The Midnight Patrol (1933)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Police Comedy  |   Run Time - 20 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are policemen on night duty. As they sit in their car having a snack, they get a call from headquarters to inform them that their spare tire is being stolen. But that's only a taste of their sheer incompetence -- when they are told to investigate a burglary, they get distracted and forget the address. While trying to call headquarters to get the address again, the duo encounter a crook in a jewelry store (Frank Terry) and send him on his way after fitting a court appearance into his busy schedule. When they find the crook trying to steal their police car, Ollie scolds him for his misbehavior, and says he now must be in court tomorrow. With that they head over to the house in question and sure enough, a man (Frank Brownlee) is wandering around, trying to get in. He goes into the basement and they follow, but are faced with a locked door. Ollie decides the best bet is to go in the front door, using a marble bench as a battering ram. After several attempts, which land Ollie in the fish pond, they crash in -and crash through the staircase into the basement. The man who broke in -- and who, it turns out, is the owner -- goes to investigate and also falls through the hole to the basement. Stan and Ollie knock the man unconscious and drag him triumphantly into the station. The other policemen recognize him as the Chief of Police. The boys make a dash for the exit, and the Chief, now conscious, goes after them, brandishing his gun. Two gunshots later, he returns with a grim order: "Send for the coroner!" The other officers remove their caps.