Two Tars (1928) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Edgar Kennedy, Charlie Hall, Thelma Hill, Ruby Blaine
Two Tars is a classic Laurel and Hardy short film, dealing with a basic concept. Stan and Ollie are two sailors on leave, who simply want to go on a date with their respective girlfriends. They rent a car and get stuck in a traffic jam. It’s the tit for tat escalating destruction between the irate motorists that make this a comedy classic. (more…)
Bacon Grabbers (1929) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Edgar Kennedy, Charlie Hall
The 1929 Laurel and Hardy silent short film, Bacon Grabbers, deals with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy working as “bacon grabbers” who have been sent to repossess a radio from Edgar Kennedy, who has fallen behind of his payments. Laurel and Hardy try to serve a subpoena to repossess it but Edgar Kennedy refuses to let them into the house. This is the central conflict of the short film. (more…)
They Go Boom! (1929) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall
In They Go Boom!, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are simply trying to sleep through the night in a rented room. Oliver, however, is suffering from a cold, and his sneezing is keeping Stanley awake. Likewise, Stan’s snoring is keeping Ollie awake. Stan tries to “help” but keeps making things worse. Things such as closing the blind, only for it to roll back up noisily.nailing a fallen picture back up only to puncture a water pipe so that Oliver gets soaked, making a “plaster” for Ollie’s chest (that ends up on his bottom instead), and making a foot bath of hot water (with something else mixed in the water), etc.
Stan tries to coat Oliver’s throat with medicine, having Ollie accidentally swallow the thing, nearly choking in the process. Adding insult to injury, Oliver’s air mattress becomes deflated. They try to re-inflate it, eventually trying to use gas to inflate it … A point that becomes important later on. (more…)
Laurel and Hardy’s The Live Ghost (1934) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Walter Lang
On one hand, The Live Ghost is a very typical Laurel and Hardy short film – in fact, it co-stars all of the Roach Studio players that we typically find in a Laurel and Hardy film (Walter Long as the gruff sea captain, Arthur Housman as an inebriated sailor, Charlie Hall as another sailor and Mae Busch as the “floozy”) except for James Finlayson. The basic plot has Walter Long as a gruff sea captain, who’s having trouble hiring sailors to work on his ship, since it has a reputation for being haunted. He hires Laurel and Hardy to help him shanghai a crew (in a very funny extended scene, with Stan and Ollie and a bag of boiled eggs), ending with not only the sailors being shanghaied but Laurel and Hardy as well. (more…)
Laughing Gravy (1931) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall
Laughing Graving is a short Laurel and Hardy film that deals with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy trying to hide the existence of their dog, (whose screen name was the same as his real name, Laughing Gravy – hence the name of the movie) – and failing miserably. The movie begins with Stan and Ollie in bed, when Stan’s snoring wakes up Ollie. Oliver, after suffering in silence for a few moments wakes up Stan.
Stan, in a very clownish way, drinks a glass of water and tries to go back to sleep. Only to wake up the dog, whose barking rouses their landlord, played by Roach Studios regular Charlie Hall. The landlord throws the dog out, and Stan decides that he’s going to rescue his dog. Ollie insists on doing it, however, since Stan will wake up the landlord. Ollie succeeds in finding Laughing Gravy, only to be locked out of the building. This basic scenario is repeated several times, resulting in Ollie falling into a frozen barrel of rainwater, locking himself out of the apartment window, climbing down (and destroying) the brick chimney, etc. (more…)
Be Big! (1931) – Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Anita Garvin, Charlie Hall
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy almost make it to Atlantic City for a weekend getaway with their wives, when Ollie gets a phone call from Cookie, a lodge buddy. Cookie tells Ollie that a stag party is being held at the lodge that night in their honor, and reveals tempting details of the event when Ollie says they won’t be able to attend. Cookie reminds him that “No man is bigger than the excuses he makes to his wife … so be big!” (more…)
A Chump at Oxford (1940) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Forrester Harvey, Charlie Hall, Peter Cushing
A Chump at Oxford is one of Laurel and Hardy‘s best films, on many levels. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are hired as the maid and butler, respectively. Yes, Stan is in drag, recreating the character of “Agnes” from Another Fine Mess. Stan does this for a dinner party – which they promptly ruin. A very funny scene, especially when someone asks Stan to serve his salad undressed 🙂 Stan and Ollie are then reduced to street sweepers, who inadvertently foil a bank robbery.
They are rewarded by the president of the bank with the finest education that money can buy – at Oxford University in England! The boys journey to Oxford, are “pranked” by some of the students, including a very young Peter Cushing. All is set right, the pranksters are expelled, and it is revealed that Stan used to be “a leading professor and athlete” at Oxford. Until he hit his head years ago, resulting in his muddle-headed Stan character. Sure enough, he is hit on his head and regains his rightful character of Lord Paddington. A very funny role reversal happens, with Stan pushing around Ollie as his valet, “Fatty.” (more…)
Them Thar Hills starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall, Mae Busch
Them Thar Hills begins with Oliver Hardy suffering from a painful bout of gout, with his foot wrapped up like a mummy, and his doctor (played by Billy Gilbert) making a house call. Diagnosing Oliver’s gout as a result of his high living, he prescribes a few weeks vacation in the mountain. His friend, Stan Laurel, makes the suggestion of renting a camper rather that hauling camping equipment, and Oliver agrees. He uses Stanley as a pack mule to move around, a comic sight in itself, which results in Oliver falling backward into the bathtub.
Once they get underway, things seem to be taking a turn for the better, as their drive up into the mountains is uneventful. Unknown to them, however, (more…)
The Midnight Patrol (1933) Laurel and Hardy short film, starring Stan Laurel, Oliver 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…)
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…)