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Laurel and Hardy ('The Boys' as they are affectionately known) are the most recognized comedy duo the cinema has produced. The film that introduced them as the "Stan and Ollie" characters we know so well today was 1927's Do Detectives Think?. Before that, Stan Laurel (from England) and Oliver Hardy (from America) had long solo careers, as this collection of rare and hilarious comedies shows.
Hardy entered movies in 1913, Laurel in 1917. Stan often played sharp-witted types, and Ollie "heavies" or villains (often with comics Billy West or Larry Semon). By the mid-1920's, both were employed at the Roach Studios, still playing different roles, with Laurel also gag-writing and even directing Charley Chase, James Finlayson, Our Gang - and Oliver Hardy!
Producer Hal Roach played "comic roulette," teaming his stars in the hopes of hitting box office gold. The Boys make their first appearance together in Lucky Dog, but it will be another ten years before they truly become a team. This collection showcases the comic genius of two great performers on the road to fame - Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy.
The Paperhanger's Helper (1915) with Oliver Hardy, Bobby Ray: In this early knockabout farce, Hardy, the lazy boss, and Ray his "helper," give the local sanitarium a "pasting" they won't soon forget!
Lucky Dog (1917) with Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy: The Boys first screen appearance together! In this historic comedy, Stan, evicted by his landlady, picks up a stray mutt. After a series of misadventures with a cop, a dog show and high society, the dog saves the day with a stick of dynamite by blowing Ollie up!
The Sawmill (1921) with Larry Semon, Oliver Hardy: In this rustic comedy, innocent rube Larry goes head-to-head with foreman Ollie over the boss's daughter, turning the sawmill into saw dust! Tim-ber!
Hop To It, Bellhop (1922) with Oliver Hardy, Bobby Ray: At the Hotel Bilkmore, "Babe" Hardy and sidekick Ray are bellhops running amok. Nobody sleeps tonight!
Kid Speed (1924) with Larry Semon, Oliver Hardy, Dorothy Dwan: The dust flies in this thrill comedy as "Dangerous" Dan McGraw (Hardy) competes with Larry "The Speed Kid" Semon for the favors of the lovely Dorothy. Speeding beds, bare behinds, and boxing - NASCAR was never like this!
Yes, Yes, Nanette (1926) with James Finlayson, Oliver Hardy: Stan's comedic timing comes through as he directs this domestic comedy, where future Laurel and Hardy nemesis James Finlayson is brought home to meet his girlfriend's parents. Jimmie's toupee flies when Hardy shows up as the rival suitor!
Enough To Do (1926) with Clyde Cook, Oliver Hardy: When ranch hand Hardy wants more than "just beans" for supper, Clyde Cook serves up sunflowers and live skunk, and still has time to woo the boss's daughter. Directed by Stan Laurel. Come and get it!
The Hobo (1917) with Billy West, Oliver Hardy: No, its not Charlie - its Chaplin imitator Billy West as the hobo! Hardy is the wronged boyfriend who must battle Billy for his girl. A custard pie and stolen car later, Billy makes things right.
The Show (1922) with Larry Semon, Oliver Hardy: Backstage, propman Larry has his hands full with wind machines, a rooster that belches nitro (!), and Hardy and his gang out to steal the payroll - but the show must go on!
The Soilers (1923) with Stan Laurel, James Finlayson: During the gold rush, Stan hits the motherlode, and sheriff Finlayson jumps his claim. Alaska isn't big enough for the both of them!
White Wings (1923) with Stan Laurel: When Stan mixes up a dustbin with a baby carriage, he goes from street sweeper to dentist all in one afternoon in this comedy of errors!
Should Sailors Marry? (1925) with Clyde Cook, Oliver Hardy: Clyde heads home (and for trouble) after four years in the Navy to meet his future bride. The gold-digger tries to set him up for easy alimony until Hardy appears as the insurance company doctor. One of their best.
Thundering Fleas (1926) with Our Gang, Oliver Hardy: It's the original "scratch-off" contest as the gang's flea collection escapes at a wedding! Roach studio regulars Charley Chase and James Finlayson also make appearances.
Short Kilts (1924) with Stan Laurel, James Finlayson: The clans collide when the McPhersons invite the McGregors over for supper. Trouble starts between Stan and Fin over a game of musical chairs... nothing a bowl of haggis and a punch in the eye can't fix!
Smithy (1924) with Stan Laurel, James Finlayson: After being discharged from the army, Smithy (Stan) gets a job building houses. Construction becomes destruction when his old sergeant (Finlayson) shows up!
Along Came Auntie (1926) with Oliver Hardy, Vivien Oakland: Talk about desperate housewives! Deeply in debt, Vivien rents a room to Ollie, her first husband. When her rich, divorce-hating aunt turns up, her ex and current hubbies are at each other's throats, and nothing she does can hide her past.
The Stolen Jools (1931) with Laurel and Hardy: A Hollywood "who's who"! Along with Buster Keaton, Joe E. Brown and many others, The Boys (by now established in their familiar characters of "Stan and Ollie") are detectives - and arrive on the scene with their classic "demolished automobile" gag.
Home Movies (1938): Before home video, there was 16mm film, and Stan was an early 'home movie' enthusiast. Here are rare glimpses of his daughter at home and friends on the Hal Roach lot, including Babe out of character!
The Tree In A Test Tube (1943) with Pete Smith as Narrator: To help the war effort, The Boys made this public service announcement the year they did "Jitterbugs" and "The Dancing Masters" for 20th Century Fox. Theatre-goers learned everything they always wanted to know about - wood products!
Mud And Sand (1923) with Stan Laurel: Stan is Rhubarb Vaseline in this parody of Rudolph Valentino's hit Blood and Sand. In old Madrid, it's all a lot of bull as Vaseline triumphs in the bullring and wins the hand of his beloved - the delicious Caramel.
Oranges And Lemons (1923) with Stan Laurel, Katherine Grand: This comedy's no lemon, as fruit packer Stan makes his quota in sunny California and still has time to pack a lot of love in for his girl, Katherine Grand. Laurel's skill in physical comedy shines in this gem.
West Of Hot Dog (1924) with Stan Laurel: After a stage holdup on the way to the town of Hot Dog, tenderfoot Stan must prove himself brave to win his sweetheart. The most "Keaton-esque" of Stan's solo comedies.
Bromo And Juliet (1926) with Charley Chase, Oliver Hardy: Charley puts on a play as a fundraiser, but must keep an eye on his inebriated dad. Ollie is a cab driver trying to collect his fare from Charley, and together they turn the Bard's tragedy into comedy!
Crazy Like A Fox (1926) with Charley Chase, Oliver Hardy: To avoid an arranged marriage, Charley pretends to be insane. Hardy (with white hair!) is a passer-by who gets the first dose of his lunacy!
Starring: Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy
Directed by: Various Directors
* Notes by Mark Redfield, Sons of the Desert
* Run Time: 130 minutes
* Number of Discs: 4
* Black & White
* No region encoding; For global distribution.
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