7.7/10
2,618
40 user 14 critic

Big Business (1929)

Ollie and Stanley are two Christmas Tree sales reps who get into one of their usual mutual destruction fights with a homeowner.

Directors:

James W. Horne (as J. Wesley Horne), Leo McCarey

Writer:

H.M. Walker (titles)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Stan
Oliver Hardy ... Ollie
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Storyline

Stan and Ollie are Christmas tree salesmen in California. Business is slow and a simple argument with one grumpy prospective customer (James Finlayson) escalates from a simple argument into full scale mutual destruction with Stan & Ollie destroying the customers house and garden, whilst Finlayson reduces their car to scrap metal, all under the disbelieving gaze of a police officer and an assembled crowd. Written by Steve Smith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a man who turned the other cheek-and got punched in the nose.

Genres:

Short | Comedy | Family

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Business See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent | Mono (musical score)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Another myth states that the reason the Boys are doing so badly is that the action is taking place in July. There is nothing at all on screen to support this and the fact that they are wearing heavy overcoats proves that it's winter. See more »

Quotes

Ollie: Wouldn't you like to buy a Christmas tree?
First Customer: No thank you.
Ollie: Wouldn't your husband like to buy one?
First Customer: I have no husband.
Stan: If you had a husband would he buy one?
[Woman slams the door in Stan & Ollie's face]
Ollie: From now on I'll do the talking!
See more »

Connections

Edited into Dance of the Cookoos (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Iconic Laurel & Hardy humor
29 March 2004 | by knsevySee all my reviews

*XMAS SPOILERS*

One of The Boys' funniest silent films, 'Big Business' contains their trademark Reciprocating Destruction theme. Irascible James Finlayson's temper and Stanley's oblivious ineptitude light the fuse to a battle that starts with a broken tree branch and ends with the total destruction of a Model T and the partial destruction of a Culver City bungalow.

It's a sheer delight to watch The Boys and Fin deliberately, and with malice aforethought, find new ways to inflict indignities upon each others' property. Fin cuts up the Christmas tree they were trying to sell, Stanley takes a pen knife and carves the wood off Fin's door frame. From there, we build to a crescendo of Stanley pulling up shrubs and hurling them through windows and Ollie methodically potholing the yard with a shovel, while Fin dances on the rubble that used to be The Boys' delivery truck. The neighbors gather on the sidewalk, unsure what to make of the melee; even the neighborhood cop is too stunned to step in and break it up.

This is a sport at which Laurel & Hardy excelled, and at which they can be seen again in the all-out wardrobe assault of 'Hats Off' and the freeway free-for-all of 'Two Tars', possibly their greatest Reciprocating Destruction movie.

This is a movie you should definitely buy.


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