Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Working on the theory that the only thing funnier than Laurel and Hardy is two sets of Laurel and Hardys, Our Relations milks its central mistaken-identity situation for all it's worth. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are two solid citizens, happily married and highly respected in their community. One morning, Hardy receives a letter from his mother, containing an old photo of himself and Laurel with their twin brothers, Alf Laurel and Bert Hardy. Mamma also reveals that Alf and Bert turned out to be "bad lads" and ran off to sea, and that reportedly they'd been hanged for taking part in a mutiny. "Isn't that calamitous!" remarks Hardy, who conspires with Laurel to hide the facts about their no-good brothers from their wives. Meanwhile, in another part of town, the S.S. Periwinkle pulls into port. Among the crew members are the selfsame Alf and Bert, who have decided to entrust their pal Fin (James Finlayson) with their month's salary. Fin has promised to invest the dough so that the boys will become millionaires "before you can say Jack Robinson". Alf and Bert are then summoned to the cabin of their captain (Sidney Toler), who orders them to pick up a valuable package for him, then meet him later at Denker's Beer Garden. While waiting for the captain at Denker's, Alf and Bert are captivated by a pair of waterfront floozies, Alice (Iris Adrian) and Lily (Lona Andre). Talked into buying the girls a huge meal for which they haven't the necessary funds, Alf and Bert decide to go back to Fin and reclaim their money, leaving the contents of the captain's package-a valuable pearl ring-with tough waiter Joe Groagan (Alan Hale) as security. Later, Laurel and Hardy take their wives Betty (Betty Healy) and Daphne (Daphne Pollard) to lunch-and, inevitably, they end up at Denker's Beer Garden, where the equally inevitable mix-ups begin to occur. Things snowball from bad to worse before both sets of twins, an angry captain, a disgruntled Fin, the wives, the floozies, a genial drunk (Arthur Housman) and a brace of smooth gangsters (Ralf Harolde and Noel Madison) all converge at the upscale Pirate Club. Several slapstick complications later, Laurel and Hardy are captured by the gangsters, who threaten to dump the boys in the river with their feet encased in cement if they don't cough up the pearl ring. Alf and Bert come to the rescue, and all is well, at least until the film's boffo punchline. Based on W.W. Jacobs' short story The Money Box, Our Relations is perhaps the most plot-heavy of Laurel and Hardy's features for Hal Roach Studios. It is also one of their funniest, as well as their most lavishly produced. The film was officially listed as "A Stan Laurel Production"-as if Laurel hadn't been the prime creative force behind all of the team's previous films.
mistaken-identity, twins, brother, separated-at-birth, family-secrets, friendship, package, reunion, sailor, underworld, boating, gangster, restaurant, sea-captain, wife