20 user 4 critic

One Good Turn (1931)

Passed | | Short, Comedy | 31 October 1931 (USA)
A kindly old widow serves a free meal to the penniless boys but her greedy landlord wants to evict her for non payment of her mortgage, prompting the boys to come to her rescue.


James W. Horne


H.M. Walker (dialogue)




Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Stan
Oliver Hardy ... Ollie
Mary Carr ... Old Lady
James Finlayson ... A Community Player


Stan and Ollie are down on their luck and beg at an old lady's house for food. While they are eating they overhear a villainous landlord (Finlayson) threatening to evict her if she does not pay the mortgage. Not realizing that they are hearing a rehearsal for a play, the boys decide to auction their car to help. In the confusion surrounding the auction, Stan finds himself in possession of a fat wallet and Ollie accuses him of stealing the old lady's money. When the truth is revealed, Stan exacts painful retribution. Written by Stephen Harrison <stephen@telos.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1930s | old lady | car | wallet | begging | See All (35) »


A High-Powered Laugh Potion (Print Ad-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,((Pittsburgh, Penna.)) 19 December 1931)


Short | Comedy


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The film states a copyright of 1933 (MCMXXXIII) on the actual print yet it was released in 1931 and edited into "Zwei Ritter ohne Furcht und Tadel" (1932). See more »


The opening titles claim Stan and Ollie's Model T Ford is a 1911, but it actually the 1921 model, which they've used in other shorts as their trademark car. See more »


[after their tent has gone up in flames]
Oliver: Well, our earthly possessions are slowly getting less and less.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is also a colorized version. See more »


Edited into Zwei Ritter ohne Furcht und Tadel (1932) See more »

User Reviews

Consistently funny short
23 July 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Laurel and Hardy are destitute – living by the river in a tent and their car. When Laurel manages to destroy most of their few remaining possessions they are forced to beg door to door for food. A misunderstanding with a kindly old lady leads the duo into a kind act that ultimately leads to a division between them.

This film has no one major strong scene that stuck in my mind, but it does have a consistently funny tale that made me laugh the whole way through. The plot starts with the usual `down on their luck' set up that works very well – Laurel playing with fire is well done. The actual plot device used to create the main story is a little contrived but it is played so well that it doesn't really matter.

All though the short there are lots of nice touches.- Hardy's looks are as good as ever. Some fans may feel that this is more low key than they expected due to the lack of a big sequence, but the smaller, consistent jokes work well to produce a short that lacks a major peak, but then manages to have no dips either.

The cast are good. The little old lady is a little clichéd and James Finlayson has little of value to do, but Laurel and Hardy are both good. Here Laurel keeps his usual character but he also adds a tougher edge. In other shorts he has tended to be one or the other (often being tougher in later films) but here he gets the mix right (apparently due to Laurel wanting to let his daughter see her dad stand up for himself onscreen). Hardy is as good as always.

Overall this lacks peaks but makes up for it by being consistently funny from the opening campfire sequence right through to logs a-flying!

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

31 October 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Retter in der Not See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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