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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?


A special police squad was on duty at the Vendome Street staircase over the course of the four-day location shoot to keep more than 3,500 onlookers and fans from interfering with the production. During their lunch breaks, Laurel & Hardy reportedly signed about 2,000 autographs. See more »


The piano's control-lever is in its right-hand position when the Prof first hits the piano with the ax, and thus the unit is apparently already turned on, and so it should have been still playing; it would not have been silent and then suddenly resumed playing when the Prof hit it with the ax. 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

Film Classics reissued this film in Argentina in the late forties, replacing the original MGM credits with titles of their own. Unlike the available prints from them it was shown in Argentina with all credits in Spanish whilst the film plays in English with Spanish language subtitles. See more »


Spoofed in De Buik Vol (2010) See more »


The Star-Spangled Banner
(1814) (uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
Performed offscreen on piano by Marvin Hatley
See more »

User Reviews

What Is The Meaning Of This? A Beacon Of Light.
19 October 2005 | by SpondonmanSee all my reviews

The Music Box was the first programme on TV that I saw my daughter really laugh at, aged 14 months in 1981, when the piano dragged Ollie at speed down the steps yet again. Probably also the first thing I laughed at too and at the moment the last in the latest of hundreds of times! Well, Laurel & Hardy shaped my and millions of others' senses of humour so I like to think hers was as well. Kids today who get the chance to see this and who can't get past the pre-digital black & white images to the gold that lies within are not only missing a treat but are probably also making an crucial life-choice too. All of the human condition is contained herein, therefore making it essential viewing also for extra-terrestrials!

They have to deliver a piano to an address - all kinds of catastrophes follow thick and fast. The gags are so perfectly written and executed, and are as utterly relentless as Stan & Ollie's drive to deliver the piano come Hell or pond-water. High-class slapstick disasters follow each other every minute of the 27 (un-remastered version), usually happening to Ollie - although Billy Gilbert's cosy little love-nest was looking a little dishevelled by the climax! The steps have been a Los Angeles tourist attraction for many years now, maybe the most fitting monument to L & H that there could be - if you like this little film that is!

All in all and probably predictably my favourite L & H outing, notwithstanding the similar brilliance of Sons Of The Desert, County Hospital, Thicker than Water, Busybodies, Below Zero etc etc etc.

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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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