27 user 7 critic

Helpmates (1932)

Approved | | Short, Comedy | 23 January 1932 (USA)
After a messy house party, while his wife is away, Oliver asks Stanley to help him clean up the place but free help isn't always a bargain.


James Parrott


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




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


Oliver's house is in a shambles after a wild party, and his wife is due home at noon. He calls Stanley to help him fix the place up, and the typical catastrophies ensue. Somehow, however, Stanley manages to complete the job by the time Oliver leaves to pick up his wife at the train station. As a finishing touch, Stan decides to start a nice fire in the fireplace, using a can of gasoline to hurry the process along. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1930s | party | gasoline | fire | rain | See All (38) »


When the cats are away, the mice start looking up telephone numbers


Short | Comedy


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


At one point Stan Laurel gives out a phone number, and it was his own personal number at the time. See more »


Several seconds before Stan blows soot in Ollie's face you can see Ollie shut his eyes in anticipation. See more »


Ollie: Do you realise that this is the only suit that I've got left? It's enough to make a man burst out crying.
Stan: [Stan starts to cry] Well, I couldn't help it. I was doing the best I could...
Ollie: Shut up and get this mess cleaned up! Do you know that my wife will be home at noon?
Stan: Say, what do you think I am? Cinderella? If I had any sense I'd walk out on you.
Ollie: Well it's a good thing you haven't any sense!
Stan: It certainly is!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: When the cat's away - The mice start looking up telephone numbers - See more »

Alternate Versions

Scenes deleted in the 1986 colorized version were: Ollie and Stan talking on the phone about Stan not coming to the party because a dog bit him and he might have "hydrophosphates"; at the beginning of the feature, we pan around the room at the mess, and in the colorized verison, just stills of the mess are shown. See more »


Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: John Landis (2018) See more »


The Moon and You
(1930) (uncredited)
Written by Leroy Shield
Played often as background music
See more »

User Reviews

Cleanin' Up The House With Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy
3 May 2000 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

Stan & Ollie are HELPMATES, always ready to assist the other out of a jam. So, with his house a wreck after a wild party and his shrew-of-a-wife returning from her Chicago trip in a few hours, Ollie asks Stan to help him clean-up. Perhaps that wasn't the wisest choice...

A funny little film, with lots of slapstick humor. Once again, one can't help wondering how Ollie could take so many bonks on the head without it damaging him.

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Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

23 January 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Helpmates See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)| Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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