Edit
Sons of the Desert (1933) Poster

Trivia

Although his characterization of Mrs. Hardy's brother is a highlight among fans, Charley Chase hated the part as being too far removed form his usual screen character. Ironically, he repeats this type of character in The Heckler (1940), one of his last, and most critically acclaimed, shorts.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
This was Mae Busch's fourth appearance as Oliver's high strung short tempered wife.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actor Robert Cummings is visible as a crowd extra during the scene in the steamship office, wearing a light-coloured suit, about 40:00 into the film.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The role of Stan Laurel's wife was originally slated for Patsy Kelly, but Hal Roach had loaned her to MGM for Going Hollywood (1933), which was running over schedule when shooting for this film began. Dorothy Christy joined the cast as Stan's wife four days into filming.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lillian DeBorba was drafted into filling a seat in the theatre sequence. She was on the lot with her little daughter Dorothy DeBorba who was "Echo" in the Our Gang comedies.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The "Sons of the Desert" theme song is a pastiche of several popular tunes, including "Give My Regards to Broadway."
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The movie's line "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." was voted as the #60 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Three decades after the movie's release, its motif inspired the creation of an "international Laurel and Hardy appreciation society," named after the movie and created by Stan Laurel and his biographer John McCabe.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Stan Laurel reads the January 1930 issue of The American Magazine when at the Hardy residence.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The music under the opening credits also underscores the MGM film "Faithless" made a year earlier. This would make sense. Producer Hal Roach released through Metro, so the "Sons" music appears to be a simple lift.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Filming took place over a period of three weeks in October 1933. Director William A. Seiter reportedly brought the picture in five days ahead of schedule.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The working title was "Fraternally Yours," and the movie was eventually released in Europe under that name.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Hal Roach said in later years that William A. Seiter had more control than any of Laurel & Hardy's other directors. He described Seiter as "genial, competent, and the kind of director who had a good sense of building the story while also focusing hard on characterization."
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Laurel & Hardy took time off from filming this feature to shoot their sequences in Hollywood Party (1934).
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Among the stories planted by studio publicists was one stating that during production, cast and crew formed their own "Sons of the Desert" fraternal order, electing Stan Laurel "High Factotum" and Oliver Hardy "Good Knight." Bill Seiter, according to the story, was named "Sergeant Without Arms."
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film's comic take on marital discord mirrored the far more serious and stressful domestic problems that Laurel & Hardy were experiencing at the time. Bill Seiter was also in the process of splitting from his first wife, actress Laura La Plante. Charley Chase also had numerous difficulties at home because of his drinking.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to studio publicity releases, scenes had to be reshot frequently because director and crew would often break up in laughter over the stars' antics. The story went on to assert that Stan Laurel's expression in the scene with Charley Chase was so funny "that it completely upset the equanimity of Hardy, and it was several minutes before the latter was able to regain his composure." According to film historian Richard W. Bann (a specialist on the films produced by Hal Roach Studios), Hal Roach recalled in 1979 how often such things happened on set. "I was never upset that it was costing me money," he said. "I was upset that we couldn't use some of the funniest scenes we saw every day," the ones that were ruined by cast or crew members breaking up.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the time of filming, Oliver Hardy was estranged from his wife Myrtle (with whom he reconciled, briefly) and rumoured to be seeing Lillian DeBorba, mother of child actress Dorothy DeBorba. Lillian was drafted into being an extra to fill a seat in the movie theater scene and was seated in front of Mae Busch and Dorothy Christy (who play Hardy's and Laurel's wives).
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the early 1960s, Stan Laurel told actor Chuck McCann (a Laurel & Hardy devotee and Oliver Hardy impersonator), that he found Charley Chase to be an easy-going, delightful person to work with and know, and much quieter than his screen image suggested. Laurel mentioned how during a rehearsal, he reached for what he thought was his glass of water and grabbed Chase's by mistake, finding instead a tumbler full of gin. (Chase was a known alcoholic.)
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Comedy star Patsy Kelly was originally cast as Stan Laurel's wife, but Hal Roach had loaned her to MGM for Going Hollywood (1933), which was running over schedule when production began on this picture. Dorothy Christy stepped into to play the duck-hunting spouse four days into the shooting.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
During the shooting, Stan Laurel was also seeing someone else, Virginia Ruth Rogers, even though his divorce from his first wife was not yet final. Rogers even filled in as a crowd scene extra and also stood closely by during the filming of the rooftop downpour scene. As the soaking wet Laurel finished shooting, she threw a towel around him, rushed him to his dressing room, ran a hot shower, and made him a hot toddy of whiskey, lemon and sugar. She said Laurel began to cry in gratitude, noting how his wife never took any interest in his work or showed her concern for him in that way. Rogers later became his second (and fourth!) wife.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Billy Gilbert, a frequent Laurel & Hardy foil, provided a voiceover
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The parade newsreel was supplemented with stock footage from the Elks Lodge state convention held in Santa Monica some months before.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to the pressbook for the film and a Hollywood Reporter news item, extras in the newsreel footage of the convention parade included members of the Glendale post of the American Legion, the Hollywood American Legion, and the Santa Monica Elks Lodge.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the original script, the parade scene was to have included an extended sequence of the boys causing mayhem as they participate in - and subsequently ruin- a bicycle procession. The scene was not used in the movie.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The number of extras wasn't the only thing to push up the cost of shooting the parade scene. To modernize the available backlot sets to look more like contemporary Chicago, $25,000 was spent on refurbishing three blocks of the studio's "New York street." Four crews built new buildings and store fronts over the course of nine days. The job went $10,000 over budget after set decorations, asphalt repaving and lighting were added.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ellen Corby, best known for her role on The Waltons (1971), appears as an extra.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page