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Stan and Ollie

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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Stan and Ollie

Postby movieman1957 » November 15th, 2007, 10:20 am

I watched "Way Out West" and was happy someone picked a L&H film. I thought it was great fun. A couple of nice songs, a little dancing and a funny scene with Stan being tickled furiously. Plenty of nice little off-the-cuff bits thrown that you might miss if you weren't careful.

I thought the funniest line in the whole film was when the young lady asked if her father was really dead. Stan answered "I hope so because they buried him."

I had forgotten that a young Chill Wills is part of the singing group and I think is the voice Stan mime's in "The Trail of The Lonesome Pine."
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

jdb1

Re: Stan and Ollie

Postby jdb1 » November 15th, 2007, 11:17 am

movieman1957 wrote:I watched "Way Out West" and was happy someone picked a L&H film. I thought it was great fun. A couple of nice songs, a little dancing and a funny scene with Stan being tickled furiously. Plenty of nice little off-the-cuff bits thrown that you might miss if you weren't careful.

I thought the funniest line in the whole film was when the young lady asked if her father was really dead. Stan answered "I hope so because they buried him."

I had forgotten that a young Chill Wills is part of the singing group and I think is the voice Stan mime's in "The Trail of The Lonesome Pine."


Chris, I have trouble with this film since I read that the poor mule in scenes with L&H was killed at some point during shots where it was being hoisted. Now, when that scene approaches, I feel uncomfortable and have to stop watching. I've read that Babe, particularly, was very disturbed by this accident.

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Postby movieman1957 » November 15th, 2007, 12:08 pm

I had no idea about the mule. That's too bad.

I looked to see if we already had a thread about L&H and not seeing one I thought we could have it set like this so we could talk about anything with Stan an Ollie.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby MissGoddess » November 15th, 2007, 1:38 pm

I was feeling really blue last night but Stan and Ollie are among the few who can bring a smile to my face no matter how bad things are! I just love them.

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Postby Bogie » November 15th, 2007, 4:23 pm

I will put this detail here and then at another time i'll make an observation about them that I didn't in my review.

I was feeling very much under the weather when this movie came on. I think I had a 24 hr. bug or something because my throat was hurting mighty fierce and my nose was quite stuffed up. I made the point of watching this movie though as i've never seen a full length L&H film or short. I'm really thankful that I did because I was howling with laughter and felt 100x better afterwards.

I guess laughter really is the best medicine!

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Postby MikeBSG » November 15th, 2007, 7:14 pm

A book I strongly recommend is "Stan and Ollie" by Simon Louvish. He makes the point that "Laurel and Hardy" was really a team endeavor, with not just the two stars but behind the camera talent like Leo McCarey, Charlie Chase and James Parrott involved when the team was at their peak. As the "team" split up, the quality of the work slipped.

I think "Two Tars," "Big Business," "The Music Box" and "Sons of the Desert" are the best.

In some ways, I see similarities between "Sons of the Desert" and "Fawlty Towers," with Hardy forshadowing the Fawlty character and Manuel deriving from Laurel.

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Postby mongoII » November 15th, 2007, 8:31 pm

Of all the comedy teams Stan & Ollie have always been my favorites.
I especially like Oliver Hardy although as a duo the pair are perfection.
With his bangs and rotund face I get a kick out of his twiddling, pratfalls, and his charm. Also a fine singer.
My favorite Laurel & Hardy films are, "Block-Heads", "Saps at Sea", "Way Out West", "Our Relations", and "Sons of the Desert".

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Postby movieman1957 » November 15th, 2007, 8:38 pm

Mike :

I recently read the book you mention (I think Judith has too.) I found it quite interesting. While it does deal with their personal lives, especially when they were young, there is quite a bit of coverage of their professional lives. It's a good read.

Also for anyone else if you can get hold of anything by John McCabe it would be well worth your while.

For me part of their appeal is even with the frustrations and violence you knew their was a friendship and affection in their characters that would endure. Of course being really funny helps.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby Bogie » November 15th, 2007, 9:01 pm

I think it was the Lauvish book I read. Excellent reading IMO.

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Postby Bogie » November 16th, 2007, 5:11 pm

Ok time for my observation that I promised. I noticed that Stan and Ollie were very innovative in how they did some of their routines. It seemed as if I was watching a live action cartoon at times. Some of the gags such as Stan being able to use his thumb as a lighter and pulling Ollie's head out of a board of wood was VERY much something you'd see in a WB short. I don't know if this cartoony sense of humor is unique to WAY OUT WEST but if it's indicative of their overall humor then I think some of the folks at Termite Terrace owe a debt of gratitude to those two.

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Postby movieman1957 » November 17th, 2007, 7:55 am

Bogie:

There were several instances where their humor was surreal, if that is the right word. Often as a result of some violence when they broke a promise or something similar they would have all variety of contortions done to their bodies.

The two that come to mind are when on one short they were punished by having their heads turned to be looking south when they were walking north (or other similar directional issue.) I think that one was "The Live Ghost." Another was when their legs were removed and tied in a knot around their necks.

Also, through an accident they had their personalities switched. It may be the only time you would see Ollie without his mustache.

I'd have to go look for the film titles for sure.

Two of Stan's favorite gags were the "laughing scene" when he was being tickled is a reworking scene from a short called "Blotto" when they think they've become drunk. Another is Stan's crying. He used that frequently. He later became tired of doing it and a little annoyed but it became expected. That turns up in most films.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby MikeBSG » November 17th, 2007, 10:35 am

If I remember the Louvish book correctly, most of the "surreal" humor you mentioned came from Laurel and it popped up more and more in their later films, as most of the "team" was departing.

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Postby movieman1957 » November 19th, 2007, 9:55 am

Sunday the 25th at the unfortunate time of 5:29am TCM has scheduled "Chickens Come Home." It is slated for 30 mins.
Last edited by movieman1957 on November 19th, 2007, 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » November 19th, 2007, 10:18 am

movieman1957 wrote:Bogie:

There were several instances where their humor was surreal, if that is the right word. Often as a result of some violence when they broke a promise or something similar they would have all variety of contortions done to their bodies.

The two that come to mind are when on one short they were punished by having their heads turned to be looking south when they were walking north (or other similar directional issue.) I think that one was "The Live Ghost." Another was when their legs were removed and tied in a knot around their necks.

Also, through an accident they had their personalities switched. It may be the only time you would see Ollie without his mustache.

I'd have to go look for the film titles for sure.

Two of Stan's favorite gags were the "laughing scene" when he was being tickled is a reworking scene from a short called "Blotto" when they think they've become drunk. Another is Stan's crying. He used that frequently. He later became tired of doing it and a little annoyed but it became expected. That turns up in most films.


The instance where their personalities are switched (just briefly, at the end of the short), is a great demonstration of the fact that these men were actors, not just comics.

Also Chris, don't forget another hallmark of L&H films: Ollie always got wet in some fashion, either by having liquid spilled or thrown on him, or by falling into a body of water. His generally delicate reaction to this (e.g., gently wiping his eyes; squeezing out his tie; flicking the water from his fingertips) was always part of the fun.

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Postby movieman1957 » November 19th, 2007, 12:26 pm

jdb1 wrote:
Also Chris, don't forget another hallmark of L&H films: Ollie always got wet in some fashion, either by having liquid spilled or thrown on him, or by falling into a body of water. His generally delicate reaction to this (e.g., gently wiping his eyes; squeezing out his tie; flicking the water from his fingertips) was always part of the fun.


And always met with dignity if not some expectation.

I wonder how many people who saw "Way Out West" or even "The Flying Deuces" knew Ollie had such a nice singing voice?
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."


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