Berth Marks

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

Berth Marks
Lobby card
Directed byLewis R. Foster
Produced byHal Roach
Written byLeo McCarey
H. M. Walker
StarringStan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
Pat Harmon
S. D. Wilcox
Eleanor Fredericks
Harry Bernard
Baldwin Cooke
Paulette Goddard
Charlie Hall
Sammy Brooks
Music byMarvin Hatley (1936 reissue)[1]
CinematographyLen Powers
Edited byRichard C. Currier
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
DIC Entertainment (1990 reissue)
Release date
  • June 1, 1929 (1929-06-01)
Running time
19:34 (English)
49:09 (Spanish)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
French
Spanish
German
Silent film with English intertitles

Plot

Stan and Ollie are musicians who are traveling by train to their next gig in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, a popular vaudeville performance location at the time. They manage to board, but Ollie is annoyed that Stan has left the music behind. They then antagonize a short gentleman (Sammy Brooks) by sitting on him. While looking for their berth they enter a private car and frighten a woman who is dressing for bed. Her angry husband comes out and rips the coat of a man who had nothing to do with the intrusion. The man, seeing another innocent man, proceeds to tear up his coat. This leads to a tit-for-tat of clothes tearing.

Stan and Ollie spend most of the trip trying to change into pajamas and get comfortable in a cramped upper berth. By the time the duo manage to sort themselves out, the train has reached their stop. In their haste to deboard, they leave their instrument behind. The clothes-tearing battle has, by now, involved the whole train, and the conductor gets stripped to his underwear and some rags trying to get through.

Cast

Production notes

Berth Marks was the second sound film released by Laurel and 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 the only known 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.

Trivia

  • The engine, as seen pulling the train, is shown as a 4-6-2 engine or an American Pacific type steam locomotive, which was the most common wheel arrangement for steam trains, during the 1800's and 1830's on American railroads until 1928. Such engines like them were given the name "American" in 1872, because a total of 25,000 were built, which did all the work on every railroad. These types of engines have twelve wheels: four leading wheels, six drive wheels, and two trailing wheels.

References

  1. 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.
  2. "Berth Marks - Cast", imdb.com; accessed April 20, 2017.
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