20 user 3 critic

Habeas Corpus (1928)

Passed | | Short, Comedy | 1 December 1928 (USA)
Loony scientist (Carle) hires Laurel and Hardy to raid the cemetery to keep him supplied with dead bodies for his experiments.


Leo McCarey, H.M. Walker (titles)




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


The esteemed and slightly eccentric scientist, Professor Padilla, is one crucial ingredient short to finally prove his theory--and much to his delight--Stan and Ollie are willing to lend a hand. Five hundred dollars in cash are theirs if the boys pay a visit to the local cemetery and bring Padilla back a fresh body to complete his bold experiment. Of course, nothing is what it seems in the shadowy realm of a horrible graveyard--and as the reluctant body snatchers struggle to fulfil their mission--strange sounds and blood-curdling encounters threaten to put an end to Stan and Ollie's assignment. Just how difficult is it to steal a dead man's body? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1920s | 20s | butter | front door | pair | See All (68) »


Short | Comedy


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 »


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


Stan: Don't you think the Professor is a trifle cuckoo?
Ollie: He is as sound mentally as you or I.
See more »


Spoofed in De Buik Vol (2010) See more »

User Reviews

Habeas Corpus is a pretty funny scare comedy from Laurel & Hardy
4 August 2011 | by tavmSee all my reviews

When I first read about this Laurel & Hardy comedy in Randy Skretvedt's book "Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies", it revealed that it was the first to have music and sound effects on disc, courtesy of the Victor Talking Machine Company. Skretvedt also mentioned that that disc was lost though according to this site, it's now been found. Maybe that music and sound effects I heard on the Hulu print as linked from IMDb were indeed from that disc. If that was it, then it was a pretty good choice to use for this film especially when what would become the theme for "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" was used. Okay, Stan & Ollie happen to stop at a house in which the owner there (Richard Carle) offers $500 if they dig up a dead body for him. They accept though Stan gets scared when he seems to have to do all the work. I'll stop there and just say this was quite a funny scare comedy though the unfilmed or deleted scenes Skretvedt mentions in his book might have made it even more funny. Certainly the sound effects contribute mightily to the atmosphere though I did notice some spots when they weren't used that could've used them. Besides Carle-who has an amusing bit concerning his pocket and what he feeds into it-there's also Charley Rogers as a butler/detective that adds immensely to the fun. So on that note, Habeas Corpus is another worthy L & H comedy.

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Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

1 December 1928 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nattliga äventyr 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 sound effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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