Feature Comedy | 1920 | Silent | B/W
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Comedy in which Stan Laurel is held up in a stagecoach in a western scene. Classic baddies with masks. Cowboy spits in spitoon. Stan wears glasses. Man thrown out of first floor window in western town (obvious dummy).
Titles. 'Before teaming up with Oliver Hardy in 1926, Stan Laurel's best screen performances came in the Stan Laurel Comedies produced by Joe Rock for Standard Cinema-Selznick distribution. Parodies of particular films or commonly-used themes, these were distinguished by well-developed story lines into which each gag was carefully blended.' 'But Stan's (? ) of the heroic image in these comedies was much more subdued than in his earlier roles and they were a transitional point in turning the knockabout English music hall comic into a polished screen performer. 'West of Hot Dog' was one of his best and is presented as released in December, 1924.' More titles.
'There's a land where the drinks are a little stronger- A land where the breath lasts a little longer- Out where the worst begins-' A stagecoach makes it way along a road on the side of a large hill. 'Some tenderfeet are born fighters-others are born heroes- Stan was just born.' Stan Laurel sits in the coach, pince-nez on his nose, reading, jacket off, hat on, a young lady sits beside him, she looks worried, Stan looks over at her. Stan holds the book in his hands on his lap, 'Let Brotherly Love Continue'. Inside the coach, Stan turns a page, the girl looks out the window towards us, Stan looks over at her. 'The Sheriff's daughter, 'Little Mustard'- the prairie flower from Hot Dog.' Stan heaves a big sigh, Little Mustard keeps looking out the window, Stan turns a page and heaves another sigh, Little Mustard pays him no attention.
'Bad Mike- off on a sleighing party- And it doesn't matter who he slays.' A rough looking cowboy stops his galloping horse, another riding cowboy joins him on the slope, Big Mike points down the hill. The stagecoach drives along the road, the area around is barren of trees even. The two cowboys head off galloping down the hill. The stagecoach approaches and is met and stopped by the two cowboys. The driver holds the reins with one hand and holds the other up in the air, another of the coach passengers, a moustached man, hangs out the window, he pulls himself back into the coach. The coachman starts to get own ffrom the coach as Big Mike opens the door of the coach and gestures everyone out, holding them at gun point. The big man gets out, then Little Mustard, Stan sits in the coach, straight as a board, Big Mike gestures him out of the coach. Stan slides over and says easily 'If it’s th' same with you, I'll stay here.' He mouths a 'thanks' and closes the door and picks up the newspaper, Big Mike holds a gun to his chin through the open coach window, Stan laughs and giggles, gesturing 'oh no thanks'. Stan sits in the coach and giggles, he points to the opposite door, then tries to jump for it. Big Mike grabs him by the suspenders. Stan wrestles with Big Mike who holds firmly to his shirt and braces. Stan hold onto the opposite door frame for dear life. Big Mike's hand strains with the effort of holding him, one of the buttons pops off. Stan goes flying through the door but keeps himself up right by hanging onto the door frame, then he goes flying back through the door as Big Mike evidently hauled on the braces. Stan comes out of the other door, Big Mike brings him down from the coach. Stan goes to up his arms up in the air but his pants are loose and they almost fall down, he grabs at them and faces Big Mike. 'I shall see my attorney about this.' He tries to put his hands up again as Big Mike continues to yell at him but his pants start to fall again and he grabs at them. He pulls down Big Mike's neckerchief to reveal his face, he points a finger at him. 'I see you.' Big Mike tries to pull it back up again and Stan puts his hands up, his slacks falling again, so he grabs them once more. Big Mike points his gun at his waist and Stan puts it there tighter so he can put his hands up in the air and the gun will hold his trousers up, the gun moves, Stan grabs his trousers, pulls them up and sits down on the stage coach steps,the gun then moves to his armpit and he laughs as it tickles him, he then gives Big Mike a playful shove. Mike shoves the gun in harder but it just makes him squirm more, and Stan jumps away giggling, then he remembers his trousers and hurredly pulls them up and sits down on the step as Big Mike gets more mean. The tough looking man and Little Mustard stand in front of the coach with their hands up, the man lifts up his leg onto the coach and points at his ankle where there is a bulge in his sock. Big Mike stands with his arm tight around Little Mustard, she cringes away from him pushing against him. Stan stands in the roadway disconsolately but, looking back and seeing Little Mustard being put upon by Big Mike he gathers his trousers together and runs towards her. He taps Big Mike on shoulder , who turns around angrily. 'WELL?' Stan looks sheepish and thinks of something to say, then he reaches in his pocket and pulls out a coin, Big Mike holds out his hands for it and Stan puts it in. Stan runs away, Big Mike puts the coin in his pocket. Stan stands in the middle of the road looking back worriedly. Big Mike the bad guy gestures 'come on' to the tough looking guy. Stan comes over and stands beside Little Mustard. The bandits get on their horses, the tough looking guy on the back of Big Mike's henchman, and the three of them ride off, ending the hold up.
