really laugh at, aged 14 months in 1981, when the piano dragged Ollie at speed down the steps yet again. Probably also the first thing I laughed at too and at the moment the last in the latest of hundreds of times! Well, Laurel & Hardy shaped my and millions of others' senses of humour so I like to think hers was as well. Kids today who get the chance to see this and who can't get past the pre-digital black & white images to the gold that lies within are not only missing a treat but are probably also making an crucial life-choice too. All of the human condition is contained herein, therefore making it essential viewing also for extra-terrestrials!

They have to deliver a piano to an address - all kinds of catastrophes follow thick and fast. The gags are so perfectly written and executed, and are as utterly relentless as Stan & Ollie's drive to deliver the piano come Hell or pond-water. High-class slapstick disasters follow each other every minute of the 27 (un-remastered version), usually happening to Ollie - although Billy Gilbert's cosy little love-nest was looking a little dishevelled by the climax! The steps have been a Los Angeles tourist attraction for many years now, maybe the most fitting monument to L & H that there could be - if you like this little film that is!

All in all and probably predictably my favourite L & H outing, notwithstanding the similar brilliance of Sons Of The Desert, County Hospital, Thicker than Water, Busybodies, Below Zero etc etc etc.


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