22 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?


James Finlayson plays a character named James Finlayson (in a parody of melodramatic films). See more »


Stan chases Ollie into a garage. His hands are empty. He tells Ollie to come out and Ollie refuses. Suddenly, Stan is holding an axe in his hand. See more »


[first lines]
Oliver: What are you doing back there?
Stanley: I was tasting the soup.
Oliver: Well, stay away from that soup. Do something to help me!
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is also a colorized version. See more »


Referenced in M*A*S*H: Yankee Doodle Doctor (1972) See more »

User Reviews

Only about average until the spectacular and weird ending
13 October 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

For the first 90% of this Laurel and Hardy short, there wasn't a whole lot to distinguish it from any other. In fact, the plot seemed a bit "schmaltzy" (i.e., sappy), as Stan and Ollie try to help out an old lady who they mistakenly think is about to be evicted by an evil landlord. Instead of the usual Laurel and Hardy hi-jinx, the film tends to be a nicer and gentler side to the boys--thus, to me, it's a tad dull! That is, dull until the very end of the film! At this point, in a HUGE contrast to the usual relationship between Stan and Ollie, Stan has had enough and proceeds to chase Ollie about trying to beat the stuffing out of him!! And, in the process, they destroy much of the nice old lady's home! The scene is a lot of fun to watch and quite spectacular, so the film is definitely worth seeing. Just don't expect it to be among their better films--at least until the end.

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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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