42 user 14 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.


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


H.M. Walker (titles)
1 win. See more awards »




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


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


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


Short | Comedy | Family


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Did You Know?


Finn's 'house' was close to Bannockburn Drive in Los Angeles. Finn was born in Larbert, Scotland 5 or 6 miles from Bannockburn. See more »


Ollie: Wouldn't you like to buy a Christmas tree?
First Customer: No thank you.
Ollie: Wouldn't your husband like to buy one?
First Customer: I have no husband.
Stan: If you had a husband would he buy one?
[Woman slams the door in Stan & Ollie's face]
Ollie: From now on I'll do the talking!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Director James Horne is listed in the credits as "J. Wesley Horne." See more »


Edited into When Comedy Was King (1960) See more »

User Reviews

Non-Stop Zany Laughs
17 July 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

With non-stop zany laughs, "Big Business" is one of the very best Laurel & Hardy short comedies. It's pure lowbrow, slapstick humor, but it's done with perfect pacing and timing, and it's impossible to watch it without laughing.

It builds up gradually, beginning with Stan and Ollie going door-to-door trying unsuccessfully to sell Christmas trees, and soon leading to a wild fracas with irritated homeowner James Finlayson. This 'tit-for tat' premise was later the basis for a couple of their best sound comedies, with Charlie Hall instead of Finlayson (Hall also has a bit part in this one), but the idea works even better in a silent film like this, since there is no need for dialogue that might slow down the madcap antics. Tiny Sandford also provides some funny moments as a policeman observing the battle.

This is slapstick at its best, and anyone who enjoys these old comedies should make this a must-see.

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Official Sites:

Official Site




None | 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


Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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