The Missing Film


The film was apparently an enormous success when first released which made considerable headway in establishing the Laurel and Hardy team with the film-going public. After being last publicly shown in Germany in 1930, Hats Off vanished without a trace, and is now considered a lost film. It was heavily reworked into their Academy Award winning classic, The Music Box (1932). It incorporated the same location used in The Music Box five years later, a long, steep flight of concrete steps in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles.


Stan and Ollie are salesmen attempting to sell a washing machine; they fail constantly after several near misses. One would-be sale has them carrying the machine up a large flight of steps, merely to find out that a young lady wants them to post a letter for her. The boys later get into an argument knocking off each others' hats, which eventually involves scores of others. A police van eventually carts all those involved away except Stan and Ollie, who afterwards try and find their own headgear amongst the hundreds of others lying on the street.


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Our team of researchers & specialists

Dave Wyatt Profile Picture

Dave Wyatt - Film Researcher

An author, researcher and programmer, David is a champion of silent comedy having programmed comedy seasons for the National Film Theatre and various festivals around the world.

Glenn Mitchell Profile Picture

Glenn Mitchell - Film Historian

Glenn Mitchell's book The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia is considered an essential guide to the team. Among his many radio documentaries is BBC Radio 4's Laurel & Hardy On Tour.