Laurel and Hardy: Their Purple Moment
|German title||The Money Hungry|
|Original title||Their Purple Moment|
|Country of production||USA|
|Year of publication||1928|
|Directed by||James Parrott|
|Script||H. M. Walker|
|Edited by||Richard Currier|
Their Purple Moment (German title: Die Geldgierigen oder Ihre Sternstunde) is a 1928 U.S. silent short comedy film starring comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
Laurel and Hardy live the life of “pussy-whipped” husbands. Their wives are constantly taking all their cash and so they make a plan to set up a secret fund so that they can treat themselves to a nice gentlemen’s evening out.
The plan goes awry insofar as Laurel’s wife finds the hidden money and exchanges it for worthless coupons (which, of course, Laurel doesn’t notice at all on his part).
One evening, the two are chauffeured by taxi to the“Pink Pub” nightclub, where they instruct the driver to wait. Laurel feels his wallet when he sees a bouncer being thrown out of the bar: The wallet is bulging and so all seems well. So they take two bar girls to their table and have a good time. A well-known gossip observes the merry circle, recognizes Laurel and Hardy and immediately passes on her knowledge to the wives of the two.
Meanwhile, Laurel and Hardy indulge in gluttony, in which they generously share with their two short-lived companions. It occurs to Laurel during the performance of a Lilliputian dance group to donate sweets. When he goes to pay for them in cash, he realizes he has no money on him, but worthless coupons. He freezes, but has the presence of mind to have the purchase put on the bill.
Hardy, on the other hand, is still going strong, ignoring Laurel’s attempts to communicate the terrible realization and even inviting the cab driver to dinner when he arrives to finally get paid.
When it finally comes to paying, Laurel throws the wallet to Hardy, who looks inside and must now recognize the bad situation. So they put off the waiter and try to sneak away. The attempts to crawl under the table fail because someone keeps tripping over their legs.
Meanwhile, the angry wives have appeared at the bar. This adds to the pressure, as does the waiter’s impatience to finally get paid. Laurel and Hardy flee to the kitchen, where the final chaos unfolds.
A good comedy with some well-placed and imaginative gags, Their Purple Moment, while not one of their most memorable silent films,is still important as a precursor to many of their best films. Plot and gag elements from this short were borrowed and reshaped for Blotto, Below Zero, and especially SONS OF THE DESERT, one of their most fan-appreciated films.
A few notes on this: While Oliver Hardy plays himself, Stan plays “Mr. Pincher.” They hadn’t quite given up on the role names yet. Soon after this film, with few exceptions, they would spend the rest of their careers as “Stan Laurel” and “Oliver Hardy“. Neither Stan nor Babe regretted having their real names associated with such silly people. First, it was a kind of career insurance — no one else could use the names and characters (“He who uses your good name steals trash,” as Stan says inTit for Tat ). Second, and more importantly, the real Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy really liked their movie incarnations. “He’s really a nice guy,” Ollie would later say of his character.
Final note: Fay Holderness, who plays Stan’s wife here, made a memorable appearance a few years later as Ollie’s wife in Hog Wild, making her one of the few actresses to play the wives of both men.(Vivien Oakland was another)
John Larrabee, John V. Brennan
In German cinemas it was also used as a title: Dick und Doof im Sündenpfuhl.
In the original version of the film, its ending was different: Stan and Olli take refuge in the nightclub in the dressing room of the troupe of midgets, and the friendly dwarves help them by having Laurel and Hardy join them at the next show. They get into trouble, though, as they have no idea of the show’s schedule. Their wives watch, which leads to further uncertainty. The two take flight on their knees and flirt with a policeman on the street. In pursuit, the wives come into conflict with a fan that swirls up their dresses. Laurel and Hardy now flee on foot, but are caught up by their wives. On the road, they sink into a huge mud hole. Shot this way, this version was seen in the first preview, but didn’t catch on and was replaced with reshot footage.
Their Purple Moment was the duo’s first film, directed by James Parrot (a brother of Hal Roach star Charles Parrot, better known as Charlie Chase).
THEIR PURPLE MOMENT in Laurel and Hardy Central
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- John Larrabee, John V. Brennan in: Laurel and Hardy Central
- Their Purple Moment – Your finest hour.In: THE GERMANLAUREL & HARDY FORUM. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
- Their Purple Moment (1928).In: The Laureland Hardy Blog. 27 November 2018, accessed 13 March 2021 (English).