AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Sons of the Desert
Director: William A. Seiter (Dir)
Release Date:   29 Dec 1933
Duration (in mins):  65 or 68
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Cast: Stan Laurel  (Stan Laurel)
  Oliver Hardy  (Oliver Hardy)
  Charley Chase  (Charley)
 

Summary: In Los Angeles, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy arrive late at their Sons of the Desert lodge meeting, but join with the others in taking an oath to attend the national convention in Chicago the next week. Stan is afraid that his wife Betty will not allow him to go, so on the way home, Ollie advises him to tell her that he is going rather than ask her permission, as Ollie intends to do with his wife Lottie. Once home, however, Lottie forbids Ollie to go, and when he protests, she throws a couple of vases at him. A few days later, Ollie pretends to be horribly ill, and Stan brings in Dr. Horace Meddick, a veterinarian whom the boys have bribed to tell Lottie that Ollie must go on an ocean voyage to Honolulu in order to recover. Lottie detests the ocean, and so Stan volunteers to accompany Ollie on their "ocean voyage," which is actually a trip to the convention. At the convention, the boys are having a swell time with a practical joker named Charley, who tells them that he has a sister in Los Angeles. As a gag Charley calls his sister and has her speak to Ollie, who realizes that the sister is none other than his wife Lottie, and Charley is therefore his long-lost brother-in-law. In Los Angeles the next day, Lottie and Betty discover that the ocean liner their husbands are supposedly on has sunk, and that the survivors are due to arrive in thirty-six hours. While the girls are at the liner's office trying to find out the names of the survivors, Stan and Ollie arrive home. They see the newspaper headlines about the ship sinking and panic when they hear the girls returning. They run up to the attic and decide to stay there until the next morning when the girls go out and they can climb down. Unknown to the boys, however, Lottie and Betty go to the movies to distract themselves, and while there they see a newsreel of the convention parade, prominently featuring Stan and Ollie. A terrible storm rages as the girls return home and argue about which of their husbands will confess the truth. Up in the attic, lightning strikes the bedsprings the boys are sleeping on, and when the girls hear their anguished cries, Betty gets her gun. When Stan and Ollie hear the girls coming into the attic, they climb on to the roof in the pouring rain. After they slide down the drain pipe, a passing policeman catches them and takes them to Ollie's house to verify that he lives there. Betty and Lottie agree to hear their stories, and Ollie begins a wild tale about being on the sinking ocean liner and "ship-hiking" their way back to land. Betty asks Stan if he and Ollie are telling the truth, and poor Stan, unable to stand the strain of lying, confesses all. Betty takes Stan home, and while she pampers him for being honest, Lottie pelts Ollie with crockery for lying. 

Distribution Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Hal Roach Studios, Inc.
Director: William A. Seiter (Dir)
  Lloyd French (Assoc dir)
Producer: Hal Roach (Pres)
  Hal Roach (Prod)
Writer: Frank Craven (Story)
  Byron Morgan (Cont)

Subject Major: Bumblers
  Conventions (Gatherings)
  Deception
  Henpecked husbands
  Lodges
  Marriage
 
Subject Minor: Brothers-in-law
  Chicago (IL)
  Dancers
  Long-lost relatives
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Newsreels
  Ocean liners
  Parades
  Police
  Practical jokes
  Shipwrecks
  Storms
  Veterinarians

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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