5 user 3 critic

Smithy (1924)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Short | 20 January 1924 (USA)
After being discharged from the 372nd infantry, on account of a bean shortage, smithy seeks employment. He finds employment at a construction site, where he helps to build a house, and soon... See full summary »


George Jeske, Hal Roach


H.M. Walker (titles)


Learn more

More Like This 

Pardon Us (1931)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two guys end up in prison after attempting to sell beer to a policeman during Prohibition.

Director: James Parrott
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, June Marlowe
Half a Man (1925)
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A naïve/credulous/gullible/ shy young man (Stan Laurel) finds himself alone on an island inhabited by very enterprising/ sprightly women.

Directors: Joe Rock, Harry Sweet
Stars: Stan Laurel, Tui Bow, Julie Leonard
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After getting into a scuffle with his boss and some co-workers, an orange packer tries to help another co-worker, only to wind up in a conflict with him as well. Trying to elude his boss, ... See full summary »

Director: George Jeske
Stars: Stan Laurel, Katherine Grant, Eddie Baker
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

An early Stan Laurel comedy set, improbably enough, in the Arabian Peninsula. The silent star is a strange sight in his Chaplin-esque tramp costume surrounded by men in Arabic dress. Once ... See full summary »

Director: George Jeske
Stars: Stan Laurel, Katherine Grant, Mae Laurel
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Director Larry Semon and a young Stan Laurel costar as prisoners loafing on the chain gang. As both comrades and rivals, their paired movements result in strikingly choreographed slapstick.... See full summary »

Director: Larry Semon
Stars: Stan Laurel, Larry Semon, Madge Kirby
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A Wrestler and his ex-Wife (Noah Young and Fay Holderness) try to con a recently-discharged Sailor (Clyde Cook) out of 4 years' pay. When they learn that he lost the money in a 'shell game'... See full summary »

Director: James Parrott
Stars: Clyde Cook, Fay Holderness, Noah Young
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two rich capitalists want to marry their children, but they don't like the idea at all. She tries to run away, and meets him at the station. They fall in love, unbeknownst to their real ... See full summary »

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Charley Chase, Oliver Hardy, William V. Mong


Cast overview:
Stan Laurel ... Smithy
James Finlayson ... Sergeant
William Gillespie ... The Boss


After being discharged from the 372nd infantry, on account of a bean shortage, smithy seeks employment. He finds employment at a construction site, where he helps to build a house, and soon causes havoc amoungst other workers. The constuction company owner leaves for a week, and tells his secretary to send a letter to Mr. Smith telling him to complete the construction of the house while he (the owner) is away. The letter is accidently sent to Smithy who manages to complete the house. When the owner returns the house is complete, and Smithy is commended until the last support beam is removed... Written by Paul

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 January 1924 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Home Wrecker See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Foreman: Do you know anything about building?
Smithy: No.
Foreman: Jus' the man we're lookin' for.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Funnier than I'd expected.
12 August 2007 | by F Gwynplaine MacIntyreSee all my reviews

One of the tragedies of the first World War -- the bloodiest war in history, up till that time -- was that thousands of the men who'd survived through the Armistice came home to discover that their civilian jobs were no longer open, and other jobs were not easy to find. 'Smithy' is a comedy -- a fairly lowbrow one, at that -- yet it touches upon that real and tragic situation. There's a dialogue exchange here which was probably meant as comedy, yet which I found genuinely poignant. When former doughboy Smithy (Stan Laurel) applies for work on a construction crew, the foreman asks 'Are you an ex-soldier?' ... to which Laurel replies 'For the rest of my life.'

The film starts with Smithy in the 372nd Infantry of the A.E.F. I'd expected some routine army gags, but I sat up and took notice when I saw that Stan Laurel's sergeant is played by the brilliant James Finlayson. I was all set for some of that legendary interplay between 'Fin' and Stan -- surely worth seeing even without 'Babe' Hardy to complete the formula -- but, alas, it doesn't happen. Finlayson is little more than a straight man here. A few years ago, while attending a performance of Alan Ayckbourn's play 'Comic Potential' in London, I was delightfully surprised by a line of dialogue paying tribute to the great Jimmy Finlayson: too bad that 'Smithy' wastes his talents. Charlie Hall, who also wreaked comedy mayhem in several Laurel & Hardy movies, is here too but likewise wasted.

Cut to a scene in the construction company's office, where the very handsome Glenn Tryon plays an executive named Smith. We know instantly what's going to happen: the workers receive orders that Mr Smith is to take over the construction project, and of course they think this means Smithy: the gormless naff played here by Laurel. Sure enough.

From here it's strictly by-the-numbers house-building slapstick, of the type which was perfected by vaudevillains Willie, West & McGinty. Laurel has one clever bit of physical comedy when he walks along the building site with a long plank of timber balanced on his head, extending fore and aft: when he suddenly does a volte-face and walks back the other way, the plank maintains its orientation instead of turning with him. Doesn't sound funny, but it's hilarious. I also laughed at one amusing gag performed by Laurel astride a ladder while carrying a roll of tar-paper. Amazingly and unexpectedly, the crew under Laurel's supervision actually get the house built. I was expecting it to be a crazy-quilt construction like the house Buster Keaton built in 'One Week' ... but Smithy and his work gang get the job done, to order. When the 'real' Mr Smith shows up, Smithy's loyal workers point out that the 'wrong' Smith still deserves credit for a job well done ... and then comes the final gag. I was expecting something here, but the visual punchline -- a surprisingly elaborate and expensive gag in this low-budget comedy -- was totally unexpected, and therefore hilarious.

I'll rate 'Smithy' 7 out of 10. It feels as if it's meant to be the first instalment in a series of comedies starring Laurel as this character: in the event, it was a one-off. Stan was good here, but he never truly became a first-rate screen comedian until he shared the screen with Oliver Hardy.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed