Nothing But Trouble (1945)

69-70 mins | Comedy | March 1945

Director:

Sam Taylor

Producer:

B. F. Zeidman

Cinematographer:

Charles Salerno Jr.

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, Harry McAfee

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Help Trouble and The Home Front . According to a HR news item, Sam Taylor was scheduled to both produce and direct the film, but bowed out as producer in Oct 1943. Nothing But Trouble was the second and last film that Laurel and Hardy made under their M-G-M contract. As with their first M-G-M effort, Air Raid Wardens (see above entry), it received mediocre notices from the critics. According to modern sources, gag writers Wilkie Mahoney, Harry Crane and Buster Keaton all worked on the film's script. Modern sources note that Robert Halff, who received an "original idea" credit in the SAB, was also assigned to the ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Help Trouble and The Home Front . According to a HR news item, Sam Taylor was scheduled to both produce and direct the film, but bowed out as producer in Oct 1943. Nothing But Trouble was the second and last film that Laurel and Hardy made under their M-G-M contract. As with their first M-G-M effort, Air Raid Wardens (see above entry), it received mediocre notices from the critics. According to modern sources, gag writers Wilkie Mahoney, Harry Crane and Buster Keaton all worked on the film's script. Modern sources note that Robert Halff, who received an "original idea" credit in the SAB, was also assigned to the screenplay. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Dec 1944.
---
Daily Variety
27 Nov 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Dec 44
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jul 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 44
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 44
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Nov 44
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Nov 44
p. 2186.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Dec 44
p. 2202.
New York Times
10 Mar 45
p. 14.
Variety
29 Nov 44
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Addl dial
Addl dial
Developed from an orig idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Assoc
COSTUMES
Cost supv
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
Unit mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Re-rec and eff mixer
Mus mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Matte paintings
Matte paintings cam
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame," words and music by John Shea and Michael Shea.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Help Trouble
The Home Front
Release Date:
March 1945
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 9 March 1945
Production Date:
mid June--mid July 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 November 1944
Copyright Number:
LP13016
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69-70
Length(in feet):
6,237
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10378
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

After ten years of self-imposed exile, incompetent cook Oliver Hardy and bumbling butler Stan Laurel, who hail from a long line of cooks and butlers, return to America to find work. Stan and Oliver quickly discover that, unlike the employment situation in 1932, jobs are now plentiful and servants are especially in demand due to the war. At Lorrison's Employment Agency, the men are immediately whisked away by wealthy society matron Elvira Hawkley, who needs a cook and a butler for a dinner party that evening. Meanwhile, the party's guest of honor, Christopher, the young, exiled king of Orlandia, confesses to his uncle and guardian Prince Saul that he would like to know more about "commoners." When Saul suggests to the delicate Christopher, who dreams of playing football at Notre Dame University, that he go out in disguise with his assistant, Ronetz, the young king agrees. Unknown to Christopher, Saul and Ronetz are planning to assassinate him and have instructed two men, Karel and Felken, to do the deed. While walking near a park, Ronetz finds an excuse to leave Christopher alone for a moment, but before Karel and Felken can ambush him, Christopher is lured away by the sounds of a neighborhood football game. After one of the players on the losing team drops out, Christopher asks to replace him, even though he has never actually played the game. Christopher is recruited, but the other team refuses to play without a referee, who has quit. Desperate for a chance to play, Christopher stops Stan and Oliver, who are passing by with groceries for Mrs. Hawkley's party, and begs them to fill ... +


After ten years of self-imposed exile, incompetent cook Oliver Hardy and bumbling butler Stan Laurel, who hail from a long line of cooks and butlers, return to America to find work. Stan and Oliver quickly discover that, unlike the employment situation in 1932, jobs are now plentiful and servants are especially in demand due to the war. At Lorrison's Employment Agency, the men are immediately whisked away by wealthy society matron Elvira Hawkley, who needs a cook and a butler for a dinner party that evening. Meanwhile, the party's guest of honor, Christopher, the young, exiled king of Orlandia, confesses to his uncle and guardian Prince Saul that he would like to know more about "commoners." When Saul suggests to the delicate Christopher, who dreams of playing football at Notre Dame University, that he go out in disguise with his assistant, Ronetz, the young king agrees. Unknown to Christopher, Saul and Ronetz are planning to assassinate him and have instructed two men, Karel and Felken, to do the deed. While walking near a park, Ronetz finds an excuse to leave Christopher alone for a moment, but before Karel and Felken can ambush him, Christopher is lured away by the sounds of a neighborhood football game. After one of the players on the losing team drops out, Christopher asks to replace him, even though he has never actually played the game. Christopher is recruited, but the other team refuses to play without a referee, who has quit. Desperate for a chance to play, Christopher stops Stan and Oliver, who are passing by with groceries for Mrs. Hawkley's party, and begs them to fill in as referees. Stan and Oliver agree but have trouble keeping out of the players' way. To his chagrin, Christopher fumbles the ball the first time it is handed to him, but with inadvertent help from Stan and Oliver, intercepts a pass and runs for the winning touchdown. After receiving thanks from an ecstatic Christopher, Stan and Oliver realize that they forgot to buy the dinner steak and have spent all their money and used all their ration coupons. Just then, however, they hear a lion roaring at the nearby zoo and see that it is being fed steak. Oliver insists that Stan steal a steak from the lion, but Stan is too terrified to get near its cage. Stan and Oliver argue about the situation, and while the lion is distracted by their bickering, Christopher grabs the steak. When the trio arrives at the Hawkleys, Christopher, who has no idea for whom Stan and Oliver are working, claims that his cruel uncle beats and starves him and finally convinces the two servants to let him stay the night. Christopher then tries to instruct Stan on proper serving etiquette, but Stan proves to be an inept student, so the king offers to hide under the dinner table and give him helpful foot signals. When Saul arrives, he tells Mrs. Hawkley that Christopher is ill and cannot attend. During the inedible, badly served meal, Ronetz shows up and informs Saul that Christopher has disappeared. After Saul makes a hasty exit, Mrs. Hawkley finds Christopher in the kitchen, and unaware of his identity, fires Stan and Oliver and throws them all out. The trio ends up at an all-night mission, where a tramp recognizes a newspaper photograph of Christopher and reports Stan and Oliver to the police. Stan and Oliver are arrested for kidnapping, but when Christopher demands that they be hired as his servants, Saul, seeing an opportunity to frame the bumblers for the king's assassination, drops all charges. While Stan and Oliver are preparing a banquet in honor of Christopher's political enemy, Prince Prentiloff, Ronetz slips some poison into a salad he believes will be given to Christopher. Stan and Oliver switch all the salad plates around, however, and Ronetz is unable to identify the poisoned salad. As a tense Saul and Ronetz argue about the mishap, Christopher overhears them discussing his assassination and rushes to tell Stan and Oliver. Just then, Saul confronts Christopher, Stan and Oliver and, drawing a gun, forces them to stand on the skyscraper's window ledge and prepare to jump. Unknown to Saul, some painters have stuck a board out of the window below, and Christopher jumps out without harming himself. By the time Stan and Oliver are ready to jump, however, the board has been removed. While stalling, Stan and Oliver accidentally slip off the ledge and are dangling desperately when Christopher arrives with the police. After Saul, who has inadvertently eaten the poison, is carried off, Christopher, Stan and Oliver sing a rousing rendition of the Notre Dame fight song with the police. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.