WRONG AGAIN (1929) – Laurel & Hardy bet on the wrong horse


According to director Leo McCarey, Wrong Again was inspired when McCarey was at a visit to his dentist’s office and saw a copy of the famous Blue Boy painting while sitting in the dentist’s chair. All dental procedures should be so inspiring.

Stan and Ollie are stable boys for a horse named Blue Boy. They overhear that a $5,000 reward is being offered for the return of Blue Boy to its wealthy owner. Guess which art-illiterate men try to return a horse to a mansion.

This inspires a wealth of endless gags, from the simple eloquence of Ollie’s explanation that rich people think in a manner “just the opposite” of “normal” folks (like Stan and Ollie), to the elaborate shenanigans that ensue when The Boys are instructed to put Blue Boy on top of the rich man’s piano. In all of the noted L&H biographies, little noted is Oliver Hardy’s Herculean physical output in the name of comedy here; at one point, he literally bears the weight of a horse, a piano, and Stan on his back. In a movie made nowadays we’d scoff and say it’s all done with computer imagery; back then, moviegoers must have been astounded when they weren’t laughing themselves silly.