AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Los calaveras
Alternate Title: Be Big
Director: James W. Horne () (Dirección [Dir])
Release Date:   1931
Premiere Information:   San José, Costa Rica opening: 19 Apr 1931; Buenos Aires opening: 8 Jul 1931; Barcelona opening: 30 Sep 1931
Duration (in mins):   63
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   Stan Laurel (Stan Laurel)  
    Oliver Hardy (Oliver Hardy)  
    Linda Loredo (Mrs. Hardy)  
    Anita Garvin (Mrs. Laurel)  
    Luis Llaneza (Friend who telephones)  
    Charlie Hall (Bellboy/Landlord)  
    Charles Dorety (Drunk)  

Summary: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are about to leave with their wives on a train trip for a vacation. Before their departure, Ollie receives a telephone call from a friend at their lodge telling him that they are to be honored at a stag party that same evening. All manner of forbidden delights are promised. The boys want to go, so Ollie feigns a sudden illness and arranges for Stan to stay with him while the wives go on without them. Stan and Ollie attempt to leave for their dinner, but have various problems trying to get into their lodge uniforms. Their wives miss the train, return to discover the boys's deception and chase them out of the building. After their wives have divorced them, Stan and Ollie share a room in a boardinghouse with a dog named "Laughing Gravy," whom they conceal from the landlord. After various disasters, they are saved from eviction by the arrival of a letter and check for Stan informing him that he is the beneficiary of an uncle's will. The will, however, stipulates that in order to inherit the money, Stan must abandon Ollie, whom the uncle felt was responsible for holding Stan back. The boys agree to separate, and Ollie keeps the dog. Stan suddenly decides to tear up the check and stay. Ollie is overjoyed to think that his friend has given up everything for him, but Stan makes it clear that his sacrifice is really because he does not want to live without the dog. 

Production Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp. (Loew's, Inc.)
  Hal Roach Studios, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corp.  
Director: James W. Horne (Dirección [Dir])
Writer: H. M. Walker (Diálogo por [Dial])
Photography: Jack Stevens (Fotografía [Photog])
Film Editor: Richard Currier (Editor de película [Film ed])
Sound: Elmer Raguse (Fonografía [Rec])
Country: United States
Language: Spanish

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Sistema Western Electric [Western Electric Sound System]

 
Genre: Comedy
 
Subjects (Major): Bumblers
  Deception
  Dogs
  Wives
 
Subjects (Minor): Boardinghouses
  Clothes
  Divorce
  Friendship
  Inheritance
  Landlords
  Lodges (Fraternal organizations)

Note: This film was a compilation of two English-language shorts made in 1931 by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The first part of the picture was taken from Be Big , and the second part from an expanded version of Laughing Gravy , which had a different ending in the English-language version. Apparently the ending described above was filmed for all of the versions, but was changed for the English production, which did not have the plot elements of Stan receiving the letter from his uncle and temporarily deciding to leave Ollie. Instead, Stan and Ollie are told by the boardinghouse keeper to leave, but before they can, a policeman arrives and orders the building quarantined. Unable to stand being with his bumbling tenants and their barking dog, the boardinghouse keeper shoots himself. A French-language version, Les carottiers , featuring Laurel & Hardy, Germaine de Néel, Anita Garvin and Jean De Briac, was also produced. Translation for that version was credited to Pierre Weill. According to modern sources, a German version may have been made, but no verification of this has been located. This was the last foreign-language film made by Laurel and Hardy, who learned their lines phonetically for each version. For more information about Laurel and Hardy's career together and their foreign language films, see entry for Pardon Us

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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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