3. Duck Soup (1927)

Now this is more like what we expect from a film starring Laurel & Hardy! Ignoring the vagrant costumes for a moment, Duck Soup is the first time we have the boys working together as a team and from all appearances their on screen characters are pretty much fully formed220px-L&H_Duck_Soup_1927 in this film. Okay, so there’s still quite a lot missing, such as Ollie’s bowler hat,  little moustache and his tie twiddling and Stan’s trademark head scratching and crying – etc, etc, but you have to look at this film and think – that’s it! The studio had realised what quality they had on their hands after the first two attempts and had started to sculpt it into cinematic and comedic gold.

The story was based on a sketch entitled ‘Home From the Honeymoon’ written many years before by Stan’s father, Arthur J. Jefferson and the film reportedly sticks pretty close to it. I can’t even begin to guess as to what relation the title ‘Duck Soup‘ has to the plot, but the boys would revisit and effectively re-make the film in 1930, released under the title ‘Another Fine Mess’.

To watch Duck Soup CLICK HERE

This is enjoyable stuff to watch, as well as very interesting from a historical point of view in the boys character development. Some decent laughs here and Stan’s performance in drag as Agnes the maid is great (although its better in the sound short Another Fine Mess, as the ability for Stan to play with dialogue adds a lot more depth to his characterisation).

So, you’d be forgiven for thinking every film from here on in would build on the blocks of Duck Soup and the team as we know it would start to gain some traction….but sadly that wasn’t the case. There was still a further five films of playing random separate parts before Stan and Ollie got the chance to be a team once more, but after that there was no going back.

What are your thoughts on Duck Soup? Please feel free to share your comments below


11 thoughts on “3. Duck Soup (1927)

  1. I really enjoyed it. Although it’s far from the finished product, there are enough of their trademark mannerisms there to make this a thoroughly enjoyable L&H short. Not forgetting of course that James Finlayson made a much better Col. Buckshot!


  2. Hi Séimí, glad you enjoyed it. I agree it is enjoyable. As you say, there are lots of familiar trademarks on display here and because of that many people do consider Duck Soup to be the first true L&H film. (And yes, Finn is a fantastic Colonel Buckshot!) Thanks for sharing your thought Séimí, great to have you with us.


  3. I enjoy this movie. It’s a bit rough around the edges, but at least it shows us that Laurel & Hardy had magic as Stan and Ollie from the get-go. Heaven only knows why they briefly went back to the pattern of appearing in the same movie but not as Stan and Ollie.


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