The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case

The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case
Directed by James Parrott
Produced by Hal Roach
Written by H.M. Walker
Starring Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Music by Marvin Hatley
Nathaniel Shilkret
Cinematography Walter Lundin
George Stevens
Edited by Richard C. Currier
Release dates
  • September 6, 1930 (1930-09-06)
Running time
30' 18" (English)
49' 09" (Spanish)
Country United States
Language English

The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case is a Laurel and Hardy comedy film released in 1930. It is one of a handful of three-reel comedies they made, running 28 minutes. It was directed by James Parrott, produced by Hal Roach and distributed by MGM.


Laurel and Hardy are seated at a dockside where Stan is fishing. Ollie sees a notice in a newspaper which says one Ebeneezer Laurel has died and left a large estate. Parties interested in the estate should go to the Laurel mansion for the reading of the will. Stan can't remember if Ebeneezer is a relative or not but they decide to go to the mansion anyway. They arrive during a thunderstorm and discover that Ebeneezer had been murdered and that the police had placed the notice in the newspaper to draw all of the relatives together to find out who committed the crime.

Stan and Ollie are shown to a bedroom to sleep overnight, which is the room in which Ebeneezer was murdered. They hear a strange noise and in the darkness see a pair of eyes which turns out to be a cat. They then hear a scream and decide to investigate.

Meanwhile the butler is calling all of the relatives to a study telling them they have a phone call. After lifting the handset of the phone a trapdoor opens into which each relative disappears. Stan and Ollie return to their bedroom and get into the bed but a bat has flown into their room and is under their covers, which causes them to panic and run downstairs.

All of the other relatives have now disappeared and the butler calls Stan and Ollie to take a telephone call in the study. Oliver takes the call and falls through the trapdoor and the murderer (a man dressed in drag) appears through a secret door with a knife. A fight ensues but then Stan and Ollie both wake up from a dream, fighting over Stan's fishing line at the dockside.

This first episode for the 1930-31 season had orchestral music scoring in places and no background music in others. Leroy Shield tunes by now were featured in Hal Roach's Our Gang, and were tried in a few previous Laurel and Hardy Films. These tunes would be featured from this time on, beginning with their next episode Another Fine Mess.


Cultural significance

This is the first film where Oliver says "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into". The phrase is commonly misquoted as "Here's another fine mess you've gotten me into" and has passed into everyday language usage. The phrase means to blame another person for causing both people an avoidable problem.

Influences and title


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