Swiss Miss (film)

For other uses of the term, see Swiss Miss (disambiguation).
Swiss Miss
Directed by John G. Blystone
Produced by Hal Roach
Starring Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Walter Woolf King
Della Lind
Eric Blore
Adia Kuznetzoff
Charles Judels
Ludovico Tomarchio
Franz Hug
Jean de Briac
George Sorel
Charles Gemora
Cinematography Norbert Brodine
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • May 20, 1938 (1938-05-20)
Running time
73 min
Country United States
Language English

Swiss Miss, is a 1938 comedy film directed by John G. Blystone, produced by Hal Roach and starring Laurel and Hardy. It also features Walter Woolf King, Della Lind and Eric Blore in support.


Stan and Ollie are mousetrap salesmen hoping for better business in Switzerland, with Stan's theory that because there is more cheese in Switzerland, there should be more mice.

While visiting one village, they find the villagers unresponsive. On top of that, a cheese shop owner cons them out of their wares with a bogus banknote, and they are forced to work as dishwashers in a nearby hotel after ordering a slap-up meal they are unable to pay for. They also had antagonized and insulted the chef, who tells them that for each dish they break they work another day. A Viennese composer present at the hotel is disrupted by the presence of his wife - an opera singer who upstages him constantly; Ollie subsequently falls in love with her. Various mis-adventures ensue (including Laurel getting drunk on a St. Bernard's keg of brandy, a confrontation with a local street musician's gorilla on a perilously-perched rope bridge, while carting a small piano over it to an isolated cliff house so the composer can work there in peace). This struggle ends with the bridge breaking and the portable piano & gorilla plunging into the abyss.

The smashing of the piano obliges the composer to use the large organ near the staircase, until a replacement is delivered. Assigned to wash the stairs, the boys inadvertently dump soap water into the organ pipes and this causes the music to be accompanied by bubbles as the composer works on his latest piece. The boys have some fun with the 'musical' bubbles.

Also in love with the opera singer, the chef sees Hardy as a rival, especially after he was awakened by Stanley playing the tuba outside his window (the boys thinking that it was the singer's window) and Hardy singing to serenade her. The angry chef douses Hardy with a pitcher of water and then threatens the boys. The next day, the rivalry comes to a head with a wild chase. The boys overpower the hotel's burly chef and visit the singer, only to discover that she is indeed married to the composer. As they leave the hotel & village, they are then confronted by the vengeful gorilla (on crutches) who hurls his crutch at them before they depart, running.



Producer Hal Roach is said to have indulged in artistic interference during the film's editing, much to Stan Laurel's exasperation. Always a large creative force behind the camera, Laurel objected to Roach's removing scenes, including the addition of a bomb in the composer's piano, where the tapping of a particular key would set it off. A drunken Stan is seen touching the piano keys during the piano delivery sequence involving the gorilla; Laurel initially thought the inclusion of the bomb would give the scene more power. A musical number in the cheese shop was also removed; only a few lyrics remain in the film. (The bomb in the piano gag would later be used in a Bugs Bunny/Yosemite Sam cartoon Ballot Box Bunny.)

Charles Gemora, who plays the gorilla, had six years earlier appeared in the title role of a Laurel and Hardy theatrical short The Chimp.


    • Everson, William K. The Complete Films of Laurel and Hardy. New York: Citadel, 2000, (first edition 1967). ISBN 0-8065-0146-4.
    • Louvish, Simon. Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy. London: Faber & Faber, 2001. ISBN 0-571-21590-4.
    • McCabe, John. Babe: The Life of Oliver Hardy. London: Robson Books Ltd., 2004. ISBN 1-86105-781-4.
    • McCabe, John with Al Kilgore and Richard W. Bann. Laurel & Hardy. New York: Bonanza Books, 1983, first edition 1975, E.P. Dutton. ISBN 978-0-491-01745-9.
    • McGarry, Annie. Laurel & Hardy. London: Bison Group, 1992. ISBN 0-86124-776-0.
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