Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Sons of the Desert (1933)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Sons of the Desert (1933)

In director William Seiter's slapstick comedy featuring one of the best comedy duos in cinematic history in their arguably best film:

  • Laurel (Stan Laurel) and Hardy's (Oliver Hardy) great sight gags and childish innocence
  • the scenes outside their two identical, side-by-side apartments
  • the scene of thin, dim-witted, and shy Stan consuming an ornamental waxed apple in the Hardy living room with gusto - and being scolded by Oliver: "What are you eating?...Where did you get it?...Why that's not real fruit! It's imitation. It's made of wax!"; Mrs. Hardy (Mae Busch) also added when she heard what was happening to her phony fruit: "Oh, so that's where it's been going. That's the third apple I've missed this week"
  • the madcap sequence with a scalding hot water iron tub - when fat and short-tempered Oliver feigned illness so that the doctor (a veterinarian) would prescribe a short ocean cruise to Honolulu (they would thereby fool their wives by faking a trip to Hawaii, and instead attend the annual 'Sons of the Desert' enclave lodge meeting in Chicago)
  • the sequence of their return home (after being in Chicago) from "Hawaii" (wearing leis and carrying pineapples and ukeleles, and singing "Honolulu Baby") - and their reading of newspaper headlines: "HONOLULU LINER SINKING! FLOUNDERING IN TYPHOON"; when they learned about their cruise ship disaster, Stan delivered an hilarious line about being thankful that they didn't go to Honolulu: ("Can you beat that? I'm sure glad we didn't go. If we'd have... ")
  • the scene of the two hiding out in the attic, awaiting the proper time to return home, due to the reported ship disaster, but caught out in the rain and accosted by a police officer who brought them back inside, as Oliver reprimanded Stan: "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into"
  • the shocking discovery by the grieving wives during a movie newsreel that their two husbands had deceived them - and had gone to Chicago to attend a Sons of the Desert lodge meeting
  • after being confronted by their wives, Oliver told lies to Lottie, and was forced to wear a pot on his head to protect himself from the barrage of dishes thrown by her, while a bawling and wimpering Stan received forgiveness and rewards from his wife Betty (Dorothy Christy) for ultimately confessing the truth about what had really happened
  • in the conclusion, Stan affirmed to Oliver: "Betty said that honesty was the best politics. Look! (he held up a cigarette and took a deep drag, then coughed) (singing) Honolulu baby, won't you close those eyes" - as Oliver hurled a pot at his head


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