Little Mustard looks at Stan accusingly. 'If you were only half a man, you'd drive me to Hot Dog!' Stan talks back to her as Little Mustard pouts. 'I'll drive you- I rode a bicycle once.' Stan opens the stagecoach door and attempts to help her into the carriage but she pulls back and gets in herself, Stan suddenly remembers his trousers and grabs them as he shuts the door. Holding his trousers up, he climbs up to the driver's bench. He sits down but gets very tangled in the reins before he snaps them to get the horses to move, they obviously do not go as he keeps snapping them, almost falling off the box as he misplaces his foot on the foot rest, He grabs the whip, swings it over his head and brings it down on the horse's backs. The horses bolt, pulling Stan off the coach and falls into the harness frame,hard, which stops him from following the horses as they run off. Stan gets up dazedly and stumbles around before falling down again, in shock.
'The next day in Hot Dog. A woman in love acts like a fool- A man in love is not acting-' Stan walks away from us down the street, Little Mustard walks towards him, they meet in the street of the western town of Hot Dog, Stan looks at the ground and digs his foot in the dust, shyly. He lifts his hat towards he and she turns her nose up and walks on, pretending to ignore him, Stan turns and looks after her, he sighs, then he suddenly jumps, grabs his hat off his head and runs pellmell down the street, an entire gang of horsemen ride after him. Stan runs down the street with the six horsemen close behind him, Stan goes onto the sidewalk.
He stops at a door and turns to look at the men but they appear to have continued on as he stops to straighten his tie, he walks over the sidewalk to see further down the street ( film skips here) he steps on a loose board which flips up and smacks him on the bottom, thinking it is a person, he stumblingly pulls a small gun out of the back of his pants. He looks around, scared, steps on the board again which flips up and makes him run terrified to the door, he puts his hand to his heart to calm himself.
On the door is a sign 'Lawyer Jones upstairs', Stan puts the gun inside his coat and pulls out a paper from his other side, opens the door and enters. He enters a large room, two, Bike Mike and one of his henchmen sit on a bench on the opposite wall, they look up as he comes in. They exchange glances as they take in his black suit clothes, evidently thinking him a complete city slicker as they are dressed in plaid shirts, neckerchiefs, rough trousers and cowboy boots. Stan comes over to stand nervously by the table, one of the men greets him exaggeratedly, tapping his hand to his fore head in a salute, Stan, confused makes the same gesture back, then turns and walks back to the door. The man follows him and Stan makes a dash for it but the man grabs his collar, he gestures back into the room. The two of them walk over to the other man and he shakes Stan's hand very hard, almost pulling him off the ground and making him wince. The three of them sit down on the bench, Stan in the middle, one of the men gives Stan a threatening look and then spits. It hits a spitoon by the table which wobbles, then the man spits again and the spitoon wobbles on its round base, Stan jumps up and walks towards it to steady it but it stills by itself. Stan starts reading over the shoulder of one of the men sitting beside him holding a piece of paper. The letter with 'that this state be divided evenly and you are requested to be at the reading of your late Uncle's will' highlighted Stan nudges the man and points to his own letter. 'I have a letter just like that.' Stan excitedly pulls his letter out of the envelope and shows it to the man, he takes it susiciously, looks at it and hands it to the other fellow. He looks at it suspiciously. He folds it up and gives it back to Stan, Stan bends down to fix his shoe and the two men wink at each other over his back. The two men stand up, putting their papers away, Stan stands as well and they brush off his suit, straighten his hat and pat him on the shoulder, (a sure sign they are going to beat him up), they pick him up, Stan laying straight as a board, and they throw him out the open window.
