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Sons of the Desert

Under the microscope

I am still marvelling at the amount of information to be found in the commentaries by RANDY SKRETVEDT on the new Definitive Restorations DVDs and in his book Laurel and Hardy - The Magic Behind the Movies. I have  picked just a few examples from Sons of the Desert here.

 Willie McIntyre 

The film took just three weeks to shoot.


Each chapter in the film was called an “oasis” not a “tent”.


The doorbell “business” early in the movie was not in the script.


The magazine Stan is reading in Ollie’s house is three months old.


Mae Busch was brought up in a convent.


Patsy Kelly was originally planned to play Mrs Laurel, but she had other commitments.


When Mrs L addresses Mrs H, it sounds like “Lolly” rather than “Lottie”.

The character played by Charley Chase was called “Bill” in the script.

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It is a clever touch to name the horse doctor “Horace Meddick”.


Lucien Littlefield, who played Horace Meddick, was only 38 years old.


We catch a glimpse of T Marvin Hatley in the orchestra which is playing behind the hula dancers.


Jimmy Aubrey is one of the guys at the convention.


Ellen Corby (Grandma from The Waltons) played one of the guests at the convention.


We discover how the sunburst logo used widely by today’s Sons of the Desert came into being, through a misunderstanding.

A continuity lapse: Laurel and Hardy’s pyjamas magically dry as they enter Ollie’s house with the cop.

In later years, Stan (in a letter) said that he thought that Fraternally Yours was a better title than Sons of the Desert.


The movie cost $156,000 to make. It earned a £300,000 net profit.


We are told that Stan was a chain smoker.

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