~Do Detectives Think?~
1927
Directed by: Fred Guiol

Written by:
Hal Roach
H.M. Walker - titles
~Cast~

Stan Laurel ... Ferdinand Finkleberry
Oliver Hardy ... Sherlock Pinkham
James Finlayson ... Judge Foozle
Viola Richard ... Mrs. Foozle
Noah Young ... The Tipton Slasher
Frank Brownlee ... Detective agency boss
Chester A. Bachman ... Officer (uncredited)
Wilson Benge ... Butler attacked by Slasher (uncredited)
Will Stanton ... Killer's pal (uncredited)
Charley Young ... Juror (uncredited)
~Remaining Credits~

Production Company: Hal Roach Studios

Distribution Company: Pathé Exchange

Produced by: Hal Roach

Length: 2 Reels
Runtime: 20 Minutes
Released: November 20, 1927
~Plot Synopsis~
Until the rediscovery of Duck Soup in the 1970s, this comic short was thought to be the first time that
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appeared together in something akin to their now-familiar personas
(before teaming up, Laurel and Hardy appeared in quite a few of the same films at the Hal Roach
studios -- just not as a duo). It isn't quite yet a Laurel and Hardy film -- the boys are given silly names
(Stan is Ferdinand Finkleberry and Ollie is Sherlock Pinkham) instead of using their given names. In
addition, as Judge Foozle, James Finlayson's role is as important as the boys'. There are also smaller
details which indicate that the duo was still a ways off from refining their act -- the titles refer to
Laurel as "the world's second worst detective" and Ollie is the worst. The way we know Laurel and
Hardy now, it would be the other way around. But there is a lot that is familiar -- the bowler hats
which get switched around (although Stan's isn't exactly the same as he would wear in later films),
and many of the pair's mannerisms here would become part of the act. While this was a funny
picture, it would still be a few more films before the team was considered official. Which picture
signals this is still up for debate -- many (including Hal Roach and Stan Laurel himself) claimed it was
Putting Pants on Phillip, others say it was The Second Hundred Years.

Plot Synopsis by Janiss Garza, AllMovie.com