Cast & Crew
James W. Horne
In a Scottish village, a small group of people have gathered for the reading of wealthy Angus Ian McLaurel's will. While Angus' lawyer, Mr. Miggs, is reading the will, on the other side of town, Angus' American grandson, Stanley McLaurel, arrives with his friend Oliver Hardy. McLaurel's granddaughter Lorna is designated the main heir, with the stipulation that she go to India to stay with Colonel Gregor McGregor, a soldier who is to be the estate trustee and her guardian until she turns twenty-one. Lorna is distraught at having to leave her sweetheart, Alan Douglas, who is Miggs's assistant, but she is comforted by Lady Violet Ormsby, McGregor's sister. When Stan and Ollie arrive at the house, they discover that they broke out of jail and traveled to Scotland only to receive a snuffbox and bagpipes. The penniless pair leave, and after Ollie falls into a stream while trying to show Stan how to use snuff, they return to their inn. Later that night, Stan burns Ollie's pants as he is drying them, while Lady Ormsby and Lorna set off for India. Stan and Ollie are thrown out of the inn after three weeks of not paying the bill, and in their search for clothes, they inadvertantly join the army. Three months later, Alan, upon hearing that the boys will be transferred to India, joins the army and goes with them so that he can find Lorna.
In India, Lorna has been misled by the fortune-hunting Lady Ormsby into thinking Alan no longer cares for her, and so she is being courted by McGregor. After their arrival, Stan and Ollie have a trick played upon them by the veteran soldiers, while Alan overhears the announcement of Lorna's engagement to McGregor. After discovering that Alan is at the fort, Lorna meets him that night and is heartbroken when he castigates her for never writing to him. The next day, Millie, Lady Ormsby's dismissed maid, gives Lorna Alan's letters, which Lady Ormsby had intercepted. Lorna rushes off to find Alan, but he is on a dangerous mission to impersonate McGregor and his officers at a meeting with Khan Mir Jutra, a native rebel who intends to ambush the fort while the officers are absent. Stan and Ollie have also gone along under the impression that they are attending a luncheon. While Jutra entertains the impersonators, he learns that his rebels are attacking the fort, and, assuming victory, he attempts to make his captives commit suicide. He finds out, however, that the real McGregor was prepared for the attack and captured all the rebels. Stan and Ollie accidentally engineer their escape and run into bee hives in the courtyard. They throw the hives at the natives, who run away at the approach of McGregor's troops, who are in turn covered in bees themselves as Stan and Ollie run toward them.
James W. Horne
Lal Chand Mehra
Major Sam Harris
James P. Burtis
Carlos J. De Valdez
The plot has the boys stowing away to Scotland aboard a cattle boat so Stan, the American black sheep of a Scottish clan, may collect an inheritance from his grandfather, the late Angus MacLaurel. To the pair's disappointment, said inheritance turns out to be nothing more than a snuff box and a set of bagpipes. After wandering into a recruiting line, the guys are forced to join the Scottish Army and are shipped off to India. Despite the movie's title, much of the story takes place there, as the boys try to adjust to military life and eventually help a fellow soldier (William Janney) put down an Arab uprising.
A separate storyline, which is never resolved, involves Janney's love affair with a pretty girl (June Lang) from the MacLaurel clan and her family's efforts to keep the lovers apart and secure the family fortune. Some observers have complained that there seem to be two separate movies at work, with a busy plot intruding upon the hilarious comic routines.
Bonnie Scotland, made five years before Laurel and Hardy's break with Roach, finds them at the peak of their form. As usual, they stick to their well-known character types, with Stan the uncomprehending innocent and Ollie the pompous one who suffers all manner of abuse.
A comic highlight comes early in the film when the boys try to cook a fish in their Scottish hotel room and practically burn down their lodgings. Two other classic moments: Stan goes out of step during a marching scene, convincing the rest of his regiment to break stride and keep pace with him; and the kilt-clad boys, to the annoyance of their sergeant (James Finlayson), perform an impromptu dance to the tune of "A Hundred Pipers."
For the Scottish scenes, the production utilized sets from The Little Minister (1934). Bonnie Scotland was later reissued theatrically as Heroes of the Regiment, and was distributed to television in four separate, abridged versions, each running approximately 20 minutes.
