Laurel and Hardy


(John Welles) #1

My favorite comedy duo of all time, Laurel and Hardy made classic shorts together from 1927 (when they made their first official short as a double act called Putting Pants on Philip) to 1935 when they created their last short, Thicker than Water. Since Pardon Us (1931), their initial feature movie, their films had started to take over from their shorts. While most of the time, these movies weren’t as good as the shorts, a few like Sons of the Desert (1933), Our Relations (1936), Way Out West (1937), Block-Heads (1938) and A Chump at Oxford (1940) were classic comedys, still fondly remembered to this day. After 1940, they moved away from Hal Roach where they had made all previous films and went to pastures new. But in the new studios, the two were denied their creative freedom and as a result, the last dozen movies “the Boys” (as they were nick-named) made were weak and best foregotten.

But let us remember them in their greatest moments, forever captured on film with brilliant shorts like The Music Box, Big Business and Towed in a Hole.


(scherpschutter) #2

I’m not a fan (I do like some of the shorts though, especially the ones John mentioned), but I know some others are

They were very popular when I was a kid, and even more popular some 20-25 years ago
They were on television almost every day, not only on Dutch television, also on Belgian, British, French, German and Italian television, and nearly everybody was a fan (or pretented to be one, it was ‘cool’ to be a L&H fan back then). Today you don’t see them that often on TV, and when you ask colleagues or friends about them, they start talking about them as if they’re mere memories (Oh yes, I used to …). Younger people tend to dislike them or just find them okay but not particularly funny.

This aspect, their faded glory (although they’re of course still well-known), fascinates me more than anything else about them


(Bill san Antonio) #3

I could say I kinda grew up with Laurel & Hardy, like Scherp said they were shown often here too in the 80’s. Nowadays they’re on tv from time to time but it’s usually their later movies which weren’t that good, so obviously younger folks don’t get much into them. My favorite movie is Way out West and I like the shorts too, Music Box for example.


(Stanton) #4

The shorts are often absolutely great. Pure slow-burn destruction.


(Chris_Casey) #5

Laurel & Hardy are my absolute favorite comedians of all-time. In fact, I would go so far as to say they are what define “comedy” for me, personally.
My favorite work of theirs is SONS OF THE DESERT—and then would come WAY OUT WEST—followed in rapid succession by many shorts including THE MUSIC BOX, SAPS AT SEA, and so on.
Brilliant stuff!

Rank me as one of the Boys’ biggest fans!


(ENNIOO) #6

Viewed the shorts and films all the time when young and enjoyed a great deal.


(John Welles) #7

This is a shame, as the later movies were awful, and even Laurel and Hardy themselves hated making them. So I think it would be wrong to judge them on the basis of their post-1941 work.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #8

My favourite one is Busy Bodies, i’ve watched it many times. ;D


(davidf) #9

most of their short films would still go down well today if shown on t.v like they used to be , their comedy is timeless.


(Chris_Casey) #10

Yeah, another good one!


(ENNIOO) #11

Little off topic I know but this thread reminded me of when I viewed Harold Lloyd films…and of course those stunts !


(Chris_Casey) #12

Yes, indeed! Lloyd did some amazing stuff!


(Mortimer) #13

Ennioo and Chris, Did you know that Harold Lloyd lost the thumb and first finger on his right hand around the time he created the famous character with the glasses character? Incredible, but true. He did all those incredible stunts after losing the gripping power of his strongest hand. He wore a special glove with a fake thumb and finger which when photographed in films looked amazingly real. Since Lloyd always fought to keep his disability a secret few knew to look for it. If you look carefully you can sometimes notice it.

Lloyd was great prior to sound. Like most silent comedians I find his work after sound sub par. Also, like most silent comedians I often find the shorts better than the later feature length films.

BACK ON TOPIC: Laurel and Hardy were amazing. Agreed, the feature length films (especially the dreadful later ones) were nowhere near the quality of the short films.

I can not recall the title but my favorite L&H film is the one where they have to deliver a piano up a giant staircase. Of course they keep getting near the top and dropping it all the way to the bottom. (Later we find the door on the other side of the house is at street level).

But my personal all time favorite early slapstick comedies are the Fatty Arbuckle films with Buster Keaton as his straight faced side kick. Not a bad film in the bunch. A handful of them are quite bizarre and surreal. And Keaton’s brilliant, legendary comedies are really a continuation of the type of material he did with Arbuckle. Keaton was another great one whose work in sound film is dreadful. The main reason for that for his final silent film (and subsequent talkies) he switched to a larger hollywood studio and lost creative control. The studio didn’t get or want the elaborate idea gags and the subtlety was gone from his work. Then to really screw the guy they but him on the bottom half of a team with Jimmy Durante. Ouch!


(Bill san Antonio) #14

[quote=“Mortimer, post:13, topic:2171”]Lloyd was great prior to sound. Like most silent comedians I find his work after sound sub par. Also, like most silent comedians I often find the shorts better than the later feature length films.[/quote]That was one thing that differs with Laurel & Hardy, they moved from silents to talkies very easily and didn’t lose their original style but the sound added more humour and character to their roles.

[quote=“Mortimer, post:13, topic:2171”]I can not recall the title but my favorite L&H film is the one where they have to deliver a piano up a giant staircase. Of course they keep getting near the top and dropping it all the way to the bottom. (Later we find the door on the other side of the house is at street level).[/quote]That’s the above mentioned Music Box


(John Welles) #15

Yes, as a partnership, their comedy would always be enhanced with dialogue, whereas a solo comedian like Loyd didn’t need a voice the same.


(ENNIOO) #16

Interesting…thanks for that Mortimer.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #17

Another classic L & H short is Brats.


(Paco Roman) #18

I like the surreal ending in Flying Deuces. One of my favourites with Laurel & Hardy.


(Bill san Antonio) #19

[quote=“Paco Roman, post:18, topic:2171”]I like the surreal ending in Flying Deuces. One of my favourites with Laurel & Hardy.[/quote]Is that the one where Ollie is reborn as a horse?


(Chris_Casey) #20

Yes, that’s the one!

I like FLYING DEUCES, too; but, not as much as SONS OF THE DESERT and WAY OUT WEST.