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Pardon Us (1931)

Approved | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 15 August 1931 (USA)
Two guys end up in prison after attempting to sell beer to a policeman during Prohibition.


James Parrott


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




Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy ... Oliver Hardy
June Marlowe ... Warden's Daughter
Wilfred Lucas ... Warden
James Finlayson ... Schoolteacher
Walter Long ... The Tiger
Tiny Sandford ... Shields - Prison Guard (as Stanley J. Sanford)


It's Prohibition, and the boys wind up behind bars after Stan sells some of their home-brew beer to a policeman. In prison, Stan's loose tooth "buzzes" when he talks and keeps getting him in trouble, because it sounds like he's giving everybody a rasp- berry. But it earns him the respect of The Tiger, a rough prisoner, and the boys manage to slip away during The Tiger's escape attempt. They disguise themselves in blackface and hide on a cotton plantation, but are recaptured when the warden happens by and here's Stan's buzzing tooth which causes to realize who the pair are. Back in the big house, they find themselves in a hail of bullets, caught between the state militia and gun-toting prisoners, when The Tiger tries another escape. Eventually the boys are pardoned by the senior warden, who erroneously believes that they intentionally warned the prison guards of the impending firestorm by firing the first shots. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their jail break is a riot! It will give you the time of your life. (Newspaper ad). See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama | Musical


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's first feature-length film. Producer Hal Roach had wanted to use some of the sets left over from MGM's big-budget prison picture The Big House (1930) to do a prison-movie spoof and MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer agreed on the condition that Laurel and Hardy do a picture for MGM in the future. Roach turned down the deal and hired set designer Frank Durlauf to build exact replicas of the necessary prison sets. See more »


The boom mic, the lighting and the cameras are reflected on the warden's car as Stan and Ollie are fixing it. See more »


Oliver: We're not going to the mess hall. We're not going to eat.
Prison Guard: You're not going to eat?
Stanley: No, we're on a hunger strike.
Oliver: Imfatically.
Prison Guard: What? You're going to pass up that nice, big roast turkey with chestnut dressing, and sweet potatoes Southern style, great big pans of hot biscuits, strawberry shortcake smothered in whipped cream, sprinkled with powdered sugar, with a nice, big maraschino cherry on the top of it. Course, followed by a nice, big slice of ice cold watermelon and a big, black cigar.
Stanley: Any nuts?
Prison Guard: ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

While originally released at 56 minutes (and only available in that version for decades), a special 65-minute version was released on laserdisc in the early 1980s. This version, running nine minutes longer, includes extra dialogue and musical numbers. See more »


Alternate-language version of Los presidiarios (1931) See more »


Lazy Moon
(1903) (uncredited)
Words and Music by Bob Cole and J. Rosamond Johnson
Performed by Oliver Hardy and the Hall Johnson Choir
See more »

User Reviews

Bronx Cheer in the Big House
4 August 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Laurel And Hardy made their first starring feature film for Hal Roach with Pardon Us. It's a prison picture, but this correctional facility will never be the same now that Stan and Ollie have served time there.

They were not very good as bootleggers selling some of their illegal stock to an undercover policeman and got sent to the big house. Where Stan makes an inexplicable friend in the toughest con in the joint Walter Long. Ollie is not so similarly fortunate, but Long tolerates him as long as he's with Stan.

Stan has an additional problem. A loose tooth has him make the noises of a Bronx Cheer at the most inopportune moment.

This film has a large black cast of extras because part of the plot involves the boys escaping and eluding their captors while in blackface pretending to be field hands. Unlike a lot of films the black people here are portrayed with dignity. The sequences show the singing talents of Ollie and Stan does a nice patter with a dance. Since the blackface is integral to the plot I've not heard any objections raised to it here.

It was a good beginning for Stan and Ollie in sound feature films.

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Official Sites:

Official Site




English | Italian

Release Date:

15 August 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rap See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (extended) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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