Sons of the Desert (film)

Sons of the Desert (film)

Infobox Film
name = Sons of the Desert

caption = Theatrical poster for "Sons of the Desert" (1933)
director = William A. Seiter
producer = Hal Roach
writer = Frank Craven (story)
Byron Morgan
starring = Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Charley Chase
Mae Busch
music = William Axt
George M. Cohan
Marvin Hatley
Paul Marquardt
Leroy Shield
Frank Terry
cinematography = Kenneth Peach
editing = Bert Jordan
distributor = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
released = December 29, 1933
runtime = 68 min.
language = English
country = USA
budget =
preceded_by = "Dirty Work"
followed_by = "Oliver the Eighth"
amg_id = 1:45690
imdb_id = 0024601

"Sons of the Desert" is a 1933 film starring Laurel and Hardy, and directed by William A. Seiter. It was first released in the United States on December 29 1933 and is regarded as one of Laurel and Hardy's greatest films. In the UK the film was originally released under the title "Fraternally Yours".


The plot of this film is a partial re-working of an earlier Laurel & Hardy film, 1928's "We Faw Down".

The film begins at a meeting of the Sons of the Desert, a fraternal lodge of which both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are members. The organisation will be holding its annual convention in Chicago and all members have to take an oath to attend. Stan is reluctant to take the oath as he is worried that his wife will not let him go to the convention. Oliver reassures him, only to find that "his" wife will not let him go as they had already arranged a mountain trip together (which Oliver had forgotten about).

Unwilling to go back on the oath that he swore, Oliver feigns illness to get out of the trip with his wife. Stan arranges for a doctor (actually a veterinarian) to prescribe an ocean voyage to Honolulu, with their wives staying home. Stan and Ollie go to the convention, with their wives none the wiser. But fate closes in. While Stan and Ollie are "en route" home from Chicago, their supposed boat to Honolulu sinks in a typhoon and the wives head to the shipping company's offices to find out any news about the survivors. Stan and Ollie only discover what has happened after returning home while their wives were out and looking at the newspaper. However, the wives already know that they have been deceived by their husbands (they've seen a newsreel of the convention at the cinema in which their husbands are featured prominently) and are playing along only to test the character of their spouses. When asked about how the pair of them had managed to get home a day before the rescue ship carrying the survivors, their story begins to unravel. Ollie still insists his story is true; "It's too farfetched "not" to be the truth!" But Stan eventually breaks down and tearfully confesses, despite Oliver threatening to tell Stan's wife that Stan smoked a cigarette. Stan tells his wife about the smoking too, and for his honesty ends up wrapped in her dressing gown on the couch, sipping wine and eating chocolates. Oliver's wife proceeds to break all the crockery over his head. Stan returns from next-door and is promptly hit on the head by a pot thrown at him by Oliver.

Principal cast

*Stan Laurel as Stanley
*Oliver Hardy as Oliver
*Charley Chase as Charley
*Mae Busch as Mrs. Hardy
*Dorothy Christy as Mrs. Laurel
*Lucien Littlefield as The Veterinarian


* In a notable break from character, Stan congratulates Ollie, who has just trapped them in the attic:

Stan: I've certainly got to hand it to you, Ollie.
Oliver: For what?
Stan: Well, for the meticulous care with which you have executed your finely formulated machinations, in extricating us from this devastating dilemma.
Oliver: Get in bed.
Stan: What?
Oliver: Get in bed. "Meticulous." Hmph.

* Stan sneaks a snack from the Hardy house:

Oliver: What are you eating?
Stan: An apple.
Oliver: Where'd you get it?
Stan: In there. " [points to the fruit bowl] "
Oliver: Why, that's not real fruit. It's imitation! "It's made of wax!"
Mrs. Hardy: What's he been doing now?"
Oliver: He's been eating that phony fruit."
Mrs. Hardy: Oh, so that's where it's been going. That's the third apple I've missed this week."

* Stan and Ollie meet after the confrontation with their wives:

Oliver: What did Betty say?
Stan: She said honesty was the best politics!

* Ollie explains to his wife why going to Chicago would be good for him and StanOllie: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Stan: Jack who?

Stan: We're just like two peas in a pot.

imilar films

Another Laurel and Hardy Short film called "Be Big!" (1931) is very much the same storyline as this feature. Stan and Ollie are invited to a party with a club that the two attend. However, they are about to take their wives on holiday for the weekend. Ollie pretends to be ill and makes sure the wives still go, the boys will meet them there the next day, and Stan stays to look after him. They get changed into their uniforms which causes many problems such as Stan putting on Ollie's boots by mistake. However, in "Be Big", Stan is initially unaware of the party at their club until Ollie fills him in, and then tells him his sick act was a charade.


The international Laurel and Hardy society The Sons of the Desert takes its name from this feature film. The title was also used as the name of a country group and the Danish comedy quartet "Ørkenens sønner", the literal translation of the movie's title. The comedy group uses the basic theme of a fraternal organization, and their stage costumes are identical to the ones used in the movie's organization. Even their theme song is a translation of the one from the movie.

See also

* 1933 in film
* Laurel and Hardy films

External links

* [ The Sons of the Desert society]

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