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One Good Turn

One Good Turn(1931)

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One Good Turn (1931)

Two vagrants try to repay the kindly old lady who helped them.

One Good Turn (1931) was the first Laurel and Hardy film to feature support from Billy Gilbert, a rotund comic who would turn up as a foil for the team many more times. In his book Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy, Simon Louvish calls Gilbert "a stalwart huffing and puffing supporting actor who was to join the regular crew. A singer in his teens, and then vaudeville and stage actor, he was encouraged by Stan to join the Roach Studios, but never broke free of bit parts and character roles. Although he had been born in Loiusville, Kentucky, he excelled in apoplectic foreigners, most explosively in Stan and Ollie's piano saga, The Music Box (1932)."

Meanwhile, the "Old Lady" in One Good Turn is played by Mary Carr, a prolific actress who specialized in playing mothers, spinsters, and grandmas in a career that spanned from 1915 to 1956. As the pitiful character she portrays in the play-within-the-film on view here, she is able to lampoon some of the many melodramas and tearjerkers she had made in the silent era.

Producer: Hal Roach
Director: James W. Horne
Screenplay: H.M. Walker
Cinematography: Art Lloyd
Music: Marvin Hatley, Leroy Shield
Film Editing: Richard C. Currier
Cast: Stan Laurel (Stanley), Oliver Hardy (Oliver), Mary Carr (old lady), James Finlayson (a community player), Gordon Douglas (a community player), Billy Gilbert (drunk), Dorothy Granger (a community player), Lyle Tayo (a community player)
BW-20m.

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