by Ray Andrew

Laurel and Hardy Way out West.Lobby card.My front door bell rang, it was 8.15 am and the postman proffered me my mail, "Could'nt get this through the letter box" he said, Oh no", I thought, "Not more tax bills". But no, here was a packet covered in American stamps could it be that parking fine I never paid in New York. I ripped open the packet. "EUREKA" I said (I did'nt really it was far, far worse) there before me was an original copy of script number 27 of the film "Way Out West". Although the script has no title, it is quite unmistakable even if the finished film is quite different. The script had been kindly sent to me by Charlie Hall's niece, who so generously helped me with information for my book "On The Trail Of Charlie Hall".

What you are about to read has had to be condensed drastically for this  on-magazine and I just feel that "Sons" should be given the opportunity to share this information rather than it being stored up in some vault. Charlie hall never appeared in the finished film and there is no information to my knowledge whether he could have been selected to play the 'Indian' that appears in the river sequence or in the 'How' campfire sequence or even the Indian chief, he did have dark hair and could have done the part easily.

He could have been behind the camera in charge of the special effects, something he often Laurel and Hardy thumb a fireworked on with Stan Laurel, in fact he finished his working life doing just that at Warner Brothers Studios as a prop maker. There are numerous pages marked with a pencil tick signifying that special effects were wanted, for instance when Ollie is hauled up to the first floor of the saloon at night.

The front cover page of the script shows a Charlie Hall pencil drawing of a "Roach location" direction sign to measure 36in. x l3in. The script has no title just "F-14 Laurel and Hardy" with a note stating "This script number 27 is the property of Hal Roach Studios". When the picture is completed it positively must be returned to the production department, room 29. Signed S.S. Van Keuren. Production Manager. (Hal Roach's son in law I believe).

This script gives a fascinating insight into how the film was originaly written and I think the final story has neither lost or gained in its editing. The eventual film ending supercedes the script ending as you will read. Sadly I did not get a chance to discuss with  the late Rosina Lawrence (Mary Roberts) on her memories of Way out West.


Fade in to 'Brushwood Gulch' sign -camera pulls back and we see the main street with cowboys whooping it up and firing their guns. Dissolve to 'Honky Tonk Saloon'


Line up of chorus girls on stage dancing behind 'Lola' who is singing.


Mary washes dishes and is pushed around by waiter (Fin). An old woman cook disgustedly looks on. Fin exits.


Fin enters, views Lola's next stage costume, Steps on its train as she exits, resulting in it ripping off. Fin sends her off with an Ostrich fan to cover things.


Laurel and Hardy in Way out West Lonsome PineLaurel and Hardy enter scene. Ollie is asleep on a horse drawn sled (Travois). The stream sequence stays the same but Stan does not do the hanky drying Ollie gag. When they get to the other side of the stream they argue about the correct direction they should be taking as the 'Brushwood Gulch' sign seems to be pointing in the wrong direction, an Indian rides up to them, they asked his advise, (wind alters the sign's direction) he points and off they go. Next they meet with the sheriff who says go in another direction. Laurel and Hardy argue as to who was right, Stan pretends to pull off Ollie's nose (thumb between fingers trick), Ollie threatens Stan with a rock to return his nose. Stan (angry) draws his gun and fires, Ollie winces and ducks, Stan misses, Ollie lays down thinking has been shot. Re-enter the Sheriff, with a hole in his Stetson, he kicks Stan in the fanny (backside). Prujiella the donkey does the same to the Sherrif who reels headlong into a cactus bush. NOTE: In the movie the Donkey was called 'Dinah'.


Laurel and Hardy On the trail of the lonesome pine

A rare behind the scenes shot of the 'At The Ball Dance' sequence.

The exterior saloon arrival sequence is the same but has no musical interlude. Inside, Fin's false reading cash register is not mentioned. Laurel and Hardy have a conversation with Fin about their looking for Mary Roberts, Ollie searches his pockets for the 'deeds' while Stan unwraps a sandwich from his pocket (wrapped with the deeds). Fin exits. Enter Mary the kitchen girl, the boys now meet her for the first time, she is carrying a tray of sandwiches which Stan proceeds to devour.


