Habeas Corpus (1928 film)

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Habeas Corpus
L&H Habeas Corpus 1929.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byLeo McCarey
James Parrott
Produced byHal Roach
Written byLeo McCarey
H. M. Walker
StarringStan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Richard Carle
Charles A. Bachman
Charley Rogers
CinematographyLen Powers
Edited byRichard C. Currier
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 1, 1928 (1928-12-01)
Running time
20 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English (Original intertitles)

Habeas Corpus is a 1928 short comedy silent film starring Laurel and Hardy as grave-robbers hired by a mad scientist. It was shot in July 1928 and released by M-G-M on December 1.[1] Although technically a silent film—having intertitles and no synchronized dialogue—it was the inaugural Roach film released with a synchronized music and sounds effects track for theatres wired for sound.[2] The Victor sound discs were long thought lost until a lone set surfaced in the 1990s and was reunited with the film elements.[3]


Professor Padilla is a mad scientist whose plans have drawn the interest of the police. His latest scheme is to perform a medical experiment on a corpse. Stan and Ollie, by chance, happen to arrive at the professor's home in search of a free meal. The professor offers the duo $500 if they will steal a body from a local graveyard. They think the professor is balmy, but they agree to his offer anyway. The conversation is overheard by the professor's butler, Ledoux, who happens to be a police informant. Ledoux calls police headquarters and is told to go to the graveyard to thwart any theft. Meanwhile the police arrest the mad professor. At the cemetery, Stan and Ollie get into a series of comical misadventures trying to enter the grounds and while digging up a fresh grave. Ledoux manages to slip into the grave while covered in a white sack. Stan and Ollie take Ledoux from the grave. With Ledoux's "corpse" slung over Stan's back, Ledoux's legs rip through the bottom of the sack--and he walks step for step behind Stan. Stan and Ollie realize their stolen corpse is still alive and begin to run in panic. The chase ends with Ollie and Ledoux falling into a deep, water-filled hole.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Skretvedt, Randy (1987). Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies. Beverly Hills, CA: Past Times Publishing. ISBN 0-940410-29-X. p. 130
  2. ^ Skretvedt, p. 132
  3. ^ Mitchell, Glenn (1995). The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia. London: Batsford Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7134-7711-3. p. 122

External links[edit]