7.8/10
2,540
38 user 12 critic

Big Business (1929)

Ollie and Stanley are two Christmas Tree sales reps who get into one of their usual mutual destruction fights with a homeowner.

Directors:

James W. Horne (as J. Wesley Horne), Leo McCarey

Writer:

H.M. Walker (titles)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Stan
Oliver Hardy ... Ollie
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Storyline

Stan and Ollie are Christmas tree salesmen in California. Business is slow and a simple argument with one grumpy prospective customer (James Finlayson) escalates from a simple argument into full scale mutual destruction with Stan & Ollie destroying the customers house and garden, whilst Finlayson reduces their car to scrap metal, all under the disbelieving gaze of a police officer and an assembled crowd. Written by Steve Smith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a man who turned the other cheek-and got punched in the nose.

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Family

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Business See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1992. See more »

Quotes

[opening title board]
Narrator: The story of a man who turned the other cheek - and got punched in the nose.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the All Time Great Silent Comdies
28 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Big Business (1929)

**** (out of 4)

One of the greatest comedies ever made, this two reeler has Laurel and Hardy playing Christmas tree salesmen who are simply trying to make a sell. When one customer (James Finlayson) says no there's a misunderstanding, which turns into a flat out assault in terms of violence and laughs.

Laurel and Hardy made dozens of silent films but this here is perhaps their best and a strong argument could be made that it's the greatest film they ever made. The term madcap is something that was said about all sorts of silent comedies but this one here really goes back to the days of Mack Sennett and just tries to get a laugh no matter what. The set up is pretty simple as the boys have a car, which the man destroys and in return they destroy his house. It's really amazing at how simple the movie is yet it scores one terrific laugh after another. The scenes of the house being destroyed are just jaw-droppingly hilarious because you just never know what's going to come next.

Laurel, Hardy and Finlayson really deserve a lot of credit because their performances really sell the material. Especially in the early scenes where we can slowly see both sides losing their cool and that madness just keeps looming until it finally explodes. Certainly one of the best silent comedies you're going to see.


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