Fin enters and tells Lola of the deeds and his plan, she agrees to go along with it. The boys now arrive at the apartment and meet Lola for the first time. Lola on hearing of her supposed fathers death starts playing a sad lament on the piano which slowly leads the boys to a full flood of tears. Mary enters the apartment, and asks if the boys have dropped any papers (the deeds) Mary exits. The deeds are passed over to Lola. Fin suggests the boys stay at another hotel because his one has Ptomaine poisoning.

Cut to: EXTERIOR. SALOON-DAY Prunella slips her reins and wanders off.

Laurel and hardy exit from the saloon entrance and notice Prunella is not around and go to look for her. Around the back of the saloon they see Mary peeling carrots and feeding Prunella. Mary enquires on the name of the donkey and says her daddy had one with the same name and it could do tricks like sit down on the command 'Squat' and kick out on the command 'Let em have it'. Laurel and Hardy now discover that Fin had lied so the boys plan a retrieval of the deeds.


Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in Way out WestThe boys enter the apartment and have a fracas with Fin and Lola. Lola locks the deeds in the safe and they have a gunfight in the apartment. A bullet ricochetes around the room and starts up a 'Victriola' causing it to play the same groove over and over: "Massas in the cold, in the cold, in the cold, etc. Stan has found refuge under a dining table. Another stray bullet shatters a ketchup bottle which drips over Stan who lays down thinking he is about to die. Ollie fires at Fin and misses, hits a deer head trophie that falls down antlers first onto Fin's backside. Fin swings around to fire another shot and his qun gets caught up in the chair springs. The boys see this and grab Fin and put his head through the half open door then put the door safety chain on. To stop Fin hollering Stan empties the entire contents of a soda bottle into Fins's mouth. Fin then exhudes the soda water in a constant stream all over Ollie. The sheriff now enters the apartment, chases the boys down the stairs and out into the street, he shouts after them to never return, Fin says "thats it-let 'em have it", enter Prunella etc.


Laurel and Hardy are sprawled out under a tree talking about the deed retrieval, an Indian creeps up on them, Stairn describes an idea to Ollie, the Indian says' "How", Stan explains again to Ollie, Ollie answers, The Indian says "How" again and a great deal of confusion ensues. On noticing the Indians presence Stan talks to the Indian in English ,but the Indian answers in sign language, Stan thinks he wants to do 'handies' so he shows him some 'finger wiggles' the Indian does not understand it so he beckons-come with me.



Indians war dance around a fire, suddenly the drum beat stops. An Indian chief approaches the boys who have been watching the proceedings, the chief grunts and offers them three fighting knives, he grunts again and (quivering) they choose their weapons, Stan grabs the largest knife and Ollie grabs the smallest, the chief grunts again and then says "that one is $1 and that one is $2".


The boys, dressed as Indians creep along in the shadows, along comes the sheriff, the boys assume the pose of cigar store Indians, Stan has an arm raised holding a Tomahawk, Ollie is kneeling next to him, the sheriff stops near by to light a cigar, he srikes a match under Stans raised arm causing Stan to bring the Tomahawk down on Ollie's head, the match does'nt ignite so the sheriff strikes again under Stan's arm, this time it ignites, he lights his cigar, tosses the match and exits. The match lands on Ollie's feather headdress which bursts into flame causing vast confusion and leaving Stan to put it out with his blanket.


The boys approach the front entrance of the saloon, it has an expanding security gate which they peer through, Stan notices that it is not locked so opens it trapping Ollie's nose in the slats. The doors are locked so they stack three barrels on top of each other which Ollie climbs. Using the handle of a rake, he attempts to pull himself up the last 2 or 3 feet to the balcony but the rake handle breaks and babe falls through the three barrels finishing Inside the bottom one which proceeds to roll down an Incline.


Fin wakes up, leaps out of bed and grabs an old musket, he then returns to bed after a quick inspection out of the window.


Laurel laural lorel hardyOllie has cleared himself of the barrel remains and searches around the saloon for another possible entry point when he sees a girder above an upper window, he finds a rope which he throws over the girder and then ties around his waist, unable to lift Ollie Stan ties the rope to Prunella and gives Ollie an extra piece of rope which Ollie puts the end of into his back pocket, what he does'nt realise is it's really a garden hose. Prunella is led forward and as Ollie rises the hose catches on the fawcet (tap) and turns it on which proceeds to fill Ollies trousers with water while he swings in the air. Stan sees the predicament and leaves Prunella while he turns off the tap Ollies weight now causes Prunella to be dragged backwards and Ollie descends rapidly down into and through a slanting cellar door. The donkey is now left hanging in mid air. Stan goes over to Ollie and undoes the rope which catches around his arm resulting in the donkey dropping down and Stan going up in the air. Ollie quickly undoes the rope from Prunella and he lowers Stan to the ground. Furious Stan grabs a piece of 2x4 and tries to hit Ollie, Ollie ducks and the 2x4 smashes the downstairs window of Mary Roberts bedroom.


