6.9/10
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Habeas Corpus (1928)

Loony scientist (Carle) hires Laurel and Hardy to raid the cemetery to keep him supplied with dead bodies for his experiments.

Writers:

Leo McCarey, H.M. Walker (titles)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Stan Laurel ... Stan
Oliver Hardy ... Ollie
Richard Carle ... Professor Padilla
Charley Rogers Charley Rogers ... Ledoux - the Butler (as Charlie Rogers)
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Storyline

Loony scientist (Carle) hires Laurel and Hardy to raid the cemetery to keep him supplied with dead bodies for his experiments.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 December 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paura al cimitero See more »

Filming Locations:

Culver City, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (music and effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was made as a silent film, then was retrofitted before release with a music track and sound effects. Unfortunately, the sound discs are long lost, but this is technically Laurel & Hardy's first 'sound' film. See more »

Goofs

A detective hiding in the graveyard has his sheet set on fire but it's later seen intact. See more »

Quotes

Ledoux - the Butler: The Professor is balmy again - He's sending two men to a graveyard...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sh! The Octopus (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Turtles in the Dark; aka Habeas Corpus
18 November 2009 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

Tonight, it was proved – comedy never dies. Nearly 81 years ago a comedy duo by the name of Laurel and Hardy broke through the sound barrier (quite literally) to bring humor, a dazzling array of both slapstick and intelligent, to the masses. Could today's audiences still laugh at what simple jokes these two men brought to the screen? With a group of friends we put that theory to the ground, and surprisingly our level of entertainment combined with humor was not disappointed. After aging gracefully over eight decades, Laurel and Hardy continue to combine random, interesting scenarios with engaging, well-planned humor. Add to this the fact that "Habeas Corpus" was their first sound film; i.e. sound effects not speaking – yet continued to make our audience laugh hysterically. Their ability to take small gestures, and expand them into laugh-out-loud situations, using merely their facial expressions and their body language would put some modern comedians to shame. Yet, their style didn't seem dated. In one scene in "Habeas Corpus", our duo watches as a man puts his ashes from his cigarette into his pocket. Each time he does this, the camera pans to Laurel and Hardy, as they make these exclusive expressions of confusion. Through just their eyes, they are able to convey this level of humor which had our virgin Laurel and Hardy group in stitches.

For 20 minutes, this short film kept us entertained. The level of the humor, the fact that what they were doing seemed original for the time made us question what modern comedians are doing today. Laurel and Hardy are still present in today's group of comedians. See John Candy or Chris Farley within Hardy, or even Rowan Atkinson's work influenced from Laurel. These guys were at the top of their game in the late 20s and beyond, and what makes this impressive is that they have not fallen from their trade. "Habeas Corpus" is a prime example of this. Their first sound film, it pits the two as guys who need to dig up a body for a scientist for money. As they attempt to get the body, everything imaginable occurs. The body is second nature to actually getting to the grave site. Everything they do, from jumping up poles, to continually trying to get over a troublesome wall, to fighting Laurel's fears of turtles. Everything will make you laugh out loud, like it was 1928.

Overall, I loved this short. This reviewer could have watched another hour and half of Laurel and Hardy's shenanigans with this mad scientist, but twenty minutes was perfect. It left you wanting more and a strong desire to have multiple repeat viewings. It ended on such a high note that the laughter filled the room with a group of friends. This was a delight – a pure joy to experience. A modern day "Tom and Jerry" for a more intelligent and mature audience.

Grade: ***** out of *****


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