Flying Elephants

Flying Elephants

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Frank Butler
Produced by Hal Roach
Written by Hal Roach
H.M. Walker (titles)
Starring Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Jimmy Finlayson
Edna Marion
Dorothy Coburn
Viola Richard
Fay Lanphier
Budd Fine
Tiny Sandford
Leo Willis
Distributed by

Pathé Exchange

DIC Entertainment (1990)
Release dates
  • February 12, 1928 (1928-02-12)
Running time
17 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English (Original intertitles)

Flying Elephants is a two-reel silent film from 1928 directed by Frank Butler and produced by Hal Roach. It stars Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as a pair of battling cavemen.


The film takes place in the Stone Age, where the King of the cave people declares that all the males between 13 and 99 years of age must find a female mate or face banishment. Hardy starts looking for a wife and in the scene it says "anyones will do" but is constantly clubbed on the head by the annoyed "husbands" Eventually Hardy finds an available girl but doesn't realize that Laurel, with whom he has become friends, is already intending to marry this girl.

As both Laurel and Hardy pursue the same girl, this eventually leads to several contests to win the affections of the young bride-to-be. In the end, Laurel leads Hardy to to the top of a mountain with the intention of pushing his rival to his death. His plan ends up failing, until an angry goat rams Hardy over the cliff, allowing Laurel to go claim the girl. [1]

Production and distribution

Although released in February 1928, Flying Elephants was actually filmed back in May 1927, before the duo were established as the world-famous comedy team. As a result, the film lacks the Laurel and Hardy trademarks and consists mostly of solo performances by the two comedians. [2]

Taking place entirely outdoors, the rocky desert locations were photographed in Moapa, Nevada. Some of these locations would later be used in 1940 for Hal Roach's more serious prehistoric film One Million B.C..[1][3]

The somewhat irrelevant title refers to a quick scene where Oliver Hardy's character points out three animated pachyderms flying up above in the sky. This animated sequence may be the work of Walter Lantz of future Woody Woodpecker fame or possibly Roy Seawright, who was head of the Hal Roach animation department.[4]



  1. 1 2 Everson, William K. (2000). The Complete Films of Laurel and Hardy. Citadel. p. 47. ISBN 978-0806501468.
  2. Potts, Mark & Sheppard, Dave (2001). What was the Film When? The Movies of Laurel & Hardy . Quayside Creative Ltd. ISBN 978-0-9555318-3-5, pp 41-42.
  3. Okuda, Ted and James L. Neibaur (2012). Stan Without Ollie: The Stan Laurel Solo Films, 1917-1927. McFarland. p. 206. ISBN 978-0786447817.
  4. Mitchell-Waite, Antony and Joanne Mitchell-Waite (2013). Laurel & Hardy's Animated Antics A-Z 3rd Edition. p. 107. ISBN 978-1291619256.

External links

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