Brats

Brats (1930) starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

Laurel and Hardy‘s short film, Brats, has been often imitated, never duplicated, and extremely funny.  The basic premise is that Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are staying at home, watching their sons while their wives are out.  They also play the role of their sons, using, using over-sized furniture and split screen shots.  The film begins with the fathers playing checkers, where the dimwitted Stan is easily beating Ollie – a very funny scene.  The little boys seem to keep fighting, and interrupting the adults.  Whether it’s fighting over blocks, who’s going to be “it”, or breaking a vase, the little boys are constantly getting into trouble until their fathers send them into bed.

Brats - movie poster - starring Stan Laurel and Oliver HardyThe little boys continue fighting, with a very funny scene where little Stanley makes it to the bedroom first, and locks little Oliver out.  Oliver finally makes it in the room (after several eye pokes), where they continue fighting, until their fathers come in.  And after some sage advice from Stanley, the little boys get ready for bed – fighting over a nickel this time.  In the meantime, the adult Laurel and Hardy are playing pool – and a very funny slapstick game it is, too.€  It’s worth watching the movie just for the pool scene.

While the “adults” are fighting over the pool table, the young Laurel and Hardy are actually getting ready for bed.  Only for the children to see a mouse running on the floor, and they decide to capture it.  They fail, but in the process little Ollie gets hit in the posterior.  This leads to a funny scene in the bathroom where Stan tries to draw some bathwater, but neglects to turn the water off, which leads to trouble further in the picture.  Eventually, the fathers come upstairs to investigate the noise, and gives Oliver Hardy an opportunity to sing the boys to sleep.  Ollie had a beautiful voice, and almost succeeds in singing the boys to sleep – until Stan chimes in and his bad singing wakes the boys up!

The film ends with Ollie going into the bathroom to get the boys a glass of water – and the bathroom, filled with water, floods the bedroom in the final scene.  Brats is a very funny short film, and highly recommend – I rate it 5 clowns out of 5.

Trivia for Laurel and Hardy’s Brats

  • The framed photograph next to the clock on the mantelpiece is of Jean Harlow.
  • Only the second Laurel and Hardy film in which just Laurel and Hardy appear. The first was Early to Bed (1928).
  • The only Laurel and Hardy film in which they play fathers.

Funny quotes from Brats, starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

Ollie Sr. (Oliver Hardy): Will you brats keep quiet? How do you expect me to concentrate?


Stan Sr. (Stan Laurel): If you must make a noise, make it quietly.
Ollie Sr. (Oliver Hardy): Make a noise quietly. Hmph!


Ollie Sr. (Oliver Hardy): Boys will be boys.
Stan Sr. (Stan Laurel): Blood is thicker than water.
Ollie Sr. (Oliver Hardy): Blood’s thicker than water. Hmph!


Ollie Sr. (Oliver Hardy): That’s it. If you brats don’t be quiet you’ll have to go to bed.
Stan Sr. (Stan Laurel): Yes we’ll have to go to bed.
Ollie Sr. (Oliver Hardy): Not we, The kids.


Ollie Sr. (Oliver Hardy): If you brats don’t get to bed, I’ll break your necks!
Stan Sr. (Stan Laurel): Shh. Don’t talk to them like that. Treat them with kindness. You’ll get more out of them. Remember the old adage, you can lead a horse to water but a pencil must be lead.


Ollie Jr. (Oliver Hardy): [after being warned for the last time to be quiet] Let’s play hide and seek!
Stan Jr. (Stan Laurel): You’re it.
Ollie Jr. (Oliver Hardy): No, you’re it!
Stan Jr. (Stan Laurel): No, you’re it!
Ollie Jr. (Oliver Hardy): No, you’re it!
Stan Jr. (Stan Laurel): [crying loudly] I don’t want to be it! WAH![throws a tantrum]


Ollie Sr. (Oliver Hardy): [singing softly] Go to sleep, my ba-a-a-by, my ba-a-a-by, my ba …
Stan Sr. (Stan Laurel): [interrupting loudly] MY BA-A-ABY!
[kids wake up with a shocked start]