chickens come home to roost

Chickens Come Home

Chickens Come Home is a 1931 short film starring Laurel and Hardy, directed by James W. Horne and produced by Hal Roach. Ollie enlists Stan to prevent an old flame from presenting a scandalous photo and ruining Ollie's run for mayor. This film is a remake of their 1927 film Love 'em and Weep.

There was a Spanish language version of this film which was completely re-shot with the stars delivering their lines with very awkward pronunciation, and a lengthy added scene of a magician performing at the party.


Ollie is living a perfect life: a lovely wife, a beautiful mansion complete with butler, even his own manure dealership—with a mayoral nomination not far behind. Ollie calls on Stan (who was in the sampling room, holding a flyswatter) to transcribe an acceptance speech. Enter an old flame (Mae Busch), aiming to take advantage of Ollie's situation: blackmail Ollie into giving her hush money, or else present to the press a scandalous picture of her and Ollie, a picture taken during his "gilded primrose days...before I was married." Ollie's plans of reaching a final settlement with the woman are scuppered when his wife (Thelma Todd) enters: they are to have an important dinner party with a judge and his wife the same time Ollie is to meet the woman to discuss terms. Ollie then enlists Stan to go over to the woman's apartment and stall her until Ollie can get there.

Stan enters the old flame's house that night. The woman, displeased about being tricked, calls Ollie on the phone. Ollie promises to get there as soon as possible. While the woman is waiting in another room, Stan intercepts the scandalous photograph. Soon after, Stan barricades the door with most of her furniture, although this does not stall the woman (she uses the other door to leave). A struggle to keep the woman from entering her car is witnessed by a gossipy friend of Mrs. Laurel (Patsy O'Byrne), who immediately rushes to tell the wife (Elizabeth Forrester) Stan was "going to Mr. Hardy's house to make whoopee" with the woman.

Meanwhile, Ollie is thinking of a way to get out of the house. In one instance, he feigns running out of cigars. As he is about to go to the store, the butler (Jimmy Finlayson) enters with a fresh box. This good deed is met with an ungrateful kick in the shin by Ollie, although the butler is paid off to keep mum. All of Ollie's attempts fail to work, and the old flame eventually arrives (with Stan on her trail). Ollie tries to pass her off as Mrs. Laurel to avoid suspicion by Mrs. Hardy. As soon as the Stan, Ollie, and the woman are alone, Ollie produces a gun, threatening to kill the woman and then himself, causing her to faint.

The boys attempt to get her out before Mrs. Hardy returns. They strike upon a plan: Mrs. Hardy returns to see Stan take "Mrs. Laurel" home (actually, Ollie carrying the woman on his back while his head is concealed with her coat). Stan whimpers when he sees the real Mrs. Laurel ringing the doorbell, and the two of them race back to the den to switch positions. Mr. Hardy tries taking the woman out, but the wives are not fooled, and Mrs. Laurel, bearing a hatchet, chases after his husband.


Ollie: Well?—
Stan: ...Here's another nice mess I got you into.
Ollie: Yes, and you're gonna get me out of it.

(In a phone conversation with Ollie, Mrs. Laurel threatens to break Stan's arm if he isn't home for dinner.)
Ollie: (gulps and appears shocked upon hearing the threat; stammers a little) Uh, uh, thank you so much for your cooperation. Good-bye! (he rushingly hangs up the telephone, a smile on his face.) There you are—nothing to it.
Stan: (a bit unsure) Did she say I could stay out?
Ollie: Why, certainly! And furthermore, she said that as long you were with me, you could go as far as you like.
(Stan smiles contentedly)
Ollie: Now, you go over to her apartment and keep this troublemaker good-humored until I can get there—you know, get organized! Heh, heh, heh...(Stan picks up the receiver) What're you going to do?
Stan: I'm going to call and thank Mama.
Ollie: Ohhhhhh! (Unnerved, he takes the receiver from Stan and hangs up...)

(Mrs. Laurel grabs a hatchet upon hearing what happened between Stan and the woman.)
Mrs. Laurel: ...Do you know where Hardy lives?
Her friend: Sure.
Mrs. Laurel: Well, you stay here and phone for an ambulance!


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