Movie Summaries

Radio Shows




Dr. Macro's
Movie Scans

Privacy Statement Visitor Agreement

Laurel & Hardy





MGM, 1930.  Directed by James Parrott.  Camera:  George Stevens.  With Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall.

Laurel & Hardy are street musicians, whose rendering of "In The Good Old Summertime" on accordion and bassoon during a snowstorm wins them neither friends nor monetary reward.  Frustration follows frustration, until finally their instruments are kicked into the street and, on cue, demolished by a passing truck.  Cold and hungry, they have the good fortune to find a wallet in the street, and rush into a nearby eatery.  Ordering a sumptuous meal, and anxious to share their good fortune, they invite the local policeman to join them as their guest.  Graciously he acquiesces—but when the bill is presented, it develops that the wallet they have found is his.  Attempting to escape his wrath, Hardy hides in a trash can, and is collected by the garbage truck; Laurel hides in a rain-barrel, from which he emerges, grotesquely bloated, having drunk all the water.

A curious, bizarre, almost surrealist comedy, Below Zero is methodically paced (without being slow) and almost without dialogue until the closing sequence in the restaurant, where Hardy orders the most succulent of dishes and engages in bantering small talk with the cop.  The early exchanges with non-music-lovers in the street (one of them is an elderly lady who smashes a milk bottle on Hardy's head, and destroys his accordion) are likewise largely silent.  Yet it is a situational rather than a sight-gag comedy, one of their oddest, and if not one of their funniest, then certainly one of their cleverest.

The Films of Laurel and Hardy
by William K. Everson
The Citadel Press, 1967

Additional photos courtesy of Gary