From Soup to Nuts

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"From soup to nuts" is also a common phrase referring to the courses of a meal; having a soup course before the salad and a nut plate after dessert indicates "the complete treatment," above and beyond the ordinary.
From Soup to Nuts
L&H From Soup to Nuts 1928.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by E. Livingston Kennedy
Produced by Hal Roach
Written by Leo McCarey
H.M. Walker
Starring Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Dorothy Coburn
Buddy the Dog
Otto Fries
Anita Garvin
Sam Lufkin
Edna Marion
Gene Morgan
Tiny Sandford
Ellinor Vanderveer
Cinematography Len Powers
Edited by Richard C. Currier
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) March 24, 1928 (1928-03-24)
Running time 18 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent film
English (Original intertitles)

From Soup to Nuts is a 1928 short comedy film starring Laurel and Hardy as butlers hired for a high society dinner party. When Stan is asked to serve the salad undressed he serves it in his underwear.

The film was remade as a 20-minute section at the start of their 1940 feature A Chump at Oxford, added to extend that film's length for European audiences.

Plot[edit]

The film centers around Stan and Ollie being hired as waiters at an upper class dinner party and subsequently not making a very good job of it.

The film starts with Stan and Ollie arriving at the host's house, with Ollie taking charge before even entering the property (he insists he is the one to ring the doorbell). The maid shows them inside, where Stan puts their personal card on table with a collection of others. Visible on their card is the slogan, “All we ask is a chance”. A small fight breaks out between Ollie and Stan as a result of Ollie trying to keep Stan from putting his hat on inside the house.

After the wife of the household inspects them she gets shown a notice apologizing that the only available waiters were the duo, where it is revealed on the paper that their previous experience in waiting was at railroad eating houses. Ollie comments to the wife's husband that she is “some wiggler!” (meaning the way she walks) and naturally, the husband isn't impressed.

The pair get ready to start work in the kitchen where Stan tells the chef (who is busy cooking) not to wear his hat. Stan takes it off him several times but the chef proceeds to keep putting it back on. Stan soon loses his cool and throws the chefs hat away. The chef retaliates by grabbing the nearest plate and smashing it over Stan's head. Stan does the same back to the chef and they carry on using plates as weapons until Ollie calms things down by stopping Stan from destroying a large, expensive looking plate. However, as Ollie walks off, he trips on the kitchen floor and smashes the plate, causing him to be embarrassed by the onlooking maid.

Meanwhile the party goes on, oblivious to the impending disaster awaiting them. The wife of the household isn't having an easy time either, as she struggles to eat her fruit cocktail with the cutlery provided. Her predicament carries on throughout the film. Stan and Ollie come into the room as they are about to start serving food. Stan manages to pour, what looks like soup, onto Ollie's foot while he counts the guests. Ollie begins carrying a very large cake to the table but slips on a banana skin left by the family dog and lands head first into the cake. Ollie manages to do this more than once in the film, much to the bemusement of the guests, and of Stan, who accuses him of falling over on purpose at one point.

The pair spend most of the film falling down while trying to serve the food, much to the anger of the husband of the household. This is one of the first films to show Stan getting cross for once, as he loses his temper with Ollie's incompetence and with the guests.

The wife then asks Ollie to serve the salad “undressed”. Ollie tells Stan to do this who, confused, heads to the kitchen to tell the maid what he has to do. The maid says, “I always serve it that way...”. Stan can't believe this but goes ahead and dresses down to his underwear to serve the salad. The film ends with the husband and wife discovering Stan undressed, and after a futile attempt by Ollie to put a jacket on Stan and ask, “How's that - perfect?”, Ollie gets hit by the wife and falls into yet another cake.

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

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