Big Business (1929 film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||James W. Horne
|Produced by||Hal Roach|
|Written by||H.M. Walker (titles)|
|Editing by||Richard C. Currier (as Richard Currier)|
|Release date(s)||April 20, 1929|
|Running time||19 min.|
English (Original intertitles)
Big Business is a 1929 silent Laurel and Hardy comedy short subject directed by James W. Horne and supervised by Leo McCarey from a McCarey (uncredited) and H. M. Walker script. The film was deemed culturally significant and entered into the United States National Film Registry in 1992.
Stan and Ollie play door-to-door Christmas tree salesmen in California. They end up getting into an escalating feud with grumpy would-be customer James Finlayson. He, goaded by their repeated attempts to sell him a Christmas tree, destroys it with hedge-clippers. Laurel & Hardy retaliate by damaging the man's doorframe. He then goes to work on their clothes and this escalates with his home and their car being destroyed in the melee (after Finlayson has run out of Christmas trees to mangle). A police officer (Tiny Sandford) steps in to stop the fight (after vases are thrown out & smashed, and one hits him on the foot) and negotiates a peaceful resolution. Stan and Ollie give the homeowner a cigar as a peace offering. However, as the pair make their escape, the trick cigar promptly explodes in his face.
Producer Hal Roach bought a house from a studio worker so he could destroy it in the film. According to Roach, the cast and crew demolished the house next door instead by accident during filming, but Stan Laurel said this was a fabrication.