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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.

Director:

James Parrott

Writer:

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

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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Stan this was previewed at about 3 and 1/2 reel length with the intention of cutting it down to 2 reels but it was such a success that it was decided to add more footage and release it as a feature. The original short title was The Rap which was changed to Pardon Us. Stan always thought that the extra footage was a mistake and shouldn't have been done. See more »

Goofs

During the breakout, Ollie winds up with a Tommy gun - even though he was under suspicion by the "Tiger" and shouldn't have even been close to a weapon. If you look at the gun, it has a telescopic sight on it, something a sub machine gun would have never had, owing to the high rate of fire and the propensity of the weapon to "climb" whilst being fired. See more »

Quotes

Stanley: [they are wearing blackface] Oliver, er, Sambo!
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Alternate Versions

A DVD release features an "extended version" running 70 minutes. This version adds a sequence during the prison riot in which Stan and Ollie rescue a woman from a burning building and the clutches of "The Tiger." This sequence had been used in foreign release versions but not in the U.S. version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Living Famously: Laurel & Hardy (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Plot and structure wise it is light but it produces plenty of memorable and hilarious scenes
23 October 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Laurel and Hardy are shopping for ingredients for their next get rich scheme – making and selling liquor during prohibition. Of course when Laurel sells a bottle of beer to a policeman, there is only ever going to be one outcome and the two finds themselves on the way to the big house. Locked up with a mean spirited collection of fellas, Stan and Oliver take their chance to escape and find themselves wanted men on the run.

Having just watched the very structured "Our Relations" it was noticeable when I stepped back into the much looser Pardon Us. The basic plot is no more than a nail on which to hang a series of comic scenarios and, as such, it works because it is pretty funny for the majority. The story is pretty weak but it does allow for a solid spoof of jail clichés as well as a pretty un-PC but funny scene where the boys try to pass themselves off as cotton pickers. Despite not having this flow to it, the film does have a couple of good stand out scenes that will please everyone with their typical silliness and mix of looks and double-takes.

Laurel and Hardy are both on form and are served to their strengths well. Finlayson is wonderful in a great classroom scene and he got the biggest laughs from me with a master class in slow burns and double takes. Long is enjoyably tough as The Tiger while Lucas is a good warden. The support cast are roundly good even if they are mainly there to carry the scenes rather than the comedy. The musical numbers are obvious but still good – with Hardy getting a good chance to show off his baritone talents.

Overall a thinly plotted affair but one that delivers quite a few memorable and hilarious scenes, connected with generally amusing moments.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

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

Runtime:

| (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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