The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (1930)

USA,
35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

An American comedy borderline horror film directed by James Parrott.

Plot Summary

Ollie reads in the newspaper that Ebeneezer Laurel, a relative of Stan's, has died and they decide to attend the . But old Ebeneezer was murdered by one of his money-hungry relatives and Stan and Ollie are among the suspects. Forced to stay in the creepy old house overnight, they are scared by and and become the next targets for the killer…

Credits

Crew
Directed by: James Parrott
Copyright MCMXXX [1930] in U.S.A. by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Hal Roach presents
Dialogue by: H.M. Walker
Photographed by: George Stevens
Edited by: Richard Currier
Recording Engineer: Elner Raguse

Cast
Stan Laurel (Stan
Oliver Hardy (Ollie
Frank Austin [butler – uncredited]
Stanley Blystone [detective – uncredited]
Bobby Burns [nervous relative at window – uncredited]
Jack Rube Clifford [detective – uncredited]
Rosa Gore [old relative – uncredited]
Dorothy Granger [young relative – uncredited]
Charlie Hall [uncredited]
Dell Henderson [housekeeper – uncredited]
Fred Kelsey [chief of detectives – uncredited]
Lon Poff [old relative – uncredited]
Art Rowlands [theatre-goer relative – uncredited]
Tiny Sandford [policeman – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

As Aventuras de Laurel e Hardy – Brazilian title
L'eredità – Italian title
Helan og Halvan i spøkelseshuset – Norwegian title
Midnats-Spøgeri – Danish title
Noche de Duendes – Spanish title
Noite de Paz – Brazilian title
The Rap – working title
Riemukkaat rämäpäät – Finnish title
Spuk un Mitternacht – German title
That's That – working title
Лорел и Харди: Дело об убийстве – Soviet Russian title

Production Notes

Pre-production
Shortly before filming began, Laurel had lost his one-week-old son Stanley Robert Jefferson to cot death.

Production
The film was originally set to end with the detective (Fred Kelsey) taking credit for solving the case from , signing off with the words “That's that!” but it was changed late in the day to conclude with the all-a-dream ending.

It was the first film in which Ollie is heard to tell Stan “Well, here's another fine mess you've gotten me into.”

The film was made four times with different supporting casts, one each in English, German, French and Spanish. The Spanish version survived but the German version was long thought to have been lost until a print was found in an archive in Moscow in the early 2000s. The French version remains lost.

Production took place in May 1930.

Post-production
Out-takes from the film (and Way Out West (1937)) were edited together in a gag reel by editor Bert Jordan as a present for Stan Laurel for which he used this film's working title, That's That.

Release
The film was released in the States on 6 September 1930.

Alternate language versions
Feu mon oncle (1930)
Noche de duendes (1930)
Spuk um Mitternacht (1931)

Remake
If a Body Meets a Body (1945)

References

Books

  • Laurel & Hardy text by John McCabe, compiled by Al Kilgore pp.150-152 – illustrated credits, note
  • The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia by Glenn Mitchell pp.167-168 – synopsis, review
  • The Pocket Essential: Laurel & Hardy by Brian J. Robb pp.71-73 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.253 – credits