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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:

The Music Box 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

Musician Marvin Hatley was just off camera playing the piano to simulate the automatic player piano sounds in the scene where the boys are cleaning up the house and dancing. When Billy Gilbert begins smashing the piano with an axe, Hatley played along off screen, matching the axe hits. See more »

Goofs

When Oliver Hardy dives to the ground as the crate flies over him, the wires pulling it are visible. 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

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 »

Connections

Featured in The 64th Annual Academy Awards (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
The Best of the Best of the Best
2 January 2001 | by Sonatine97See all my reviews

L&H are without doubt the best comedy double act of all time regardless of media format. Its amazing that their best movies are now 70 years old and yet remain timeless in their humour and inventiveness.

I've had the pleasure of seeing most of their movies - shorts & full format - and all of them have their own individual quirky qualities that other comedians still can't fathom.

The Music Box won them a well-deserved Oscar and although it is an excellently choreographed movie I personally don't think its their very best.

However, my opinion doesn't matter because any L&H fan will regard this movie as their favourite. The story is so simple yet so inventive and full of kinetic & emotive energy.

Stan & Ollie have to deliver a Piano to a highly strung guy who can't stand pianos. But just to make life a little interesting the guy's home just happens to be perched on a hill with the longest flight of steps in history to whit S&O have to push & pull their awkward delivery.

Some of the gags we've seen many times before but it doesn't matter because the added sparkle derives from the human emotions & expressions delivered with such panache from Stan & the long suffering Ollie - the way he looks-to-camera in a pleading kind of way just drives me wild with laughter & sympathy.

I can't find a single fault with this movie short, except that it just flies by so quickly. How I wish today's contemporary comedy writers could spend a few hours in a dark room watching how the masters of comedy produce such wonderful scripts. It proves that there is no need to have cheap & vulgar language, innuendo & explicit violence to make any audience, young or old, laugh with mirth.

The Golden Age of comedy is dead, long live the Golden Age; long live Laurel & Hardy!!!

*****/*****


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