Berth Marks

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Berth Marks
Berth Marks lobby card.jpg
Lobby card
Directed by Lewis R. Foster
Produced by Hal Roach
Written by Leo McCarey
H.M. Walker
Starring Stan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Cinematography Len Powers
Edited by Richard C. Currier
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • June 1, 1929 (1929-06-01)
Running time
19' 34" (English)
49' 09" (Spanish)
Country United States
Language English
silent film with English intertitles

Berth Marks is the second sound film starring Laurel and Hardy, released on June 1, 1929.


Stan and Ollie are musicians, travelling by train to their next gig in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, a very popular vaudeville performance location at the time. Ollie is annoyed that Stan left the music behind. They spend most of the trip trying to change into pajamas and get comfortable in a cramped upper berth. They antagonize a very short man (Sammy Brooks) by sitting on him. By entering a private car looking for their berth and frightening a woman who is dressing for bed, they anger her husband who, coming out & seeing a man who had nothing to do with the intrusion, rips his coat. The man, seeing another innocent man, proceeds to tear up this man's clothes off-screen. By the time Laurel & Hardy manage to sort themselves out, the train has reached their stop, and in their hurry to get off, they leave their musical instruments behind. The clothes tearing battle has, by now, involved the whole train, and the conductor manages to get stripped to his underwear and some rags trying to get through. Hardy closes the film by furiously chasing Laurel and throwing a large rock at him.


The engine, which is pulling a passenger train, is shown as a 4-6-2 or an American Pacific type steam locomotive, which was the most common wheel arrangement for steam trains, during the 1800s and 1830s on American railroads until 1928.


Berth Marks was the second sound film released by Laurel & Hardy. A silent version was also made for cinemas that were not yet wired to show talking pictures. Action and dialogue scripts were written mid-April 1929, with filming commencing on April 20–27, 1929.[1]

Several train sequences (included a few not used in the English release) were utilized for foreign language releases versions of The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case in 1930. Laurel and Hardy released three different versions of The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case combined with Berth Marks for the foreign language market:

  • Feu mon oncle - French
  • Noche de duendes - Spanish
  • Spuk um Mitternacht - German[1]

Berth Marks was later reissued in 1936 with a music score added to introductory scenes.[1] This is currently the only surviving version and was subsequently included on the 10-disc Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection DVD set, as well as the Spanish Noche de duendes.



  1. ^ a b c Skretvedt, Randy; Jordan R. Young (1996) [1987]. Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies. Beverly Hills, California: Past Times Publishing. ISBN 0-940410-29-X. 

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