Oliver the Eighth [Laurel and Hardy]

Oliver the Eighth (1934) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Mae Busch

Synopsis of Oliver the Eighth

In Oliver the Eighth, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are working as barbers.  Ollie responds to a newspaper ad and leaves to wed a wealthy widow.  Stan tags along later, upset since Oliver beat him to it! Mae Busch plays the diabolical widow, who has killed her first seven husbands, all named Oliver …

Oliver the Eighth is a funny Laurel and Hardy short film, with a disappointing ending.  It has Stan and Ollie working as barbers, when Stanley reads a personal ad in the newspaper. It’s from a wealthy widow, looking for a husband. Stan writes a reply to her ad. Despite being skeptical at first, so does Oliver. And when Oliver goes to mail them … he doesn’t mail Stan’s, to have less competition.

The audience sees the widow (Mae Busch) receiving Oliver’s letter. She monologues to the audience that her life was ruined by her first husband, named Oliver. And now she’s going to get revenge on all men named Oliver … By killing them! And she’s making preparations, with the aid of her insane butler (Jack Barty), for her next husband … Oliver the Eighth!

Oliver receives an answer from the widow … marriage! And so, Ollie leaves Stan and the barber shop behind, and goes to her mansion. This is where he gets his first clue that something’s not quite right… The butler begins shuffling a non-existent deck of cards! And then, Stan shows up … And he wants his fair share of what Ollie’s going to get!

Final thoughts

I truly enjoyed the comedy in Oliver the Eighth. It was funny and fast-paced, and both Mae Busch and Jack Barty shined as the insane people planning to murder Oliver. But the ending spoiled it for me. It took all of the emotional investment out for me.

Be sure to check out the verbal comedy in the funny movie quotes from Oliver the Eighth.

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