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Below Zero (1930)

Approved | | Short, Comedy | 26 April 1930 (USA)
In the dead of winter, street musicians Stanley and Oliver aren't getting much business in a run-down neighborhood, and then their instruments are smashed in a run-in with a formidable ... See full summary »

Director:

James Parrott

Writer:

H.M. Walker (dialogue) (as H. M. Walker)
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Cast

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

In the dead of winter, street musicians Stanley and Oliver aren't getting much business in a run-down neighborhood, and then their instruments are smashed in a run-in with a formidable woman. Their luck seems to turn when they find a wallet full of money, but are about to lose it to a thief when a passing policeman chases the thug off. The boys treat the officer to a meal, but when Stanley pulls out the wallet to pay, the cop recognizes it as his own. Rather than running them in as pickpockets, he pays his own tab and leaves Stanley and Oliver at the mercy of the gruff headwaiter. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The freezing winter of '29 will long be remembered- Mr. Hardy's nose was so blue, Mr. Laurel shot it for a jay-bird.

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 April 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Below Zero See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (A Victor Recording) (Western Electric Sound System) (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though Frank Holliday, the police officer in this film, appears to be in his thirties, he was just about to turn 18 when the film was finished. See more »

Goofs

When the two take off running with the wallet, Hardy has it. After they crash into the cop, Laurel suddenly has it. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The freezing winter of '29 will long be remembered-

-Mr. Hardy's nose was so blue, Mr. Laurel shot it for a jay-bird- See more »

Alternate Versions

A colorized version exists. See more »

Connections

Alternate-language version of Tiembla y Titubea (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Good Old Summertime
(1902) (uncredited)
Music by George Evans
Lyrics by Ren Shields
Sung by Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel, with Hardy on bass violin and Laurel on piano
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"About how much money do you boys average a street?" "I would say about fifty cents a street." "Here's a dollar - move down a couple of streets."
26 January 2003 | by The_Movie_CatSee all my reviews

While not their funniest film, Below Zero is perhaps one of Laurel and Hardy's most artistic. The victims of depression in a snowstorm, there's even a touch of Chaplin in certain elements. The short is still heavily indebted to the silent era, and all the better for it, inspiring greater pathos. The first, and most successful, half of the film contains less than twenty lines in over ten minutes of running time.

Stan's completely gormless expression while playing the organ had me in stitches, as did the inanity of the music. His morbid fascination with the unfortunate and deformed sees them playing in front of a deaf and dumb institute and ending with his belly swollen and distended. In one of their most blatant displays of toilet humour, he also apparently mimes needing to go to the lavatory as the climax. Freudians would even have a field day with Ollie's phallic weapon, while there's also time for a joke about a blind man in there as well.

The second half sees them find a wallet in the street, and treat a helpful policeman to a slap-up meal with the proceeds. Despite this being one of the Laurel and Hardy movies with the most integrity, make no mistake: it is also highly amusing. There's even touches of surrealism with Stan's multi-pocketed wallet, and, while scant, some clever wordplay. Recommended.


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