The Midnight Patrol (1933)

Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Harry Bernard, Billy Bletcher, Frank Brownlee, Al Corporal,
Novice policemen Stanley and Oliver, eating lunch in their patrol car, nearly have their spare tire stolen by a thief and his sassy partner. They then miss the broadcast address of a burglary in progress, and Stanley borrows the p...
  • 7.1 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2022-07-31 Added:
  • Sidney Rauh, Writer:
  • Lloyd French, Director:
  • Producer:
7 / 10

Nothing too fancy, just some good old fashioned comical situations.

This is most definitely not one of the best or most memorable Laurel & Hardy shorts. It doesn't really have enough slapstick in it and the comical situations, although good, feel far fetched and perhaps a bit awkward, especially toward the ending.

They could have done something more interesting with the concept of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy joining the police force. They get themselves into some comical and dumb situations but it all is perhaps a bit too formulaic. That is the main reason why "Midnight Patrol" is an enjoyable but at the same time very forgettable Laurel & Hardy shorts.

Lloyd French never was the best or most consistent director of Laurel & Hardy movies. His movies are certainly enjoyable but lacking in originality or true creativity at the same time.

I'm beginning to sound negative but of course this movie is not an horrible one to watch. Mainly the Laurel & Hardy fans will still find plenty to enjoy in this movie, although also they have to admit that this is far from the best and/or most memorable Laurel & Hardy shorts.


7 / 10

Same old Laurel and Hardy in a whole new setting

When I first started watching this short, I kept asking myself what type of police force is THAT stupid or short-sighted to give Laurel and Hardy jobs as cops?! Having the boys play policemen is a nice departure from the norm and it seems ironic that they played jailbirds in many more films! Regardless, the team behave much as you'd expect in this new role--they completely miss obvious crimes right in front of their faces but manage to apprehend the one person they meet who is actually minding his own business! Along the way, Stan and Ollie bumble and break stuff and act pretty much their usual selves. In a way, it's a real shame that aside from them being cops, this film is so very conventional and doesn't offer that many new ideas or gags. This isn't to say this is a bad film--just not anything extraordinarily different from the norm.

6 / 10

Noir-ish and morbid for one of the most iconic comedy duos in history

We've seen Laurel and Hardy as bums, unionized workers, manual laborers, Christmas tree sales man, and men soon to be married, but never before have we seen them as police officers (that work was presumably left to the Keystone Cops). The Midnight Patrol shows Laurel and Hardy as two late night police officers, who are informed of a burglary at a nearby mansion. After being completely oblivious to another thief attempting to crack a safe at a local store until he tries to steal the boys' car, Laurel and Hardy arrive at the aforementioned mansion and need to find a way inside. The boys attempt to use a solid stone bench as a battering ram to break the door down, which results in one of the funniest Laurel and Hardy stunts in any of their shorts, as they cause complete destruction to property and end up in a barrel of sauerkraut (don't ask) before being scolded by their superiors in the harshest, most evil way.

The Midnight Patrol is a much more downtrodden, morbid short by the boys, dark and noir-ish in lighting and tone, only complimenting the early 1930's time period. Laurel and Hardy are intensely watchable here, but the humor is traded for a much more casual approach to a narrative that isn't always funny nor interesting, and, frankly, sometimes boring. However, the frightening and unexpected ending and the setup here are unique enough for Laurel and Hardy standards that The Midnight Patrol merits a watch in some respect.

Starring: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Directed by: Lloyd French.

10 / 10

Looking For Crime With Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy

A LAUREL & HARDY Comedy Short.

Novice cops Stan & Ollie are THE MIDNIGHT PATROL, guardians of the night. Their complete incompetence dealing with crime, however, soon leaves a trail of chaos & destruction.

A funny little film, although ending it with two murders is a bit much. Highlight: Ollie in the fishpond. That's Frank Brownlee as the Chief, Walter Plinge as the gentlemanly crook and Charlie Hall as one of the tire thieves.

6 / 10

Funny moments for Laurel

Laurel and Hardy are police officers. They must get a burglar although we know that the man they are looking for is no real burglar. He just wasn't able to enter his own house.

With some very funny moments for Laurel and some pretty nice verbal jokes as well this short is entertaining enough although I have seen better from Laurel and Hardy. The story itself has some nice surprises.