45 Minutes From Hollywood (1926) is an American two-reel silent film released by Pathé Exchange.
At the time, it was known as a Glenn Tryon vehicle, but today it is best remembered as the second instance of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appearing in the same film together — although they do not share any scenes — at least half a decade after their first chance billing in The Lucky Dog (1921).
Ma and Pa Snavely live in a wooden hut in the Yukon. Many years before, their son Chester left for the big city and became involved in crime after “the fatal glass of beer”. He returns home after getting out of prison, and promises his father not to tell his Mother what he really did. He makes the same promise to his Mother. They both chase him out of the house.
Pa Snavely, as portrayed by Fields, serenades a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer with “The Fatal Glass of Beer”, a mournful song detailing the evils of foul drink and bad companions in the big city. A zither accompaniment recorded for the film seldom matches the vocal, because Fields subtly changes keys when the zither does not, resulting in a humorously off-key effect.
Fields emphasizes the stagey satire by striking various poses and being overly theatrical with the dialogue. The most famous gag has Fields opening the cabin door periodically and exclaiming, “And it ain’t a fit night out for man or beast!”, with some obviously fake snow thrown into his face a moment later. He would reprise that gag during the “play-within-the-play” in The Old Fashioned Way (1934).
One of a number of shorts that W.C. Fields made before he went into feature films. The scene where he extracts the woman’s tooth may be one of the funniest he made.
PLOT: Fields plays a dentist whose daughter desires to marry an ice-delivery man. He disapproves of this match, especially after she attempts to elope with her lover. Fields locks her up in an upstairs room, above his dental office, where she proceeds to stamp her feet, causing plaster chunks to fall as he attempts to treat his patients. Various patients with unusual physical traits (a tall “horse”-faced woman, a tiny, heavily bearded man) arrive at the office, and he attempts to use his dental drill on them without any apparent pain killer. With one of his patients (Elise Cavanna), he engages in an intimate wrestling match as he attempts to extract a painful tooth.