LAUREL AND HARDY

 

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
Running Time: 28 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

Stan and Ollie try to sneak around their wives' backs to join a group of club mates for an evening in their honor. The boys have just agreed to go to Atlantic City with their spouses (Isabelle Keith and Anita Garvin), but one of the club men calls Ollie with such enticing details of the celebration that he just has to attend... with Stan in tow, of course. With the help of some talcum powder, Ollie looks pale enough to convince the wives to leave on the trip without him and Stan. Then they hurriedly get into their club outfits, but trouble ensues when Ollie puts on Stanley's much smaller boots and can't get them off. The pair's various attempts to get the boots off Ollie all but destroy Ollie's apartment -- and Ollie. The wives miss the train and return home to discover that they've been tricked. Their panicked husbands try to hide in the folding bed, but the wives pull out their shotguns (a common prop for Laurel and Hardy wives) and start blasting away!

 

Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy
Running Time: 24 mins.
Vault: VARIETIES

In this rare two-reeler, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appear together for the very first time. However, they're a long way from their famous Laurel and Hardy characters (that pairing wasn't to come until 1927). Laurel, after an up-and-down career in Vaudeville, had just begun acting in films, while Hardy was heavily established in movies already (both literally and figuratively). Laurel is the lead in this film, nevertheless, as an unfortunate who, after being evicted, winds up befriending a stray dog. He stuffs the dog in a decrepit suitcase, but it sticks its legs through the bag's holes and runs away. While Laurel is chasing after the suitcase, he bumps into a hold-up man (Hardy). A chase leaves the big man behind when he gets stuck trying to crawl through a hole in a fence. Hardy also appears later on in the film. Laurel and his dog have made the acquaintance of a pretty girl and her poodle, and her jealous boyfriend enlists Hardy's help to get rid of Laurel. But the dog saves the day by chasing the villains off with a stick of dynamite that was originally meant for Laurel. There is some debate as to when this film was actually made; some Laurel and Hardy experts say 1917, while others claim it to be 1919. In any event, apparently Lucky Dog was not released in the U.S. until 1921.

 

Cast: Stanl Laurel, Oliver hardy, Ralph Edwards, Hal Roach Jr., Leo McCarey, Ida Laurel, Lucille Hardy
Running Time: 30 mins.
Vault: CLASSIC TV SHOWS

During the 1950s, Laurel and Hardy made several plans to appear in television comedies, either as a regular series or a series of specials. Unfortunately, touring plans and the health of either Stan or Babe prevented these projects from getting off the ground. Their only network TV appearance came on December 1, 1954 on NBC's THIS IS YOUR LIFE. It was a surprise, unrehearsed appearance (which may or may not have miffed Stan a bit) during which friends and co-workers from The Boys' past were trotted out for a series of teary-eyed, nostalgic embraces. The Boys are polite and charming throughout, though they leave most of the talking to host Ralph Edwards. Some of the choices of guests may be questionable (why Vivian Blaine instead of Charlie Hall or Anita Garvin, for instance?), but the appearances of Hal Roach Jr., Leo McCarey, Ida Laurel and Lucille Hardy were certainly appropriate. A fairly entertaining half-hour, and one of our few glimpses into Stan and Babe's offscreen personas.

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