Stan lands in the street a crumpled heep of clothing, he slowly gets up, looks up at the window and makes for the door again. The two men are consulting the lawyer, Stan walks in the room, he tries to give the lawyer his letter but the man just keeps looking at the one the two men have given him, he talks to them. 'Take a seat gentlemen, I'll be right back.' The lawyer goes into another room, the two cowboy robbers turn around and look at Stan threateningly. Stan looks around nervously. The two men look at him with murder in their eyes. Stan smiles shyly at them, he turns. Stan walks over to the window ( mistake!!) and sits down on the bench. The two men look at each other. They walk over to the bench and stand beside it looking at Stan, who gets up and closes the window, he starts to laugh and the two men join in. Stan stands up and the two men flank him, they pick him up and throw him out the closed windown, breaking it. Stan hits the ground and sits up shakily. Stan sits on the road, takes a piece of glass off his hat. He gets up and walks through the door again. The two men lean over the table while the lawyer searches on the table amongst his papers for something, Stan comes staggering in the door, the lawyer shakes his hands at the two men and goes into the other room, one of the men grabs Stan by the shoulder who jumps and then walks around the table to sit by the window again!!!! The two men follow him. They start talking about throwing him out the window again and Stan just gets up and frogleaps out the window himself.
He falls onto the sidewalk and looks up as the two men lean out the window. One of the men gestures 'never come back', Stan salutes them and smiles painfully, then when they have disappeared he runs back to the door. The Lawyer consults his papers, the two men follow him around the room and Stan comes bursting through the door. One of the men, enraged, makes to grab his neck, the other man says something to him and he looks away and in this split second Stan switches places with the Lawyer,with the result that the cowboy grabs the lawyer's neck and shakes it. The two cowboys laugh in apology and slap the lawyer on the back so hard he falls onto the table. The lawyer recovers his balance and slaps the paper he is holding. 'So everything including the Last Chance Saloon is left to Stan.' The two men pull their guns and Stan hits the floor as the lawyer tries to calm the men down, gesturing the guns away. 'BUT-in the event of his death it all goes to you two!' The two cowboys relax and put their guns away as Stan gets up from the floor. 'Read that again!' The lawyer tries to read but Stan grabs the sheet of paper from him, tears it up and throws it away. With the lawyer between them, the two men each shake Stan's hand and leave.
Stan walks through some saloon doors, one the cowboys stands on the other side leaning against the wall. A group of men, including the other cowboy, sit at a poker table playing cards. One of the men pulls a card from his belt, putting it in his hand. Big Mike points across the table at him ( very like the 'Uncle Sam wants you!' advertisment.) accusingly. The two men jump up from the table, Stan bites his nails. Both guns go off and the cheater falls to the floor. The bartender bends over him and takes his cards. He checks them and then takes Mike's. ' Okay, Mike! He couldn't o' won anyhow!' The bartender chucks the cards on the ground. The bartender pulls open a trap door in the floor and Big Mike rolls the body into the hole in the floor, they both look up and Big Mike does a overly exaggerated greeting 'HOW!' Stan stands nervously by the swinging doors and makes a hesitant wave with his hand. 'How!' Stan moves to turn but almost walks into the henchman who also makes an exaggerated greeting. 'HOW!' Stan makes a terrified greeting gesture back.'How?' He walks outside through the doors. He leans on a support of the veranda and the entire porch roof collapses around him. He looks up from the wreckage and then jumps up and runs away with an idea in his head.
