Swiss Miss (1938)

72-73 mins | Musical comedy | 20 May 1938

Director:

John Blystone

Cinematographers:

Art Lloyd, Norbert Brodine

Editor:

Bert Jordan

Production Designer:

Charles D. Hall

Production Companies:

Hal Roach Studios, Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Swiss Cheese. According to a HR news item and company records located at the USC Cinema-Television Library, Charles Igor Gorin, Inez Gorman, Helen Gleason, Ray Middleton and Illeana (who married Stan Laurel shortly after production began) were tested for "vocalist parts," but they do not appear in the completed picture. According to modern sources, actress Della Lind was given the choice of Middleton or Walter Woolf King as her co-star and she chose King. Lind, who was borrowed from M-G-M, made her American film debut in this picture. A FD news item noted that producer Hal Roach was negotiating for Lyda Roberti to join the cast, and that Patsy Kelly had been signed. Although neither of them appear in the completed picture, the participation of Greta Meyer, who was included in the cast by a HR news item, has not been confirmed. Actor Charles Gemora's surname is spelled Gamore in the onscreen credits. According to HR news items and company records, Roach filled in for director John Blystone while he was ill, and associate producer S. S. Van Keuren directed the additional scenes shot in Apr 1938. Modern sources assert that while Roach did contribute to the script, very little, if any, of the footage he directed was included in the completed picture. Company records also reveal the portions of the film were shot on location at Lake Arrowhead and Stone Canyon, CA. Dancer Mike Aransky is listed in the company records, but it is possible that this is a misspelling of dancer Michael ...

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The working title of this film was Swiss Cheese. According to a HR news item and company records located at the USC Cinema-Television Library, Charles Igor Gorin, Inez Gorman, Helen Gleason, Ray Middleton and Illeana (who married Stan Laurel shortly after production began) were tested for "vocalist parts," but they do not appear in the completed picture. According to modern sources, actress Della Lind was given the choice of Middleton or Walter Woolf King as her co-star and she chose King. Lind, who was borrowed from M-G-M, made her American film debut in this picture. A FD news item noted that producer Hal Roach was negotiating for Lyda Roberti to join the cast, and that Patsy Kelly had been signed. Although neither of them appear in the completed picture, the participation of Greta Meyer, who was included in the cast by a HR news item, has not been confirmed. Actor Charles Gemora's surname is spelled Gamore in the onscreen credits. According to HR news items and company records, Roach filled in for director John Blystone while he was ill, and associate producer S. S. Van Keuren directed the additional scenes shot in Apr 1938. Modern sources assert that while Roach did contribute to the script, very little, if any, of the footage he directed was included in the completed picture. Company records also reveal the portions of the film were shot on location at Lake Arrowhead and Stone Canyon, CA. Dancer Mike Aransky is listed in the company records, but it is possible that this is a misspelling of dancer Michael Arshasky's name. The film's pressbook notes that Franz Hug participated in the opening ceremony of the 1936 Olympic Games, during which he demonstrated the art of flag throwing. According to a 11 Aug 1939 HR news item, Isabella Knotter filed a lawsuit against Loew's, M-G-M and Roach in which she alleged that Swiss Miss and Way Out West (see entry) were plagiarized from her book So Zwei Pechvogel. The outcome of the case has not been ascertained.
       According to modern sources, Roach originally intended to make the film in color, but abandoned the idea because of the expense involved. Modern sources list LeRoy Shield, Nathaniel Shilkret and Marvin Hatley as additional composers of the incidental music, note that Jack Shaw worked on the special effects, and add the following actors to the cast: Sam Lufkin and Tex Driscoll (Bearded Swiss peasants); Bob O'Conor and Michael Mark (Astonished Swiss villagers); Val Raset (Dancer); Diane Lester Dorr, Cheryl Hopper, Jan Hopper, Raymond Rayhill Powell and Baldwin Cooke. For additional information about Laurel and Hardy's career together, please See Entry for Pardon Us.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19-Feb-38
---
Box Office
14-May-38
---
Daily Variety
4 May 1938
p. 3
Film Daily
20 Oct 1937
p. 10
Film Daily
17 Dec 1937
p. 12
Film Daily
10 May 1938
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 1937
p. 2, 3
Hollywood Reporter
2 Dec 1937
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 1937
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1937
p. 5
Hollywood Reporter
28 Dec 1937
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 1938
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 1938
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 1938
p. 9
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 1938
p. 33
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 1938
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
15 Feb 1938
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
19 Feb 1938
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 1938
p. 1
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 1938
p. 2
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 1939
p. 7
Motion Picture Daily
12 May 1938
p. 6
Motion Picture Herald
12 Feb 1938
p. 27
Motion Picture Herald
26 Feb 1938
pp. 16-17
Motion Picture Herald
7 May 1938
p. 39
New York Times
4 Jun 1938
p. 18
Variety
11 May 1938
p. 16
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Evelyn Eager
Charlie Teske
Diane Rochelle
Chet Brandenberg
Carlton Griffin
Marion Shelton
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
John G. Blystone
Dir
Fill-In dir
S. S. Van Keuren
Dir of addl scenes
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Barney Carr
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Pres
S. S. Van Keuren
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Photog
Asst to Roy Seawright
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
William H. Terhune
Supv ed Supv film ed
SET DECORATOR
W. L. Stevens
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
Musical arr
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
Musicians
SOUND
2nd sd
2nd sd
3rd sd
3rd sd
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
Miniatures
DANCE
Dances staged by
PRODUCTION MISC
Ellen Hansen
Scr clerk
Scr clerk
Casting dir
Location mgr
Trainer of Buck, the dog
Trainer of Dinah, the mule
Dog trainer
Dog trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
STAND INS
Stand-in and stunt double for Stan Laurel
Stand-in and stunt double for Oliver Hardy
Stand-in for Walter Woolf King
Stand-in for Eric Blore
Stand-in for Della Lind
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Cricket Song," "Yo-Ho-Dee-O-Lay-Hee," "I Can't Get Over the Alps" and "Gypsy Song," music by Phil Charig, lyrics by Arthur Quenzer; "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," music and lyrics by Beth Slater Whitson and Leo Friedman; and other songs.
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Swiss Cheese
Release Date:
20 May 1938
Production Date:
28 Dec 1937--26 Feb 1938; addl scenes 1 Apr and 21 Apr 1938
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Loew's Inc.
3 May 1938
LP8025
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
72-73
Length(in feet):
6,590
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4115
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Edward, the manager of opera composer Victor Albert, is preparing the Alpen Hotel for Victor's upcoming visit. As Edward rehearses the staff, Victor stops his car down the road from the hotel. After warning his driver Joseph that no one, especially his wife, prima donna Anna Hoefel, must know he is there, Victor continues his journey in a horse cart and is given a melodious welcome at the hotel. American mousetrap salesmen Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are also in town. They have come to Switzerland under the delusion that they will be able to sell more mousetraps where there is more cheese and therefore more mice, but they are having little luck. Blinded by thoughts of their encroaching poverty, the boys are easily swindled by Emil, a cheese factory owner, into selling him their entire stock for 5,000 Bovanian francs. It is not until after a large dinner at the Alpen Hotel that the boys find out the money is worthless, and thus begins their employment as the hotel's dishwashers. A few days later, Anna arrives, and Victor tells her that he is writing an opera about a Tyrolean peasant girl that will establish him as a great composer, as his talent has been ignored in favor of her singing. She wants to sing the lead in his new opera, but he believes that she could never play a simple girl whom a peasant could love. Anna sits pouting in the lobby when she meets Stan and Ollie, who tell her their story of being forced to work in the hotel, and she uses the same technique to stay on ...

