|Directed by||James W. Horne|
|Written by||H.M. Walker (titles)|
|Produced by||Hal Roach|
|Edited by||Richard C. Currier (as Richard Currier)|
English (Original intertitles)
Big Business is a 1929 silent Laurel and Hardy comedy short subject directed by James W. Horne and supervised by Leo McCarey from a McCarey (uncredited) and H. M. Walker script. The film, largely about tit-for-tat vandalism between Laurel and Hardy as Christmas tree salesmen and the man who rejects them, was deemed culturally significant and entered into the National Film Registry in 1992.
Stan and Ollie play door-to-door Christmas tree salesmen in California. They end up getting into an escalating feud with grumpy would-be customer James Finlayson. Goaded by their repeated attempts to sell him a Christmas tree, he destroys it with hedge-clippers. Laurel and Hardy retaliate by damaging the man's doorframe with a knife. Finlayson then goes to work on their clothes, and this escalates, with his home and their car being destroyed in the melee (after Finlayson has run out of Christmas trees to mangle). A police officer (Tiny Sandford) steps in to stop the fight (after vases are thrown out and smashed, and one hits him on the foot) and negotiates a peaceful resolution. Stan and Ollie give the homeowner a cigar as a peace offering. However, as the pair make their escape and the homeowner happily lights the gratis smoking-device, it is revealed to be a "trick" cigar rigged with a hidden powder-charge, which promptly explodes in his face.
Producer Hal Roach bought a vacant house at 10281 Dunleer Drive, Cheviot Hills, Los Angeles from a studio worker so he could destroy it in the film. According to Roach, a mistake was made regarding the address—and the cast and crew demolished the house next door instead. The owners of that home happened to be away on vacation and returned just as filming was wrapping up. Stan Laurel later said that Roach's story was a fabrication. However, Roach, at age 100, repeated the story as factual during a 1992 guest appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
- Stan Laurel as Stan
- Oliver Hardy as Ollie
- James Finlayson as the furious Home owner
- Tiny Sandford as the Policeman
- Lyle Tayo as the first Customer
- Charlie Hall as Neighbor
- "Complete National Film Registry Listing | Film Registry | National Film Preservation Board | Programs at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
- Fleming, E. J. (2010). The Movieland Directory: Nearly 30,000 Addresses of Celebrity Homes, Film Locations and Historical Sites in the Los Angeles Area, 1900-Present. McFarland. p. 131. ISBN 9780786443376. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- Big Business essay by Randy Skretvedt at National Film Registry 
- Big Business essay by Daniel Eagan in America's Film Legacy: The Authoritative Guide to the Landmark Movies in the National Film Registry, A&C Black, 2010 ISBN 0826429777, pages 158-159 
- Big Business at IMDb
- Big Business at the TCM Movie Database
- Big Business at AllMovie
- Big Business at Rotten Tomatoes