'Big Mike's Horse'. Stan approaches a horse tied to a hitching post, he begins to untie the rope and the horse nudges him over the hitching post, Stan flops over it and slowly gets up and looks at the horse. A Mexican-looking man laughs heartily at this. Stan sitcks his foot in the stirrup and mounts the horse the wrong way round. The Mexican man laughs. So does Stan but as he gets off he almost falls and grasps the saddle desperately. The horse pushes up against the hitching post and Stan falls off the horse. He unties the horse and puts his foot in the stirrup but the horse starts moving and Stan has to hope along on one foot after him. The horse finally stops beside a tree and Stan waves the Mexican looking man over to him. The man, holding a cigar, walks. He meets Stan. 'Whassa nearest way outa town?' The man takes a bottle of liquor out of his coat and hands it to Stan. 'Y' look weak- Try this.' Stan tries to brush it off but the man insists and, after smelling it, Stan takes a swig, he hiccups, the hiccups keep getting more and more violent and the man runs away in fear. The hiccups are so strong now that Stan is being lifted off his feet, he hiccups so hard that he jumps on top of the horse, which gallops off.
In the bar, the bartender moves to put a stack of money in the safe but Big Mike, sitting beside it pulls a gun on him. Everyone jumps up with hands in the air, the man's accomplice shoots a man still sitting in chair, he tumbles over backwards, one of the men grabs the money bag and five men bolt for the door. The five bandits come through the swinging doors, Big Mike in the lead, the four men behind him run off, Mike stands looking for his horse. The four men try to sort their horse out at the hitching post and mount them, Big Mike runs towards them and gets on the back of one of their horses and they ride off. Some men run up to the sherrif as he comes out of the jail. 'Sheriff! Th' saloon's been robbed!' He gestures them all into the car outside the jail and they pile in, he gets in the drivers seat. The car tries to start but can't, a couple of the men get out and look underneath it but it jumps away and they race to catch up .
'Bad Mike called his horse Babe Ruth- it was always headed for home-' Big Mike's horse careens around a corner on a dirt road with Stan clinging desperately to the saddle. The horse stops suddenly in front of a small house, throwing Stan off. Stan lands sitting up and loks around, gets up and brushes himself off. He goes up to the porch and dusts himself off again. The robbers come galloping around the corner of brush. Stan walks into the front room of the house, there are animal rugs on the floor but it is quite well decorated, Stan looks out the curtain on the front window. The robbers stop in front of the house. Stan jumps back from the window, looking for somewhere to hide, he backs into the table in the middle of the room and jumps away from it, then he walks around it and walks into the spitoon under the table and gets scared of it, he calms himself down, he walks to an open door and then turns his back on it, the door slams and his hands jump into the air, then he calms down and runs to the door he came through originally, he listens at it for sounds of the robbers. Feet stomp up the stairs leading to the house. Stan's hand on his heart beats his chest rapidly, he pulls out his handkerchief and mops his face. He walks to the other door and moves to open it but then puts his hand to his ear. The robbers scramble through the front door, Big Mike is the last to go in, looking around before entering the house. Stan walks over to the other door that opens by itself and Stan tries to grab the door knob while looking the other way and jumps when he sees the door is open. As the men pile into the room, Stan grabs the door and closes it behind him, the men bring the money to the table and Big Mike pulls it out of the bag. In the other room, Stan looks through the keyhole. Through the keyhole, the men count out the money. Stan is shocked and knows he has to do something, to protect himself. He tries to walk quietly across the hall but almost trips on the hall carpet. He walks through the door into another room and closes that door behind him. He looks through the keyhole and backs up, tripping over two steamer trunks behind him, he hauls himself to his feet on the other side of the room, he moves to see what is in the steamer trunks, he finds a hammer and nail in one and moves over to the door. He hammers the nail into the door to secure it closed. The robbers all jump around at the sound, guns drawn. Stan keeps hammering, after hitting his thumb. Two of the robbers