Laurel and Hardy

The Chimp, starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Billy Gilbert, James Finlayson

The Chimp

review of The Chimp (1932) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Billy Gilbert

Laurel and Hardy‘s The Chimp is reminiscent of another of their short films, Laughing Gravy, where the bulk of the film deals with them trying to hide a pet (in this case, a gorilla) from their landlord.  The Chimp begins with Laurel and Hardy working at a circus, where Hal Roach Studio regular James Finlayson is the ringmaster.  Strangely enough, however, Finlayson is not their primary antagonist in the film.  Instead, after a short, but very funny, bit where Stan and Ollie are working as a pantomime horse, and then as assistants to “Destructo” the circus strong man.  My favorite bit from the movie, in fact, is their “helping” the circus strong man with his act, ruining it.  Ending with destroying the circus by firing a cannon through the circus tent. (more…)

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I Wanna Dance! a colorized scene from Scram! where Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel have gotten drunk on "water"

Scram!

Scram! (1932) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Arthur Housman

Scram! begins with Laurel and Hardy in court, on a charge of vagrancy.  It’s a warm, funny bit with Oliver Hardy’s kissing up to the judge, and Stan Laurel inadvertently admitting their guilt.  Since the jail is full the judge kindly gives them one hour to get out of town.  On their way, in a downpour, the two encounter a drunken millionaire, played by Arthur Housman, who has dropped his car key down a grate(more…)

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County Hospital (1932), starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

County Hospital

County Hospital (1932), starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

County Hospital - Oliver Hardy relaxing in hospital bedStan Laurel has nothing better to do, so he decides to visit his friend Oliver Hardy, who’s recovering from a broken leg in the hospital.  The introduction is quite humorous, as the clueless Stan looks for Ollie in the wrong places, including the maternity ward — a classic moment.  Eventually, he finds his way to Oliver’s room, where Oliver is enjoying himself immensely, enjoying his quiet, relaxing time in the hospital.

Olivery Hardy, Billy Gilbertson, Stan Laurel - County Hospital - chaos due to Stan LaurelSoon after Stan’s arrival, the peace and quiet go “out the window” — quite literally.  First, he drops a boiled egg in Oliver’s water pitcher, and in the process of retrieving it, he pours the water all over.  Next, when Ollie’s physician, played by classic comic actor Billy Gilbert, comes in to check on his favorite patient, Stan beings playing with the weight attached to Oliver’s hospital bed (keeping his broken leg elevated).  (more…)

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Laurel & Hardy - Air Raid Wardens / Nothing but Trouble

Laurel & Hardy – Air Raid Wardens / Nothing but Trouble

Laurel & Hardy – Air Raid Wardens / Nothing but Trouble

Laurel & Hardy - Air Raid Wardens / Nothing but TroubleBuy from Amazon.com Laurel and Hardy made two films for the MGM studios in the 1940’s – Air Raid Wardens (1943) and Nothing But Trouble (1944).  Both films followed the MGM studio film formula at the time, which was not the best fit for the boys’ style of comedy.  Even so, both are enjoyable and worth watching.  (more…)

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Review of The Laurel and Hardy Collection, volume 1 (Great Guns / Jitterbugs / The Big Noise)

Laurel and Hardy Collection, Vol. 1

Review of The Laurel and Hardy Collection, volume 1 (Great Guns / Jitterbugs / The Big Noise)

Buy from Amazon.com After Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy left the Hal Roach studios, they made several movies for 20th Century Fox.  Unlike at the smaller Roach studio, Laurel and Hardy were relatively small cogs in a fairly large machine.  They had much less control over the making of their movies than previously.  Although not of the same caliber of their earlier films, they still had their charms, and are worth watching.  In The Laurel and Hardy Collection volume 1, the following movies are included:  (more…)

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Colorized photo from The Midnight Patrol, starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

The Midnight Patrol

The Midnight Patrol (1933) Laurel and Hardy short film, starring Stan LaurelOliver Hardy

Sad to say, The Midnight Patrol was the first Laurel and Hardy movie that I’ve ever seen that I didn’t find very funny.  The basic plot has rookie policemen Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy on patrol, who are notified by the police dispatcher that thieves are presently stealing their spare tire.  Shortly after, they are called to a possible burglary, but they miss the address, and Stan has accidentally cut the phone line at the call box, and so they try to find a place to use a phone to call in and get the address. (more…)

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Men O'War (1929) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Charlie Hall

Men O’War

Men O’War (1929) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Charlie Hall

Men O’War is a Laurel and Hardy short film where Navy sailors Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are on shore leave, and try to pick up a pair of lovely young ladies, and treat them to sodas.  However, Stan only has 15 cents, leaving them 5 cents short (I’m resisting the urge to mention inflation here – back in 1929, that was the price of a soda).  Oliver decides at first that, in order to maintain their appearance, Stan will simply pretend not to be thirsty when they order.  However, Stan keeps forgetting and ordering a soda anyway, much to the annoyance of Ollie — and suffering soda jerk Jimmy Finlayson.  Eventually, the boys decide to split a soda — so Stan drinks the entire thing since his half was on the bottom. (more…)

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Habeas Corpus, starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy

Habeas Corpus

Movie review of the Laurel and Hardy short film Habeas Corpus (1928)

Habeas Corpus is a very funny Laurel and Hardy short film, although it’s technically not a “silent” movie.  There’s a synchronised music soundtrack, but Stan and Ollie’s only dialogue is revealed through cue cards.

Stan Laurel digs for trouble in Habeas Corpus
Stan Laurel digs for trouble in Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus begins with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy coming to a mansion, looking for food – buttered toast.  Instead, the butler takes them to see “The Professor”, a mad scientist.  Literally mad — €as he puts the ashes from his cigarette into his vest pocket, eventually putting them out with a glass of water.   He offers them the princely sum (for the time) of five hundred dollars to go to the local graveyard and dig up bodies for his experiments.  Although unhappy, the monetary temptation is too much for the boys, and they agree.  No sooner have they left than the “butler” reveals himself to be an undercover police officer.  He alerts the precinct that the Professor has gone insane — again.  And that they need to take him back to the sanitarium, while he follows the two “grave robbers” to the cemetery. (more…)

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Another Fine Mess, starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Thelma Todd

Another Fine Mess

movie review for Laurel and Hardy’s short film, Another Fine Mess (1930)

Another Fine Mess is an early talking Laurel and Hardy short film, and is an extremely funny short film.  The basic plot has Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy on the run from the police, not wanting to go to jail for vagrancy.  They run into a mansion, in order to hide there, but it turns out that the owner Colonel Buckshot (played by Laurel and Hardy regular James Finlayson) is leaving the country for a safari, and has advertised his mansion as being for rent.  Unfortunately for Stan and Ollie, potential renters arrive while the police are still looking for them outside, and so Ollie impersonates Lord Buckshot, and Stan takes the role of “Hives” the butler. (more…)

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Night Owls - Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy try to sneak over the wall onto the Chief's property

Night Owls

Night Owls (1930) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Edgar Kennedy, James Finlayson

After 42 burglaries in a week — with no arrests — police office Edgar Kennedy has his job hanging by a thread.  Fellow police officers joke that the only way that Kennedy will ever make an arrest is to frame someone.  He acts on that idea upon finding vagrants Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel sleeping on a public park bench. (more…)

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