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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.

Director:

James Parrott

Writer:

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Caixa de Música See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

More than 85 years after this short was made, the filming location remains a popular tourist attraction. The site is marked with a marble plaque and a street sign that reads "Music Box Steps." See more »

Goofs

When Oliver Hardy first falls in the water fountain and when Stan Laurel falls down into the fountain from the second floor, water marks are clearly visible on the walls caused from splashes during previous takes. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

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 while the films plays in English with Spanish language subtitles. See more »

Connections

Remake of Hats Off (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Another fine mess....
28 October 2002 | by td550See all my reviews

Question: why oh why aren't Laurel and Hardy films shown on TV at sensible times any more here in the UK? When I was a lad, they were on at 6pm on BBC2 and I spent many happy evenings as a child laughing my head off at their comedy short films. Now, you're lucky to catch them on TV at all, and they always seem to be scheduled at some unearthly hour of the morning.

Anyway, scheduling rant over. If you're a Laurel and Hardy virgin, this is a great place to start. It won them an Oscar, and it's a hilarious piece of perfectly constructed comedy. They are bungling delivery men who have to deliver a piano to a house at the top of an enormous flight of steps. (The location does exist in real life, apparently, and it's one of my aims in life one day to visit those steps and walk up 'em!) Needless to say, the piano seems to spend more time sliding back down the steps than it does going up them.

It's almost certainly their best short, and is required viewing for anyone wanting to know why Laurel and Hardy are one of the greats of movie comedy.


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