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Our Relations
L&H Our Relations 1936.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHarry Lachman
Written byFelix Adler
Richard Connell
Based onThe Money Box
1931 short story
by William Wymark Jacobs
Produced byStan Laurel
Hal Roach
StarringStan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
CinematographyRudolph Maté
Edited byBert Jordan
Music byLeroy Shield
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • October 30, 1936 (1936-10-30)
Running time
72' 58"
CountryUnited States

Our Relations is a 1936 feature film starring Laurel and Hardy, produced by Stan Laurel for Hal Roach Studios. This is the third of three films in which they play a dual role: the first was Brats and the second was Twice Two. The story is based on the short story "The Money Box" by W.W. Jacobs, author of "The Monkey's Paw".[1]


One day Stan and Ollie receive a letter with a photo of them with their twin brothers Alf and Bert. For years it has been believed that Alf and Bert are dead. In reality, however, they are still alive and living as sailors on the SS Periwinkle and happen to moor in the harbor of the city where Stan and Ollie live with their wives Daphne and Betty. A colleague of the two, Finn, is always enthusiastic about saving and becoming a millionaire after a while. Since Alf and Bert now also dream of becoming millionaires, they leave their wages to Finn, who has to keep it for them. Before they both disembark, the captain hands them a small package to keep with them. In the beer garden, Alf and Bert invite two beautiful ladies to dinner and they cannot pay the debt with a dollar in their pocket; instead, they leave the captain's package with a valuable ring as security. They go straight to Finn, who refuses to return their wages. Then they sell his sailor suit in a pawn shop, for which they don't get more than two dollars.

Disappointed, they go back to Finn, who explains to them that the money has been sewn into the lining of his suit. Now Alf and Bert have to give him their suit so he can don one and trade one for the other, and they are pressured by threatening Finn to swallow the pawn card. He has no intention of keeping his promise. Meanwhile, Stan and Ollie visit the beer garden with their wives and are indignantly asked to pay the bill by the strange ladies Alice and Lily, who left Alf and Bert behind, which in turn angered their real wives, Daphne and Betty. That is why they get the ring back from the landlord that Alf and Bert left behind. When Finn shows up and shows the women a picture of Alf and Bert with other, younger women, they leave the restaurant angrily. Stan and Ollie, who are also angry, cause Finn to be beaten up by the landlord and the waiter, and he seeks revenge. Meanwhile, Alf and Bert are in Finn's quarters and decide to visit the landlord and ask for the ring. Having nothing to wear, they dress in blankets and scarves and are arrested. Stan and Ollie's wives, who had been informed by a spectator of the arrest of Alf and Bert, convince the judge to give them another chance. To celebrate the day they go to the nice café “Pirate”, where Stan and Ollie are already sitting.

Now the confusion starts again, but Stan & Ollie and Alf & Bert do not notice each other yet. Because Ollie still has the ring with him, he accidentally puts it in Alf, who happened to pass by, and then asks Stan, who was gone for a while, to give him the ring back. This is noticed by Mafia men, after which Stan and Ollie are kidnapped and forced to hand over the ring. They threaten to throw them into the water in cement shoes. But the two manage to push the people into the water and, after first rocking in their cement shoes for a while, also fall into the water. Alf and Bert, who have now discovered the ring and are hiding from the captain and Finn in the immediate vicinity of Stan & Ollie, return the ring to the captain and Finn hang out. Then they get Stan and Ollie out of the water and introduce each other. The film ends with walking along the dock for a while, Ollie and Bert joking about the fact that "Stan and Alf can't see beyond the tip of their nose" and even overlook the end of the dock. see it and fall into the water.



In most of the Laurel and Hardy films, their usual Stan and Ollie characters are a pair of hopeless but likable dimwits, often just barely able to earn a living. In Our Relations, Stan and Ollie are respectable citizens with wives and steady employment. It is their seafaring twin brothers, Alf Laurel and Bert Hardy, who are dim-witted incompetent sailors aboard the S.S Periwinkle.

On board, Alf and Bert wear seafaring garb. Once ashore, they dress in "civilian" clothes—down to the traditional derbies—making them nearly indistinguishable from their brothers. Stan always wore a bow-tie, while Oliver wore the more conventional type. This is reversed for the brothers, with Alf wearing the usual style and Bert wearing the bowtie. Music cues also help differentiate between the twins; Laurel & Hardy's theme song, "Dance of the Cuckoos", plays when Stan and Ollie appear; the tunes "Sailing, Sailing over the Bounding Main" or "Sailor's Hornpipe", play when Alf and Bert are onscreen.

The film is distinguished by the camera work of successful dramatic cinematographer Rudolph Maté (The Passion of Joan of Arc). The film was based on the story The Money Box by W.W. Jacobs. The story was adapted by Jack Jevne and Charley Rogers and the film written by Felix Adler and Richard Connell.


In 2000, the Dutch revivalist orchestra The Beau Hunks collaborated with the Metropole Orchestra to re-create composer Leroy Shield's soundtrack to Our Relations from original sheet music that had been discovered in a Los Angeles archive in 1994 and 1995.


  1. ^ Alan Goble (1 January 1999). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter. p. 898. ISBN 978-3-11-095194-3.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 July 2021, at 18:50
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