Cast & Crew
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are pressured into enlisting in the Army during World War I, and after they fail miserably at marching, their exasperated drill sergeant assigns them to KP duty. One day, they are told by a sarcastic cook, Pierre, to take the garbage to the general, and so they unload the cans in the general's parlor while he breakfasts in the next room. The furious general yells at the confused soldiers, and in the ensuing commotion, all three are covered with garbage. While Stan and Ollie languish in jail, their buddy, Eddie Smith, is visited by his beautiful baby daughter, but the woman with her brings Eddie the news that his wife Nan has left him. Eddie wants to send the motherless baby to his parents but cannot, for they quarreled when Eddie married. At Stan and Ollie's cell, the boys are menaced by Pierre, who vows revenge for their having implicated him in the garbage fiasco. Later, Stan, Ollie and Eddie are at the front, and when Eddie gets captured by the Germans, Stan and Ollie are sent to rescue him. Although the boys do not succeed in finding Eddie, they do capture a platoon of Germans. Eddie never returns from the battlefield, and his baby is left in the care of work-worn Annie and her cruel husband Jack. The baby is about to receive a beating from Jack when Stan and Ollie arrive to claim her, and the boys escape with her. They do not know where her grandparents live, and because there are many Smiths in town, Stan and Ollie's search proves to be a long one. They mistakenly wind up at one house where a wedding is taking place with a groom named Eddie Smith. It is not until after the wedding is called off and the groom has almost been killed by his father that the boys's faux pas is discovered. After this escapade, Stan and Ollie use the telephone to contact all the Smiths in town, and then buy a lunch wagon to generate income while the search continues. The still disgruntled Jack alerts a welfare official about the boys taking the baby, and vows to have her put in an orphanage that night. In a panic, Stan and Ollie go to a bank to refinance the wagon and get enough money to leave the state. After misunderstanding a bank official, who knocks himself out while laughing at their request, they walk out with a wad of cash. They are then chased by the welfare official and the police, and are taken to the bank president's home to be identified. While searching the boys's pockets for the money, the police find a photo of them with Eddie. It turns out that the bank president is Alfred E. Smith, Eddie's father, and so Stan and Ollie are freed when they hand over the baby to the delighted Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Mr. Smith invites them to dinner, but his chef, who is none other than Pierre, becomes enraged by the inconvenience and argues with him. When Pierre recognizes Stan and Ollie, he chases them out of the house.
E. H. Calvert
Pack Up your Troubles - Pack Up Your Troubles
Pardon Us (1931) was the duo's first feature but it had originally been planned as a short subject. Pack Up Your Troubles was their first movie designed to be a feature-length comedy and everyone realized this one would have to contain more than a string of gags. While developing the story, the writers borrowed and combined elements from two Charles Chaplin movies, Shoulder Arms (1918) with its World War I setting and The Kid (1921) that mixed comedy and pathos pairing a comedian with a child. Stan and Ollie enlist during World War I and with their usual luck and competence end up on KP duty. An Army buddy of theirs is killed in battle and, after the conflict, Laurel and Hardy return home to care for his daughter and bring the orphan to her grandparents. The only problem is that Eddie Smith, the friend's name, was very common, leaving the pair to invade one home after another looking for the proper Smith.
Stan Laurel's daughter, Lois, was originally cast to play the orphan girl but by the time shooting began in May 1932, she was considered too old for the role and Jacquie Lynn, later to star in the Our Gang comedies, was substituted. The battle scenes were shot outside Hollywood using a World War I vintage tank that Hal Roach Studios got on loan from the 160th Tank Corps of Salinas, California.
One scene shot for the movie was only seen in the premiere print. The orphan girl is seen living with a stepfather played by Rychard Cramer who cruelly beats his wife and the child, a scene unpleasant enough to kill the lighthearted comedy of the rest of the movie. Despite being cut, the footage survived and was edited back into the film in 1994.
Pack Up Your Troubles also features several actors that would become famous later. The Welfare Association officer that seeks to take the child away from Laurel and Hardy is Charles Middleton, later "Ming the Merciless" in the Flash Gordon series. The wedding Stan and Ollie interrupt in their search for the correct Eddie Smith has Grady Sutton, later to play "Og Oggilby" to W. C. Fields' The Bank Dick (1940) as the groom while Billy Gilbert, best known as the process server in His Girl Friday (1940) plays his best man. Sharp-eyed viewers should scan the wedding party for a glimpse of 22-year old Paulette Goddard as a bridesmaid. Also making an unscheduled appearance in the film is the director, George Marshall, as the Army cook who has it in for Laurel and Hardy. Marshall, one of the most prolific movie directors in history, proved his ability to quickly solve problems by stepping into the role after the actor originally cast failed to show up.
Pack Up Your Troubles was enough of a success to be remade later with Abbott and Costello as Buck Privates Come Home (1947). But for Laurel and Hardy, who at the time were best known for their comedy shorts, Pack Up Your Troubles launched their feature film career.
Directors: George Marshall, Raymond McCarey
Dialogue writer: H.M. Walker
Producer: Hal Roach
Cinematographer: Art Lloyd
Editor: Richard Currier
Music: William Axt, Marvin Hatley, Leroy Shield
Cast: Stan Laurel (Stanley), Oliver Hardy (Oliver), Donald Dillaway (Eddie Smith), Jacquie Lynn (Eddie's baby), George Marshall (Pierre, The Cook), James Finlayson (General).
by Brian Cady
Pack Up your Troubles - Pack Up Your Troubles
Although an Film Daily news item stated that actress Paulette Goddard would be making her "initial screen appearance" in this film, modern sources note that she had played bit roles in earlier films. Modern sources also note that Anita Louise did not appear in the completed film, although Film Daily and New York Times news items reported that she had been borrowed from RKO for "the leading feminine role." Modern sources add the following information about the production: director George Marshall played "Pierre," and co-director Raymond McCarey directed little, if any, of the film even though he is credited on screen. Re-issues of the picture often do not include the sequences in which "Jack" beats his wife "Annie" and "Eddie's baby" and then calls his friend "Jerry" to help him beat up "Stan" and "Ollie," therefore Adele Watson and Dick Gilbert, who played "Jerry," are not seen. Frank Brownlee, who plays a drill sergeant, was originally set for the part of "Mr. Hathaway," which was played by Billy Gilbert. Lloyd French and Harry Black were the assistant directors.
Modern sources include the following in the cast: Nora Cecil (Officer of the Eastside Welfare Association); Marvin Hatley, Pat Harmon, Ben Hendricks Jr., Bud Fine, Frank S. Hagney, Bob O'Conor, Pete Gordon, and Baldwin Cooke (Doughboys); James C. Morton, Gene Morgan and James Mason (Police officers); Frank Rice (Parkins); Charley Rogers (Rogers); Al Hallet and William O'Brien (Butlers); Charles Dorety (Passerby); Jack Hill (New recruit and pedestrian at end); Ham Kinsey (Man who delivers telegram and a doughboy); Dorothy Layton (Bridesmaid); Ellinor Van Der Veer and Natalie Moorhead (Unperturbed society matrons at wedding); Mary Gordon (Mrs. MacTavish); Lew Kelly (Saunders); Charlie Hall (Street worker); Robert E. Homans (Detective); Henry Hall (Drill soldier); George Miller, Chet Brandenberg and Charley Young. For more information on Laurel and Hardy's career together, please for Pardon Us.