Producer: Hal Roach
Director: James W. Horne
Screenplay: Frank Butler and Jefferson Moffitt, with uncredited assistance from Stan Laurel, Albert Austin, Wilson Collison, James W. Horne and Charley Rogers
Cinematography: Art Lloyd, Walter Lundin (uncredited)
Art Direction: Carroll Clark, Van Nest Polglase (both uncredited)
Original Music: Marvin Hatley, Leroy Shield (both uncredited)
Editing: Bert Jordan
Cast: Stan Laurel (Stanley MacLaurel), Oliver Hardy (Oliver Hardy), June Lang (Lorna MacLaurel), William Janney (Allan Douglas), Anne Grey (Lady Violet Ormsby), Vernon Steele (Col. Gregor McGregor), James Finlayson (Sergeant Major).
by Roger Fristoe
We would like for you to give us a room and a bath.- Ollie
I can give you the room, but you'll have to take the bath yourself.- Mrs Bickerdike
The sets from Little Minister, The (1934) were used for the Scottish scenes.
The working titles of this film were Kilts, Laurel and Hardy of India and McLaurel and McHardy, and it was re-issued as Heroes of the Regiment. Production on the picture was originally scheduled to begin in late February or early Mar, but was pre-empted by a contract dispute between Stan Laurel and Hal Roach. A March 16, 1935 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Laurel had left the Roach Studios, and a March 23, 1935 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Roach claimed Laurel had left of his own accord due to "story objections" concerning McLaurel and McHardy (as it was called at the time). The news item also reported that Laurel maintained that he "was fired without his contractual sixty days notice, on pretext of insubordination, but that the real difficulty was his failure to agree with the studio on terms of renewing his contract." Contemporary sources noted that Roach intended to star Oliver Hardy with Patsy Kelly and Spanky McFarland in a series of shorts called "The Hardy Family." The first of the series, Their Night Out, was to be directed by James Horne. On April 5, 1935, Hollywood Reporter announced that Roach and Laurel had signed a new contract, which resulted in the abandonment of "The Hardy Family" shorts. Pre-production planning on McLaurel and McHardy resumed, and a Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Horne and Laurel were working with Charles Rogers and Albert Austin on the script. Although many modern sources credit Laurel with working on the comedy team's screenplays, the contribution of Rogers and Austin to the completed film has not been confirmed. Hollywood Reporter news items reported that William Janney replaced Barry Norton in the role of Alan Douglas, and that the Scottish scenes were filmed on the set built in Laurel Canyon, CA by RKO for their 1934 film The Little Minister. Hollywood Reporter production charts include Gilbert Emery and Monte Blue in the cast, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. According to the Call Bureau Cast Service, the Scottish soldiers were played by members of the American Legion, and the Scottish pipers were under the care of John Sutherland. According to a July 23, 1935 Hollywood Reporter news item, after the film had its preview, the studio decided to "re-shoot about 1,000 feet of the picture, in an effort to eliminate some of the plot, which interfered with the Laurel and Hardy comedy."
Although other contemporary sources list the picture's running time as 80 or 82 min., the Variety review commented: "Preview was 90 minutes on the Coast, and by best eastern daylight saving time, at theater caught, it clocks 70." A number of the reviews noted that Bonnie Scotland was a spoof of Paramount's 1935 picture The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, which also employed Col. W. E. Wynn as a technical advisor. Modern sources state that Wilson Collison contributed to the script and that Roy Seawright drew the cartoon bees in the ending sequence. Modern sources complete the character identifications for Claude King (General Fletcher), Carlos J. de Valdez (Hindu) and Clive Morgan (English officer), and include the following actors in the cast: Jack Hill (Hotel lobby extra/Newly drafted soldier/Native henchman); Sam Lufkin, Leo Willis Charlie Hall and Bob O'Conor (Native henchmen); Bobby Dunn (Native henchman/Man handing out flyers for the Twiddle Tweed Co.); Marvin Hatley (Soldier with accordian); Anthony Francis, Raizada Devinder and Nath Bali (Hindus); William Moore, Arthur Rowlands, Frances Morris and Mary McLaren. For additional information about Laurel and Hardy's career together, please for Pardon Us.