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Sons of the Desert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sons of the Desert
Theatrical release window card
Directed byWilliam A. Seiter
Written byFrank Craven
Byron Morgan (continuity)
Produced byHal Roach
StarringStan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Charley Chase
Mae Busch
Dorothy Christy
CinematographyKenneth Peach
Edited byBert Jordan
Music byMarvin Hatley
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 29, 1933 (1933-12-29) (US)
Running time
64 minutes
CountryUnited States

Sons of the Desert is a 1933 American pre-Code comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy. Directed by William A. Seiter, it was released in the United States on December 29, 1933. In the United Kingdom, the film was originally released under the title Fraternally Yours.

In 2012, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • SONS OF THE DESERT 1933 Trailer
  • Sons of the Desert Press Clip #1
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  • Laurel and Hardy in Sons of the Desert.
  • Sons of the Desert (1933) | Trailer



Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, members of the fraternal lodge, Sons of the Desert, attend a California meeting where it is mandated that all members must attend the upcoming national convention in Chicago. While Oliver is eager to honor the oath, Stan is apprehensive about his wife Betty's reaction. Despite initial reluctance, Stan succumbs to Oliver's persuasion. However, their plans are thwarted by their wives' conflicting agendas.

Lottie, Oliver's wife, vehemently opposes the trip as she has organized a mountain retreat. Resorting to deception, Oliver feigns illness to avoid Lottie's plans. Stan orchestrates a ruse involving a faux doctor's recommendation for a Honolulu voyage, enabling them to attend the convention without their wives' knowledge. At the convention, the catchy tune "Honolulu Baby" is performed, adding a jovial atmosphere to their escapade.

Meanwhile, their wives, unaware of the deception, become concerned when a ship returning from Honolulu sinks in a typhoon. As they investigate the fate of the survivors, Stan and Oliver return home to an empty house, only to discover their wives' suspicions upon their return. To evade confrontation, the duo hides in the attic, but their secret is jeopardized when their wives stumble upon footage of the convention in a cinema newsreel.

Facing mounting pressure, Oliver attempts to maintain the illusion of a shipwreck survival, but his fabricated story quickly unravels under Betty's scrutiny. Stan, on the other hand, decides to confess, prompting a mix of relief and anger from Betty and Lottie, respectively. While Betty welcomes Stan's honesty, Lottie unleashes her fury on Oliver, culminating in a altercation.

Stan's frightened confession allows Betty's pride, in her earlier bet with Lottie that she had the more honest of the two husbands, to triumph over her best friend, which for her has become far more important, so she greatly spoils him upon returning home. Whereas Oliver endures Lottie's wrath not only now for attending the convention, and lying, but for being the cause of her ignominy in front of her neighbour.

Stan returns to Oliver's front door and enquires of a black-eyed Oliver, surrounded by smashed crockery, how it went with him. He begins to serenade "Honolulu Baby," but is hit on the back of his retreating head by a distantly-thrown, well-aimed object, leaving Oliver to face the aftermath of his wife's fury.


Half-sheet theatrical release poster

Production notes

The fraternal organization seen in the film is styled to resemble the Shriners, known formerly as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.


Awards and honors

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Similar films

  • Sons of the Desert is a partial remake of 1928's We Faw Down.
  • Another Laurel and Hardy short film called Be Big! has a storyline similar to 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 persuades the wives go ahead, saying Stan will stay to look after him and they will arrive at the holiday location the next day. They get changed into their uniforms, which causes problems such as Stan putting on Ollie's boots by mistake. In contrast to Sons of the Desert, 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, as well as that of the Danish comedy quartet "Ørkenens sønner" (1991–present), 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. Though adult themed, their gags and jokes resemble the ones seen at the movie's Chicago party.[10]


  1. ^ King, Susan. "National Film Registry selects 25 films for preservation " Los Angeles Times (December 19, 2012)
  2. ^ "Detail view of Movies Page".
  3. ^ "Charita". IMDb.
  4. ^ "Honolulu Baby Lyrics". International Lyrics Playground. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Soundtracks for Sons of the Desert". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  6. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2017. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  7. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  8. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes" (PDF). American Film Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  9. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees (10th Anniversary Edition)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Sons of the Desert". TCM.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 June 2024, at 07:58
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