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The Tree in a Test Tube (1943)

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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 239 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 2 critic

Laurel and Hardy demonstrate the uses of wood in this World War II propaganda film.


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Title: The Tree in a Test Tube (1943)

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Cast overview:
Pete Smith ...
Interlocutor (voice)
Lee Vickers ...
Narrator (voice)


Stan and Ollie are stopped by narrator Pete Smith for the purpose of showing the audience how much wood and wood by-products the average person carries. Stan and Ollie then begin to open their pockets and briefcase, pulling out a variety of things that derive from the tree. The narrator talks all the way through this short film (about 7 minutes long). The idea is that scientists can put everything that comes from the tree into one test tube. Written by Bob Silvia <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Documentary


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Release Date:

17 April 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

¡Más madera!  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(restored DVD)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy filmed their sequence on November 29, 1941, eight days before the attack on Pearl Harbour. See more »


Narrator for first half of film: Let's see the rest of your junk... I mean your nice things.
See more »


Featured in Classic Comedy Teams (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Laurel & Hardy needed money?
13 September 2006 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

It seems pretty odd as to why both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy ever agreed to be in this little propaganda movie, to promote wood and wood by-products, for the use of average everyday products.

Thing that this movie taught me the most is that Laurel & Hardy don't look good in color. This movie is from 1943 and Laurel & Hardy were already both well over 50 at the time. Their age normally doesn't really show but it does so in this color movie. They really didn't look well and looked old- and stiff in their movements. They really seemed out of place in this movie but yet the obviously still make the movie an interesting and fun one to watch. It's certainly better than normally 'education' and war-time propaganda movies.

I also can't deny that this movie is educational. This movie surely taught me some things I didn't knew about wood yet. Not that I'm really interested in it of course but it's still sort of fun to know all. Laurel & Hardy's presence definitely added to the educational level of this movie. They show everything in a fun and quick way, although none of it obviously ever gets hilarious or terribly interesting.

It's still a sort of good movie that is made interesting and effective by Laurel & Hardy's presence but it's still sort of sad to see them in this. Alreading getting older and long since over their prime. The only reason they seem to be in this is because of the money. Still the movie remains a sort of collectors item, since it's the only theatrical movie from Laurel & Hardy in full color.

I have some mixed feelings about this movie. Laurel & Hardy seem terribly out of place but yet at the same time they're the only reason why this movie is still an effective and interesting one. Therefor I rate it a 'safe' 6 out of 10.


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