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The Music Box (1932)

Approved | | Comedy, Short | 16 April 1932 (USA)
Like the legendary Sisyphus, deliverymen Laurel and Hardy struggle to push a large crated piano up a seemingly insurmountable flight of stairs.


James Parrott


H.M. Walker (dialogue) (as H. M. Walker)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »




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


The Laurel & Hardy Moving Co. have a challenging job on their hands (and backs): hauling a player piano up a monumental flight of stairs to Prof. von Schwarzenhoffen's house. Their task is complicated by a sassy nursemaid and, unbeknownst to them, the impatient Prof. von Schwarzenhoffen himself. But the biggest problem is the force of gravity, which repeatedly pulls the piano back down to the bottom of the stairs. Finally, the irate Professor explodes in fury to discover the "mechanical blunderbuss" in his home, not knowing it was a surprise birthday present from his wife. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy decided to reorganize and resupervise their entire financial structure- so they took the $3.80 and went into business.


Comedy | Short


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Unlike the usual practice on most Laurel & Hardy pictures, this was not always shot in sequence, largely due to changing cloud conditions that made it necessary to wait for the right sun to match the lighting from one shot to the next. See more »


When Oliver Hardy (twice) and Stan Laurel fall into the pond, they emerge soaking wet, but in the following scenes they have completely dried out. See more »


[first lines]
Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen: [Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen is in the showroom listening to a player piano] Oh, I think it looks gorgeous, I'll take it!
Piano Salesman: I'm so glad you like it. As you can see, it's the latest model.
Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen: Can you deliver it right away?
Piano Salesman: Right away, madam.
Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen: You see, it's my husband's birthday, and I want to surprise him.
Piano Salesman: Oh, I understand. And the address, please?
Mrs. von Schwarzenhoffen: 1127 Walnut Avenue.
Piano Salesman: [the salesman writes down the address] 1127... Walnut Avenue.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy decided to re-organize and re-supervise their entire financial structure -

So they took the $ 3.80 and went into business - See more »

Alternate Versions

This is one of the few Laurel and Hardy sound shorts featuring the original MGM credits, although the opening lion is still absent from all of the available prints. Film Classics reissued this film in Argentina replacing the MGM credits with titles of their own in Spanish titling this film as "La caja de música". See more »


Spoofed in De Buik Vol (2010) See more »


(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(1860) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Performed offscreen on piano by Marvin Hatley
See more »

User Reviews

The modern Sisyphus
29 December 1999 | by LiedzeitSee all my reviews

Laurel and Hardy (or Dick und Doof as they were affectionately called in Germany) gave us many unforgettable films. As a rule the simpler the story the better. This short film is a master piece. There is not one scene in it that is not hilarious. And it is also quite deep when you think about. Even those of us who have never heard of Sisyphus will know the essence of the thing after watching this delightful little film.

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Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

16 April 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Music Box See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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