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Lh bullfighters
Lh bullfighters poster

The Bullfighters is a Laurel & Hardy sound feature film released 19 May 1945.

Summary

Private detectives Stan and Ollie travel from their hometown of Peoria, Illinois, to Mexico City in pursuit of an infamous female larcenist named Hattie Blake, who is publicly known as "Larceny Nell." Meanwhile, American sports promoter Richard K. Muldoon meets with publicity man "Hot Shot" Coleman and his assistant to discuss an upcoming bullfight featuring famed Spanish matador Don Sebastian. But when Muldoon sees pictures of the bullfighter he becomes enraged; Don Sebastian looks exactly like Stan. Hot Shot is confused until Muldoon tells him the story.

Eight years earlier in Peoria, Stan and Ollie both testified against Muldoon in a criminal case, and Muldoon was wrongfully convicted of the crime and given a twenty-year jail sentence. However, after five years the true criminal confessed to the crime and Muldoon was released. But while in prison he had lost his wife and business and had to start all over in Mexico. He still holds a grudge against Stan and Ollie and vows revenge with a large knife for emphasis, "Someday our paths will cross! And when they do, I'll skin them alive! First the little one, then the big one! I'll skin them both alive!!"

Meanwhile, Stan and Ollie confront Blake, but she snatches the papers that permit them to arrest her outside the States, followed by an egg-breaking tit-for-tat sequence before she escapes. They run into Coleman who sees Stan's uncanny resemblance to the bullfighter. Since the real Don Sebastian's arrival is delayed because of passport trouble, Coleman tells them about Stan's resemblance to Don Sebastian and the vengeful Muldoon's wrongful conviction. He forces Stan to impersonate the bullfighter, threatening to reveal his and Ollie's presence to Muldoon if he doesn't cooperate, but promising them a very handsome payment for their trouble if he does. Stan reluctantly agrees only because Hot Shot promises he won't have to fight bulls. But eventually, the real Don Sebastian's passport trouble turns out to be worse than originally feared and so Stan will have to take his place in the ring and fight bulls after all.

On the day of the fight, nervous Stan gets drunk. But then, unbeknownst to anyone, the real Don Sebastian somehow arrives just in time for the big bullfight. Ollie mistakes him for Stan and forces him into the arena. Stan staggers up, and Hardy sends him into battle. With two Stans in the ring, the outraged spectators cry foul, especially Muldoon, who now recognizes "Don Sebastian" as the Stan from Peoria who sent him up for twenty years and in a livid frenzy punches out Hot Shot. Every bull in the arena is then unleashed.

Stan and Ollie try to escape. While packing for their flight back home and planning to sneak away to the airport, they discover Muldoon hiding in their closet, his knife handy. Just like he promised, he skins them alive, leaving them, except their heads, in bare bones. Ollie says "Another nice mess…" and Stan whimpers before Ollie decides to go back home to Peoria, "where we belong!"

Trivia

Cast

  • Stan Laurel as Stan, Don Sebastian
  • Oliver Hardy as Ollie
  • Richard Lane as 'Hot Shot' Coleman
  • Irving Gump as Mr. Gump
  • Carol Andrews as Hattie Blake
  • Diosa Costello as Conchita
  • Ralph Sanford as Richard K. Muldoon
  • Margo Woode as Señorita Tangerine
  • Rory Calhoun as El Brillante - Disgusted Matador
  • Hank Worden as Mr. McCoy
  • Max Wagner as Farmer
  • Emmett Vogan as Prosecutor
  • Cyril Ring as Cafe Customer
  • Jay Novello as Luis - Maitre d'
  • Edward Gargan as Vasso - Man Practicing Speech