The boys climb through the broken window and explain to Mary why they have returned, suddenly Fin is heard approaching, the boys hide. Fin enters Mary's Bedroom and steps on a mouse trap, hopping mad he tells Mary to go to bed and stop making so much noise.


Laurel and Hardy ride the stage coach

A superb rare backlot still.


Laurel and Hardy creep through the kitchen, Stan sees a Tomato and stops to salt and PEPPER it, Ollie watches, then slaps at Stan who inadvertantly shakes pepper in Ollies face and they have a big sneezing session, the sneezing continues as they move into the main saloon where a number of musical instruments get BANGED, TOOTED & YANKED causing lots of noise. When all of the noise has settled down they go upstairs to Fin's bedroom door to check if all is clear but off screen Stan is banging something, it causes Ollie to return quickly, Stan is attacking the safe with a hammer and chisel. They decide to take the safe downstairs on Ollies back but he trips headlong down the stairs with an enormous crash.


Fin awakes in his bed, Lola (in her bed) tells Fin to get back to sleep.


Ollie is seen with his body stuck halfway inside and through the back of the safe. Stan opens the safe door to reveal Ollies despondent face. "What are you doing in there" he asks. Ollie gives his 'woe begone' look. Stan closes the door in Ollies face.


Fin appears on the landing with a lantern (Stan hides under a piano), Lola yells at Fin to return to bed.


Stan returns from under the piano and helps Ollie out of the safe and they try to find the deed in the dark by a lighted match which soon goes out so they ignite a piece of paper which Ollie quickly sees are the deeds.


stan and babe aka Laurel and HardyFin appears again on the landing, he now has a lantern and gun, he trips and goes headlong downstairs. Suddenly he hears a sneeze from inside the piano then the sound of the strings being touched. He goes up to the piano and puts his gun muzzle under the piano lid right at Ollies head. Fin now sits at the piano and plays the notes until he finds a 'dud' one then proceeds to bang the keys very hard, we see the boys getting a serious pounding to the face. Shortly, Fin is joined by Lola, Fin grabs the gun again and orders the boys out of the piano. The boys don't respond so he lets them have both barrels and the piano collapses along with the boys into a big tangle of strings. Lola rushes in and grabs the deeds.


Indian warriors approach the saloon, one Indian at a window fires an arrow which hits Fin in the backside, Fin drops the lantern and in the darkness the boys rush out to the kitchen where they meet Mary, they continue through to the back door where they encounter more indians, returning they rush back through swing doors into the saloon meeting Fin and Lola enroute. Fin and Lola crash onto the floor. Stan, Ollie and Mary continue through the bar, Stan grabs a couple of bottles which he throws at Fin out of shot, he misses and they hit a harp by a broken window and rebound into Ollie nearly knocking him out. Ollie has an idea and they position the harp so that when the Indians appear at the window Stan hands Ollie a bottle which he places in the strings and shoots it bow and arrow style to good effect. Fin and Lola mean-while escape through the kitchen chased by an Indian. Lola climbs into a big refrigerator. Fin gets cornered by an Indian who is approaching menacingly with a tomahawk, afraid of being scalped Fin takes off his toupe which he gives to the Indian, the Indian is so dumfounded that he rushes through a window to the outside. Fin climbs through another window on to the back of Prunella and tries to ride her away. Meanwhile, Stan and Mary are handing bottles as fast as they can to Ollie and many Indians fall unconcious. Eventually, the Indians rush to the saloon and search for the boys, they see a piano start to move, it's legs are doing funny contortions. Mary, Stan and Ollie are in different corners of the piano acting as legs and as it dashes out of the saloon the Indians scatter in all directions.


The piano careers out of the saloon and down the main street followed by a large group of indians firing arrows and hitting the piano.


The Piano hurtles towards a cliff, unable to see where they are going the Piano runs off the cliff, tumbles through the air and lands upside down on the water. We see three pairs of legs stuck in the air as it drifts downstream.



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