Them Thar Hills

Them Thar Hills starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall, Mae Busch

Them Thar Hills begins with Oliver Hardy suffering from a painful bout of gout, with his foot wrapped up like a mummy, and his doctor (played by Billy Gilbert) making a house call.  Diagnosing Oliver’s gout as a result of his high living, he prescribes a few weeks vacation in the mountain.  His friend, Stan Laurel, makes the suggestion of renting a camper rather that hauling camping equipment, and Oliver agrees.  He uses Stanley as a pack mule to move around, a comic sight in itself, which results in Oliver falling backwards into the bathtub.

Them Thar Hills, Bottom and Center from Left: Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, 1934 Giclee PrintOnce they get underway, things seem to be taking a turn for the better, as their drive up into the mountains is uneventful.  Unknown to them, however,a group of moonshiners (people brewing their own alcohol for sale without a license or paying taxes) are being pursued by the police, and dump their illegal alcohol into the well outside their cabin, only to be arrested and taken away regardless.  It goes without saying that this is where Laurel and Hardy park, and decide to stay, where they can enjoy the “clean” mountain water direct from the well.

A very funny scene follows as they try to fix lunch inside their trailer.  Oliver is humming a tune, which Stanley keeps interrupting with “pom-pom” – annoying Ollie, and building to a crescendo.  It’s a very funny scene to watch, because while they’re fighting over a simple tune, Stan is turning the simple task of making coffee into a catastrophe, and further irritating Oliver.

Them Thar Hills movie poster - Oliver Hardy riding piggy back style on Oliver HardyThem Thar Hills is a very funny Laurel and Hardy short film, and strongly recommended.  It was so successful that it inspired a sequel, Tit for Tat, again pitting Laurel and Hardy in a series of escalating exchanges with Charlie Hall.  I rate it 4 clowns out of 5.Shortly afterward, a couple (played by Charlie Hall and Mae Busch) come by, needing gasoline for their stranded automobile.  Stan and Ollie are happy to oblige, even though they are by now partly intoxicated by the well “water” – and Mrs. Hall decides to wait there while her husband walks the gasoline back to the car.  Upon his return, he sees all three of them drunk from the well water and jumps to the wrong conclusion about Stan and Ollie.

This leads into a very funny confrontation between Charlie Hall and Laurel and Hardy, with each side gradually increasing the retaliation, building to a very funny crescendo of destruction, ending with Charlie Hall being “tarred and feathered” and, in return, setting Oliver Hardy’s pants on fire – which Oliver tries, at Stanley’s  suggestion, to put out in the well water.  That water, however, contains a fair amount of alcohol, which is combustible, and shoots Oliver Hardy into the air like a human cannonball, ending up half-buried in the ground.

Funny movie quotes from Them Thar Hills starring Laurel and Hardy

The Doctor (Billie Gilbert): That’s the worst case of gout I ever saw.
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): What causes it?
The Doctor (Billie Gilbert): Too much high living.
Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): In that case, we’d better move down to the basement.


The Doctor (Billie Gilbert): Remember, you can’t burn the candle at both ends.
Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): We don’t burn candles, we’ve got an electric light.


Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): Why don’t we get one of those trailers to hook on the back of your car. That’s much better than sleeping in a tent. Wouldn’t have to worry about flies.
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): Can you take one of those things up into the mountains?
Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): Sure, right up in the high multitude. What do you think?
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): We can’t afford to buy one of those trailers.
Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): We don’t have to buy one, we could rent one. I know a fellow who’s got one for rent and I’ll bet we can get it for next to nothing. I’ll bet if we pay cash we can get it less than that. What do you think?


Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): Your bath’s ready.
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): You know I can’t take a bath with this foot. And besides, it isn’t Saturday.


Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): [They have arrived at a clearing up in the mountains] Isn’t this ideal?
Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): It sure is. One month up here and we wouldn’t know each other. We’ve got a well and water and lots of it and everything.
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): Go in and ask the folks if they mind if we park here.
[Stan goes up to the door, knocks on it, it opens and the building is empty]
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): Anyone home?
Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): Not now but there was a minute ago.
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): Who was it?
Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): It was me. You see I was knocking on the door and …
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): Nevermind the details. C’mon lets’s get some food, I’m famished. “I was knocking on the door.” Hmph!


Mrs. Hall (Mae Busch): I’m so hungry I could eat a horse’s neck.
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): Get up, Stanley, let the lady sit down, and fix us something to eat. Where are you going?
Stanley Laurel (Stan Laurel): I’m going to look for a horse.
Ollie Hardy (Oliver Hardy): Sit down!


Trivia for Them Thar Hills, starring Laurel and Hardy

  • Filming was moved from Santa Ynez Canyon to the Roach Studios lot when heavy fog put a stop to location filming.
  • The tune Hardy is humming in the trailer is “The Old Spinning Wheel.”