Scram! (1932) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Arthur Housman

Scram! begins with Laurel and Hardy in court, on a charge of vagrancy.  It’s a warm, funny bit with Oliver Hardy’s kissing up to the judge, and Stan Laurel inadvertently admitting their guilt.  Since the jail is full the judge kindly gives them one hour to get out of town.  On their way, in a downpour, the two encounter a drunken millionaire, played by Arthur Housman, who has dropped his car key down a grate

No good deed goes unpunished

Laurel and Hardy help him out, in a very funny extended scene, where they try to retrieve the key with an umbrella and a piece of bubble gum, only to wind up with Stan and the drunk in the grate, as a policeman walks by; the drunk keeps blowing a raspberry, resulting in Oliver being hit by the police officer’s nightstick.  Eventually, after Oliver falls into the grate as well, they all end up in the drunk’s car, who plans to reward them by taking them to spend the night at his house.

Stan Laurel turns something as simple as pouring water into a comedy moment
Stan Laurel turns something as simple as pouring water into a comedy moment

They drive to the house, and in another extended sequence, the boys try to sneak into the house, as the drunk has lost his house key as well.  It’s a very funny bit, with Stan and Ollie trying to break in through a window, while the drunk discovers that the front door was unlocked the entire time.  Once inside, the drunk empties a bottle of alcohol into a pitcher as he heads upstairs, directing Stan and Ollie to his bedroom, while he puts away the car.  After the boys have gone, the butler confronts the drunk, whom it appears has gone to the wrong house!  Stan and Ollie are blissfully unaware of this, however, and have helped themselves to the cigars and pajamas of the master of the house – €”who turns out to be the Judge who ordered them to Scram!


I Wanna Dance! a colorized scene from Scram! where Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel have gotten drunk on "water"
I Wanna Dance! a colorized scene from Scram! where Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel have gotten drunk on “water”

The only way the situation could get worse would be if they would inadvertently give the Judge’s wife the “water” that the drunk poured into the pitcher when she faints, getting her drunk – which is exactly what happens, setting the stage for when the Judge returns, with a wonderful ending, cutting between the terrified looks on Stan and Ollie, and the increasingly menacing look on the Judge’s face, as Stan turns out the lights and the audience can only hear what the Judge does to our hapless duo.

Scram! is a personal favorite of the Laurel and Hardy short films, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.  I rate it 5 clowns.

Funny movie quotes from Laurel and Hardy’s Scram!

Judge (Richard Cramer): Are you guilty or not guilty?
Oliver (Oliver Hardy): Not guilty, your highness.
Judge (Richard Cramer): On what grounds?
Stanley (Stan Laurel): We weren’t on the ground – we were sleeping on a park bench.

Judge (Richard Cramer): If the jail wasn’t full, I’d give you both 180 days, but since the jail is full, I’m going to give you just one hour.
Oliver (Oliver Hardy): Thank you, sir.
Judge (Richard Cramer): To get out of town! And never let me set eyes on you again! Case dismissed.
Stanley (Stan Laurel): Does that mean we can go back to sleeping on the park bench?

Judge (Richard Cramer): Scram! Or I’ll build a jail for you.

Oliver (Oliver Hardy): What’s the matter, neighbor?
Drunk (Arthur Housman): I los” the key to my car.
Stanley (Stan Laurel): Can you find it?
Drunk (Arthur Housman): No. Thas’ why I’m lookin’ …

Oliver (Oliver Hardy): Is anybody home?
Drunk (Arthur Housman): Not a soul, only the wife.

Drunk (Arthur Housman): Isn’t this my house?
Butler: No, it is not!
Drunk (Arthur Housman): Maybe I’d better go, then.
Butler: Maybe you’d better!

Oliver (Oliver Hardy): See what a little kindness will do? If we hadn’t stopped to help him, we wouldn’t be in a spot like this!

Mrs. Beaumont (Vivien Oakland): Is my husband wet, too?
Stanley (Stan Laurel): Wet? He’s soaked!

Songs performed in Scram!

  • Ku-Ku (1928) Music by Marvin Hatley, Played during the opening credits
  • My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean, Partially Sung a cappella by Arthur Housman

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