Laurel & Hardy in THEIR PURPLE MOMENT (1928) – Another nice mess # 2,122


(WARNING: Major spoilers abound!)

The premise of this film is that Laurel & Hardy hide a lot from their wives, and their wives know all the secrets. Again, not one of their more feminist-oriented movies.

Stan thinks he is able to stash a few bucks out of his paycheck and hide it in a supposed “family photo,” but of course his wife knows all and replaces the money with cigar coupons. Stan and Ollie go out to wine and dine on the supposed stash and are hoisted by their own petard. (A similar premise, of course, later propelled their talkie Blotto.)

As this sort of thing was repeated in countless sitcoms generations hence, some of the nicest moments come from Stan and Ollie’s reactions when they realize they’re in over their head. After that comes a slapstick finale that has practically nothing to do with what went before it. Stan and Ollie’s wives have come to catch them in a lie, and Stan and Ollie’s erstwhile dates await them with a shotgun and a knife. And what happens at the end? Stan and Ollie throw pies and soup at each other when Ollie tries to accuse Stan of dragging him “into this den of vice.” So what? If all I had to endure to get out of sure death was a pie in the face, I’d take it in an instant, too.