sneak across the hall. Stan blocks the other door in the room with a chair, on which he sits. One of the robbers comes through the door he 'nailed' shut. Stan jumps as he sees the robber. The robber shoots him but misses and hits his hat instead. The other robber is standing on the hall side of that door and is shot, he slumps agains the door. Stan jumps up and rips his hat off the door opens it and, to his horror, the body of the dead man falls into his arms. They fall to the floor, robber on top, Stan scrambles out from under him, stands up and walks shaking into the hall. He creeps along the hallway and steps into a bucket, ignoring it, he walks backwards into the front room, turns and is faced with two of the robbers, guns drawn and ready to shoot him. He backs up, laughing and the second he trips over the carpet with the bucket on his foot, the robber in the back room opens that door only to be shot by Big Mike in the front room. He falls to the ground. Stan, bucket still on foot, runs into the back room through the other door as the dead man falls beside him. In the back room he runs around to the closed door and looks through the keyhole. Big Mike and the other henchman run through the other door into the back room to find Stan bent over looking through the door, Big Mike shoots him in the bottom and Stan starts through the door. He runs across the hall into the front room and then hides behind the door as the henchamn comes running into the front room from the other front room on the other side of the front door, he backs through the door into the front room and the other henchman comes from across the hall and Stan having emerged from behind the door with hands raised, Big Mike takes a pot shot at him but hits the henchman in the bottom, Stan runs into the other front room, Big Mike tries to shoot him but misses, the henchman falls dead.
The car full of townspeople rolls up in front of the house. Everyone piles out of the car, Little Mustard is there as well, the Sheriff walks forward. The Sheriff gingerly approaches the house and opens the front door and enters. Stan, at the back of the house, finds a gun on the porch, he picks it up and looks back through the window, steps sideways into a bucket, pulls himself out and in surprise shoots it, the sound makes the window slam shut. The sheriff joins everyone back at the car. 'Some brave bird got them all except Bad Mike!' Stan comes around the side of the house backwards, holding the barrel of his pistol. The group at the car all draw their guns. Stan reaches for the sky. Stan turns smiles and drops his gun which goes off and shoots him in the foot. The Sheriff calls him over. Stan walks over to them. The Sheriff asks him, 'How did you do it?' Stan talks to him 'I didn't-' Little Mustard looks at him adoringly. The Sheriff pats him on the back. Don't be modest.' Stan looks at the house. Big Mike is staring out the window. Stan tries to walk away but the Sheriff pulls him back. He hands him his gun and points to the house. 'You can get Big Mike- You've earned th' right.' Stan looks up pleadingly. 'I don't wanta be selfish- You can come too.' The Sheriff pats him on the back, Little Mustard comes over and does the same to him. 'You're wonderful- but don't be too rough.' She looks at Stan adoringly. Stan looks back at everyone, they all smile at him, he walks determined to the house. He gets halfway up the porch steps and turns pleadingly. His hands open the gun up in his nervous fidgeting and all the bullets fall out. He trips up the front steps and goes through the front door.
In the back room Big Mike climbs up a ladder, a rope hangs from the ceiling. Stan comes through the front room and walks into the doorjamb, which knocks him off balance and he drops the gun, he gathers himself and walks slowly through the door. He walks into the backroom and seeing no one begins to climb the ladder, he falls several times. The people outside gasp as Little Mustard points. Stan is visible through the upstairs window. Everyone gasps. Big Mike falls out of the upstairs window. The Sheriff grabs his arm as Stan come out of the door. 'He didn't fight fair!' He tries to get at Stan but Stan grabs a sledge hammer, the Sheriff drags him away. Little Mustard talks to Stan, he drops the sledge hammer on his toe. 'You're wonderful.' She puts her hands on his shoulderes, Stan takes them off, lifts his hat and walks away. He turns before he mounts Big Mike's horse and blows her a kiss, the horse leaves and is replaced by a cow and Stan turns and tries to mount that. The cow runs away with Stan holding onto its tail.
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