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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?


Note the sign on Laurel and Hardy's wagon says their company was "foundered" in 1931 (not "founded"). Floundered means a ship sinking (the ship foundered on the rocks), or a plan or undertaking that fails or breaks down. 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

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'U' rating. All cuts were waived in 1989 when the film was granted a 'U' certificate for home video. See more »


Featured in The 64th Annual Academy Awards (1992) 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

A Hilarious Comedy Classic
6 July 2001 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This is one of the great classics of comedy, with Laurel & Hardy at their very best. It has a wealth of good material, and also shows their ability to extract every possible laugh from a relatively simple situation. It also includes appearances by Billy Gilbert and Charlie Hall, two of their best supporting players.

Stan and Ollie are delivering an old-fashioned player piano (or music box) to a house at the top of a hill. They encounter one difficulty after another getting it up to the top, and when they do, their troubles are just beginning. They use the situation to set up a lot of creative gags, all delivered with excellent timing.

There isn't any description that could really do justice to this hilarious short film - if you enjoy classic comedy, you will want to see "The Music Box" for yourself, so that you can enjoy two masters of comedy at their best.

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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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