Chickens Come Home
is a 1931 short film starring Laurel and Hardy
, directed by James W. Horne
and produced by Hal Roach
. It was shot in January, 1931 and released on February 21, 1931. It is a remake of the 1927 silent film Love 'em and Weep
in which Jimmy Finlayson
played Hardy's role and Hardy played a party guest.
Ollie is living a perfect life: a lovely wife, a beautiful mansion complete with a butler, even his own manure
dealership—with a mayoral
nomination not far behind. Ollie calls on Stan (who was in the sample room, holding a flyswatter) to transcribe an acceptance speech. Enter an old flame (Mae Busch
), aiming to take advantage of Ollie's situation: blackmail Ollie into giving her hush money, or else present to the press a scandalous picture of her and Ollie, a picture taken during his "gilded youth...my primrose
days...before I was married." Ollie's plans of reaching a final settlement with the woman are scuppered when his wife (Thelma Todd
) enters: They are to have an important dinner party with a judge and his wife the same time Ollie is to meet the woman to discuss terms. Ollie then enlists Stan to go over to the woman's apartment and stall her until Ollie can get there.
Stan enters the old flame's house that night. The woman, displeased about being tricked, calls Ollie on the phone
. Ollie promises to get there as soon as possible. While the woman is waiting in another room, Stan intercepts the scandalous photograph. Soon after, Stan barricades the door with most of her furniture, although this does not stall the woman (she uses the other door to leave). A struggle to keep the woman from entering her car is witnessed by a busybody neighbor (Patsy O'Byrne), who immediately rushes to tell the wife (Norma Drew) that Stan was "going to Mr. Hardy's house to make whoopee" with the woman.
Meanwhile, Ollie is thinking of a way to get out of the house. In one instance, he feigns running out of cigars
. As he is about to go to the store, the butler (Jimmy Finlayson
) enters with a fresh box. This good deed is met with an ungrateful kick in the shin by Ollie, although the butler is paid off to keep mum. All of Ollie's attempts fail to work, and the old flame eventually arrives (with Stan on her trail). Ollie tries to pass her off as Mrs. Laurel to avoid suspicion by Mrs. Hardy. As soon as Stan, Ollie, and the woman are alone, Ollie produces a gun, threatening to kill the woman and then himself, causing her to faint.
The boys attempt to get her out before Mrs. Hardy returns. They strike upon a plan: Mrs. Hardy returns to see Stan take "Mrs. Laurel" home (actually, Ollie carrying the woman on his back while his head is concealed with her coat). Stan whimpers when he sees the real
Mrs. Laurel ringing the doorbell, and the two of them race back to the den to switch positions. Mr. Hardy tries taking the woman out, but the wives are not fooled, and Mrs. Laurel, bearing a hatchet, chases after her husband.
A Spanish language version of this film was completely re-shot with the stars delivering their lines in phonetic Spanish. It was expanded to one hour by adding scenes of Abraham J. Cantu, a magician and of vaudeville regurgitator
, Hadji Ali
, performing at the Hardy dinner party. Titled Politiquerias
, the film was released in Latin American and Spanish markets as a feature.
Joining headliners Laurel and Hardy was a supporting cast of native Spanish speakers: Linda Loredo
played Mrs. Hardy, Carmen Granada was Mrs. Laurel and Rina De Liguro was the burr under everyone's saddle in the Mae Busch role. James Finlayson absorbed the abuse — and more — of the magician and the regurgitator in the added scenes, reprising his role as the Hardy butler.