Another Fine Mess

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Not to be confused with Another Nice Mess.
Another Fine Mess
Another fine mess 1930 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James Parrott
Produced by Hal Roach
Written by H.M. Walker
Starring Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Music by Leroy Shield
Cinematography Jack Stevens
Edited by Richard C. Currier
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
November 29, 1930 (1930-11-29)
Running time
28' 09"
Country United States
Language English

Another Fine Mess is a 1930 short comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy. It is based on the 1908 play Home From The Honeymoon by Arthur J. Jefferson, Stan Laurel's father, and is a talkie remake of the 1927 silent Laurel and Hardy film Duck Soup.


Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel are vagabonds being chased by the police. They hide in the cellar of the mansion of a Quatermain-esque adventurer, Colonel Wilburforce Buckshot (James Finlayson), who departs for a safari in South Africa. The mansion is to be rented out until his return, but the staff sneak off for a holiday, leaving the house empty. The boys are surrounded by police and have to deceive a honeymooning couple wanting to rent the house. Oliver disguises himself as Buckshot and Stan disguises himself as both butler Hives and chambermaid Agnes.

During a girl-talk scene with Thelma Todd and Stan (disguised as Agnes), Stan's comments get sillier and sillier. The real Colonel returns to fetch his bow & arrows, and finds the disorder that had ensued after his departure. Ollie continues his masquerade as Colonel Buckshot to the real colonel, until he sees the portrait on the wall of the real owner. Stan and Ollie escape the ensuing row dressed as a wildebeest on a stolen tandem bicycle. They ride into a railroad tunnel and encounter a train, but emerge riding unicycles.



Unlike other L&H shorts, the technical credits are recited by two girls in usherette outfits. Beverly and Betty Mae Crane performed the "talking titles" for several Roach shorts during the 1930-31 season as an experimental alternative to standard title cards. This was also the first Laurel and Hardy film to feature the well known Leroy Shield scorings for background music. A couple previous episodes began experimenting with it but beginning with this film, these tunes would be heard regularly on Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, Charley Chase, Boy Friends, among other Hal Roach productions.

No foreign-language versions are known to exist for this short. Possibly this short was shown with subtitles in non-English-speaking countries, as audiences were critical of the unnatural quality of the alternate versions.


The title of the movie is Hardy's famous catchphrase "Another fine mess". However, in films Hardy always said "another nice mess". The only known occasion when "another fine mess" was apparently said by Ollie was in a radio programme in which the team appeared in the 1940s.[citation needed]

This is also the second film to feature the line "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into," which was first used in The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case.

Even though the butler in this film is named "Meadows", when Stan masquerades as the butler, Ollie, as the pseudo-Colonel Buckshot, refers to him as "Hives". This may or may not have been a nod to the Marx Brothers' Animal Crackers, released that same year, which was about a similarly Quatermain-esque adventurer, Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho Marx), and in which the mansion's butler was also named "Hives".

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