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Edward, the manager of opera composer Victor Albert, is preparing the Alpen Hotel for Victor's upcoming visit. As Edward rehearses the staff, Victor stops his car down the road from the hotel. After warning his driver Joseph that no one, especially his wife, prima donna Anna Hoefel, must know he is there, Victor continues his journey in a horse cart and is given a melodious welcome at the hotel. American mousetrap salesmen Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are also in town. They have come to Switzerland under the delusion that they will be able to sell more mousetraps where there is more cheese and therefore more mice, but they are having little luck. Blinded by thoughts of their encroaching poverty, the boys are easily swindled by Emil, a cheese factory owner, into selling him their entire stock for 5,000 Bovanian francs. It is not until after a large dinner at the Alpen Hotel that the boys find out the money is worthless, and thus begins their employment as the hotel's dishwashers. A few days later, Anna arrives, and Victor tells her that he is writing an opera about a Tyrolean peasant girl that will establish him as a great composer, as his talent has been ignored in favor of her singing. She wants to sing the lead in his new opera, but he believes that she could never play a simple girl whom a peasant could love. Anna sits pouting in the lobby when she meets Stan and Ollie, who tell her their story of being forced to work in the hotel, and she uses the same technique to stay on as a chambermaid. Later, Stan and Ollie are plucking chickens outside when Stan sees a St. Bernard dog with a barrel of brandy. Ollie explains to him that the brandy is only for emergencies, but Stan uses the chicken feathers to trick the dog into thinking that he is buried in snow, and a triumphant Stan is soon drunk. Meanwhile, Victor is distracted by Anna's presence and commands Edward to find him a quiet work place. Edward arranges for Victor to work in a remote treehouse, accessible only by a bridge suspended over a deep ravine. When Stan and Ollie arrive at Victor's room to move his piano, Anna makes a point of showing Victor that they adore her. The boys manage to push the piano up the mountain to the bridge, but while trying to cross it, they are chased by a gorilla. The bridge breaks, and while Stan and Ollie save themselves, the piano and gorilla tumble down. Back at the hotel, Anna flirts with Chef Franzelhuber and then Ollie to make Victor jealous. That night, the boys serenade Anna, and Ollie asks her to attend the Alpen Fest with him the next day. After telling them that she has a plan for the festival, she retires, and Franzelhuber, awakened by the racket, warns them that Anna is his and that there will be dire consequences if they do not leave immediately. The next morning, Stan, Ollie and Anna arrive at the Alpen Fest disguised as gypsies, with Anna intent on wooing Victor with her singing. Victor recognizes her and asks Edward to bring her up to his room. Stan and Ollie wait outside Victor's room while she goes inside, but the chef appears and they lead him on a merry chase. When they return to Victor's room and force their way in, they discover that the happily reunited couple are husband and wife. Disheartened, Stan and Ollie leave the hotel, and as they are walking away, the bandaged gorilla chases them, throwing his crutch at them.

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

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