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Busy Bodies (1933)

Approved | | Short, Comedy | 7 October 1933 (USA)
Stan and Ollie do battle with inanimate objects, their co-workers, and the laws of physics during a routine work day at the sawmill.


Lloyd French




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


It's a typical day at the woodshop for Stanley and Oliver, getting jammed in windows, puncturing water pipes, getting stuck to glue brushes, having tiffs with their co-workers, and finally getting their car cut in half in a giant band-saw. Written by Paul Penna <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Comedy


Approved | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


The final gag has Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy accidentally driving their Model T through an industrial band saw; the blade passes between them and cuts their vehicle in half. Laurel & Hardy biographer Charles Barr claimed the comedians were nearly killed filming this scene, but Roach Studios special-effects director Roy Seawright asserted that Stan and Ollie were never in danger. "That gag was a collaboration between Fred Knoth's mechanical department and my photographic department," Seawright said. "It was done with a traveling matte, a traveling split-screen. We had one half go through first, and then we introduced the other half. So, ultimately, it was accomplished on an optical printer." See more »


As the Boys go into their work area Ollie walks into a plank that's being carried then they both walk into one. In the back ground there's a pile of timber which in the long shot, when the Boys are on their feet, it's just a jumble but when they're sitting down it's a tidy pile. See more »


Ollie: Would you mind opening the window?
[watching in disgust as Stan goes and opens the shop window behind him]
Ollie: Not THAT window - THIS window!
[seeing Stan pull out a large sheet of heavy paper and study it carefully]
Ollie: What are you doing?
Stan: Well, I was looking at the blueprint to try to figure out how to open the window.
Ollie: Why, that's a blueprint of the BOULDER DAM!
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Alternate Versions

Also available in computer colorized version. See more »


Edited into Dance of the Cookoos (1982) See more »


(1928) (uncredited
Written by Marvin Hatley
Played during the opening credits
See more »

User Reviews

It's about as good a Laurel and Hardy short as you'll find
29 July 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

It's amazing how many times Laurel and Hardy's best comedy short involve rather mundane scripts where the action is mostly confined to one setting. Instead of feeling claustrophobic, films such as this one and BIG BUSINESS are wonderful throughout and brilliant in their simplicity.

Stan and Ollie are on their way to work and they talk about how much they love their new job as carpenters. It seems they are working at some sort of combination lumber yard and carpentry shop--which is really hard to imagine as this job would take both talent and brains--something the boys are sorely lacking! At first, the predicaments they get into are pretty mundane--such as Ollie getting his hands stuck in a window frame or getting a paint brush glued to his chin. However, as the film continues, the outlandish gags get bigger and crazier and the film ends with several of the most memorable stunts I have ever seen. However, so as not to spoil the film, I think it's best just to let you see it yourself.

See this film. It's highly original (even though Stan and Ollie did several shorts where they are fixing or building things, this one is certainly unique) and amusing throughout--a truly standout film.

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Official Sites:

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Release Date:

7 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Busy Bodies See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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