Laurel and Hardy
Helpmates (1932) Laurel and Hardy film, starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
The Laurel and Hardy film Helpmates begins with Oliver Hardy remonstrating someone for their bad behavior – “I used to have such high hopes for you!” – as the camera pans back to let the audience see that he’s talking to his mirror, chewing himself out for misbehaving while his wife is away visiting her mother in Chicago. He had a wild part and totally trashed his house. A telegram arrives with the news that his wife will unexpectedly arrive home by noon. In a panic, Oliver calls Stan Laurel to come and help him clean up this mess. After a very funny telephone conversation, where Stan explains why he wasn’t at Ollie’s party last night, Oliver tells him to get over there immediately. Almost before Oliver has a chance to hang up the telephone, Stan is knocking at his front door. (more…)
Swiss Miss (1938), starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Movie review of Laurel and Hardy’s Swiss Miss, starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, with Eric Blore, Walter Woolf King, Grete Natzler
The best word to describe Laurel and Hardy‘s feature film, Swiss Miss, is probably “disappointing.” The basic premise is promising: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are mousetrap salesmen, who have decided that their business will prosper if they go to where the most mice are; and the most mice are where the most cheese is found – Switzerland! (Actually, as someone from Wisconsin, they should have come here instead, but it would have been a much shorter film).
Once in Switzerland, after nearly demolishing a factory owner’s office, they sell him their total inventory. And they are paid in five thousand “gruel”. They celebrate by having an elaborate meal at their hotel, insulting the chef in the process. “No apple pie? I’ve had better chefs than you discharged for not having apple pie!” Only to find out that their money is worthless. They are reduced to working in the kitchen to pay off their enormous bill. And for every dish they break, they have to work an extra day.
The Lost Films of Laurel & Hardy: The Complete Collection, volume 3
- Liberty (MGM, 1929, 20m)
- We Faw Down (MGM, 1928, 21m)
- A Lucky Dog (Sun-Lite/Metro, 1922, silent, 24m)
- Love ‘Em and Weep (Pathe Exchange, 1927, silent, 24m)
- the Oliver Hardy solo short Along Came Auntie (Pathe Exchange, 1926, silent, 24m)
- the Charley Chase/Oliver Hardy short Bromo and Juliet (Pathe, 1926, silent, 24m) (more…)
Laurel and Hardy and Friends – 10th entry in the Lost Films of Laurel and Hardy
In short, Laurel and Hardy and Friends is supposed to be the 10th edition of The Lost Films of Laurel and Hardy – but in truth, there are only two Laurel and Hardy films here – Be Big! and The Stolen Jools. The remaining shorts feature Charley Chase, Our Gang, and Buster Keaton. The films included are: (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…)
TCM Archives – The Laurel and Hardy Collection (The Devil’s Brother / Bonnie Scotland) (1933)
Laurel and Hardy star in two of their best films, Bonnie Scotland and The Devil’s Brother. Both movies are some of Stan and Ollie’s best work. They are both “talking” films as opposed to their earlier silent movies, both in black and white. The movies themselves are hilariously funny; one of the funniest moments in The Devil’s Brother is when Stan Laurel is being forced by the not-so-villainous Fra Diavolo to hang Ollie for the crime of impersonating Fra Diavolo. Ollie complains the whole while that Stan is hurting his neck.
In The Devil’s Brother, Stan Laurel is referred to as Stanlio, and Oliver Hardy is referred to as Ollio. These are the names that they are still known under in Italy. Bonnie Scotland is, perhaps, not quite as funny, but still quite good. I love the routine with Stan using snuff for the first time, and how poor Ollie ends up falling off the bridge because of it.
Many extras on the 2-DVD set add to the “bang for the buck”. These include commentaries on both movies by Laurel and Hardy fans Richard W. Bann and Leonard Maltin. It also includes a full-length documentary Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story, and excerpts of Laurel and Hardy routines from several otherwise ignorable films:
Brats (1930) starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Laurel and Hardy‘s short film, Brats, has been often imitated, never duplicated, and extremely funny. The basic premise is that Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are staying at home, watching their sons while their wives are out. They also play the role of their sons, using, using over-sized furniture and split screen shots. The film begins with the fathers playing checkers, where the dimwitted Stan is easily beating Ollie – a very funny scene. The little boys seem to keep fighting, and interrupting the adults. Whether it’s fighting over blocks, who’s going to be “it”, or breaking a vase, the little boys are constantly getting into trouble until their fathers send them into bed. (more…)
movie review of Saps at Sea (1940) starring Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson, Richard Cramer
Synopsis of Laurel and Hardy’s Saps at Sea
In Saps at Sea, Oliver Hardy is suffering from “hornophobia” – the sound of a horn sends him into a maniacal rage, attacking anyone nearby. Dr. James Finlayson prescribes a quiet rest at sea, but Oliver doesn’t want to go sailing. Ollie’s friend Stan Laurel, however, makes the suggestion that they simply rent a boat and leave it tied to a dock, so Ollie can get the fresh sea air that he needs. This actually works, until their goat named Narcissus eats through the rope that holds the un-seaworthy boat to the dock, and off it floats … with an escaped criminal on board, as well! (more…)
Movie posters from Saps at Sea, starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy – where Oliver is suffering from “hornophobia” and needs complete rest – which he doesn’t find, when an escaped criminal stowaways on board Ollie’s boat. This was Laurel and Hardy‘s last movie for the Roach Studios, and some fans consider it to be the last “true” Laurel and Hardy film. (more…)
review of Laurel & Hardy DVD (1933) – DVD compilation of Laurel and Hardy’s best talking films – Sons of the Desert, The Music Box, Another Fine Mess, Busy Bodies, County Hospital
Editorial review of Laurel & Hardy DVD (1933) – courtesy of Amazon.com
For one-stop convenience, you can’t beat this handy compilation of Laurel and Hardy classics. Although it’s modestly priced and packaged, this DVD packs plenty of extras along with Stan & Ollie’s finest feature and several of the comedy duo’s best-loved “talkie” shorts. Sons of the Desert (1933) is the crown jewel in any Laurel and Hardy collection, and with Charley Chase as their stellar comedy costar, the boys reached the pinnacle of their unique partnership, playing a pair of Fez-wearing “Sons of the Desert” sneaking off to a convention in Chicago, but their wives discover the ruse with hilarious results. For Laurel and Hardy fans, it simply doesn’t get any better than this, although 1932’s “The Music Box” shares equal status – and a 1932 Oscar® for Best Comedy Short – in the Laurel and Hardy pantheon.
The remaining shorts on the disc (“Another Fine Mess,” “Busy Bodies,” and “County Hospital” ) were produced during the prime of Stan and Ollie sound-era success (1930-33), each boasting their own timeless bits and flawless routines. Abundant laughs are virtually guaranteed. (more…)