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One Good Turn (1931)

Passed | | Short, Comedy | 31 October 1931 (USA)
Stan and Ollie are down on their luck and beg at an old lady's house for food. While they are eating they overhear a villainous landlord (Finlayson) threatening to evict her if she does not... See full summary »

Director:

James W. Horne

Writer:

H.M. Walker (dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Stan
Oliver Hardy ... Ollie
Mary Carr ... Old Lady
James Finlayson ... A Community Player
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Storyline

Stan and Ollie are down on their luck and beg at an old lady's house for food. While they are eating they overhear a villainous landlord (Finlayson) threatening to evict her if she does not pay the mortgage. Not realizing that they are hearing a rehearsal for a play, the boys decide to auction their car to help. In the confusion surrounding the auction, Stan finds himself in possession of a fat wallet and Ollie accuses him of stealing the old lady's money. When the truth is revealed, Stan exacts painful retribution. Written by Stephen Harrison <stephen@telos.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1930s | old lady | car | wallet | begging | See All (35) »

Taglines:

Seeing America: Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy have cast off all financial worries- Total assets: one Ford, model 1911, one tent, model 1861, One union suit, two shirts and three socks.

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening titles claim Stan and Ollie's Model T Ford is a 1911, but it actually the 1921 model, which they've used in other shorts as their trademark car. See more »

Quotes

Old lady: [Ollie shoves Stan through the door] What on earth is the matter?
Oliver: Madam, my one-time friend Mr. Laurel has a confession to make.
[Stan whimpers and squeals]
Old lady: Confession?
Oliver: Yes. He's the one who stole your money and left you at the mercy of that villain!
Old lady: There must be some mistake.
Oliver: There's no mistake. It's all too true. Why I caught him red handed.
Old lady: There hasn't been any money stolen. We were just rehearsing a play for the community players.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is also a colorized version. See more »

Connections

Edited into Zwei Ritter ohne Furcht und Tadel (1932) See more »

User Reviews

 
Gentle Laurel and Hardy
25 September 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were comedic geniuses, individually and together, and their partnership was deservedly iconic and one of the best there was. They left behind a large body of work, a vast majority of it being entertaining to classic comedy, at their best they were hilarious and their best efforts were great examples of how to do comedy without being juvenile or distasteful.

Although a vast majority of Laurel and Hardy's previous efforts ranged from above average to very good ('45 Minutes from Hollywood' being the only misfire and mainly worth seeing as a curiosity piece and for historical interest, and even that wasn't a complete mess), 'Two Tars' for me was their first truly classic one with close to flawless execution. Didn't find 'One Good Turn' as one of their best and a bit disappointing compared to their late 1928 and the best of their 1929 efforts, which were among their best and funniest early work. It is still very good and has much of what makes Laurel and Hardy's work as appealing as it is.

The story is slight, though more discernible than most Laurel and Hardy shorts at this point. and the first part takes a little bit too time to get going.

Did appreciate its more gentle approach and it was touching to see a sympathetic side to Laurel and Hardy.

When 'One Good Turn' does get going, which it does do quite quickly, it is great fun, not always hilarious but has enough amusing parts. It is never too silly, it doesn't lose its energy and the sly wit is here, some of the material may not be new but how it's executed actually doesn't feel too familiar and it doesn't get repetitive. The unexpected and wonderfully strange ending here is the highlight.

Laurel and Hardy are on top form here, both are well used, both have material worthy of them and they're equal rather than one being funnier than the other (before Laurel tended to be funnier and more interesting than Hardy, who tended to be underused). Their chemistry feels like a partnership here too, before 'Two Tars' you were yearning for more scenes with them together but in 'One Good Turn' and on the most part from 'Two Tars' onwards we are far from robbed of that. Their comic timing is impeccable, especially Laurel's though Hardy at the end is one of the pleasures here.

'One Good Turn' looks good visually, has energy and the direction gets the best out of the stars, is at ease with the material and doesn't let it get too busy or static. The supporting players are solid.

Overall, very good. Not essential or classic Laurel and Hardy, but a good representation of them. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Retter in der Not 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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