- SKU: 19465303
- Release Date: 10/25/2011
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Ratings & Reviews
- A tribute to Laurel & Hardy
- On location with the boys
- Laurel & Hardy guest appearances
- Film commentaries (from Laurel & Hardy historians)
- Theatrical trailers
Most Laurel and Hardy aficionados consider this film among the comic duo's very best two-reelers, and it is especially rich in slapstick antics. It opens up with an extremely hungover Oliver Hardy admonishing himself in the mirror for throwing such a wild party the night before. An arriving telegram informs him that his wife (Blanche Payson), who has conveniently been out of town, is due to come back that day. He must pull his mess of a home together -- fast. In a panic, he calls his friend Stan Laurel to come help him. It is almost pointless to relate the rest of the film because it can easily be guessed. Suffice it to say that by the end of the second reel, Ollie, with a black eye and no wife, is sitting in the middle of his destroyed, roofless home as rain begins to fall. Helpmates, with its wonderful physical and verbal humor, is a must-see for anyone who loves comedy. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
The Music Box
This most famous of Laurel and Hardy shorts won an Oscar for "Best Comedy Short Subject." Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy play characters who run a transfer company. They are hired to deliver a player piano to an address which turns out to be up a very long flight of steps The whole film involves the pair's adventures bringing the piano up the steps, the piano sliding back down, the pair bringing it up again -- and then being told by the postman (Charlie Hall) that they could have driven it up a side road. Typically, the boys take the piano back down and bring it up "the right way," by the side road, only to find that the person receiving the piano is a temperamental professor (Billy Gilbert) who had been annoyed by them earlier. He destroys the piano in a fit of pique before discovering that his wife purchased it for him as a gift. The Music Box is classic Laurel and Hardy -- almost painfully hilarious. The same daunting concrete stairs (which still exist today in the Silverlake section of Los Angeles) were used previously by the comic duo in their 1927 two-reeler Hats Off. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
Sons of the Desert
Lodge members Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy take a solemn oath to attend the 80th-annual Sons of the Desert Convention (read: annual binge) in Chicago. That is, Ollie takes the oath, but Stanley balks. When asked why, Stanley answers that he's afraid his wife won't let him go. Ollie is appalled: "Every man must be king in his own castle." But when Ollie meekly brings up the subject of the convention with his wife Lollie (Mae Busch), she soon dethrones the "king." Lollie wants to take a vacation in the mountains, and is dead-set against her husband going around "with a pack of hooligans." But Ollie is determined to attend the convention, and to that end cooks up a scheme with Stanley. Ollie will pretend to be deathly ill; Stan will fix it so the doctor will prescribe a trip to Honolulu. Knowing that his wife can't stand going on sea voyages, Ollie will request that Stan accompany him to Hawaii--then, both men will sneak off to Chicago. A few hitches notwithstanding (Stan hires a veterinarian instead of a doctor, explaining that he didn't think the man's religion would make any difference), the boys go to the convention, where they cut up royally with practical joker Charley Chase. Alas, the Honolulu-bound boat on which Stan and Ollie are supposed to be travelling is sunk in a typhoon. While the grief-stricken wives are at the steamship company attempting to find out if their husbands survived the sea disaster, Stan and Ollie arrive home, wearing leis and carrying pineapples as "evidence" of their Honolulu vacation. When the boys find out about the shipwreck, they desperately try to escape to a hotel, but the wives arrive home prematurely, forcing Stan and Ollie to camp out in the attic. It looks as though the boys might just get away with their new plan of coming home at the same time that the rescue boats arrive....until Lollie Hardy and Betty Laurel (Dorothy Christie), attending a picture show, are treated to the spectacle of their husbands cavorting merrily before the newsreel cameras covering the Sons of the Desert conclave in Chicago. The film's final ten minutes are priceless--especially that bit about "ship-hiking." Considered the best of Laurel and Hardy's feature films, One of the top ten moneymaking pictures of 1934, it was released in Europe as Fraternally Yours and Sons of the Legion, and is also available in a crudely edited 20-minute TV version, Fun on the Run. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Way Out West
Prospectors Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy head to the western town of Brushwood Gulch, two men on a top-secret mission. The boys have been entrusted by their recently deceased partner Cy Roberts with a deed to a valuable gold mine, to be delivered in person to Roberts' daughter Mary (Rosina Lawrence). Stan inadvertently spills the beans to crooked saloon owner Mickey Finn (James Finlayson), who proceeds to pass off his own wife, saloon chanteuse Lola Marcel (Sharon Lynne), as Mary Roberts. The ever-trusting Stan and Ollie fall for the subterfuge hook, line and sinker, handing the deed over to Lola. Upon running into the real Mary, who slaves away in Mickey Finn's kitchen, Our Heroes vow to retrieve the deed. A battle royale ensues, with Stan, Ollie, Mickey and Lola passing the deed around like a football. Ultimately, Lola manages to wrest the deed away from Stan by tickling him into helpless submission. Chased out of town by the sheriff (Stanley Fields), who harbors a grudge against the boys from a previous misunderstanding, Stan and Ollie sneak back to Brushwood Gulch in the dead of night, hoping to break into Finn's saloon, steal back the deed, and place it firmly in the hands of Mary Roberts. Upon this foundation is built Way Out West, arguably Laurel & Hardy's best feature film (many aficionados prefer Sons of the Desert). Highlights include the aformentioned tickling and burglary scenes, Stan literally eating his hat after losing a bet, Ollie's perennial plunges into a pothole, and the boys' charming singing-and-dancing interludes. Also take note of Marvin Hatley's Oscar-nominated musical score, and the presence of a young, thin Chill Wills as one of "The Avalon Boys". Even if you're not a fan of The Thin One and The Fat One, you'll be limp with laughter at the end of Way Out West. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Oliver Hardy wants to go see his friend Stan Laurel; his wife (Fay Holderness) tells him, in no uncertain terms, that he must put up the radio antenna first. When Stan comes by and gives Ollie his helping hand, the inevitable mayhem ensues. He begins by setting Ollie's pants on fire with the exhaust from his car. A bucket of water meant to douse the smoke coming from Ollie's behind hits him in the face instead. Ollie throws the bucket through a window; Mrs. Hardy whacks him with a frying pan. The boys climb onto the roof to get the antenna set up but just can't seem to keep from falling into the pond, causing a disgusted Mrs. Hardy to command them to stop playing. The boys get around to the wiring and Stan electrocutes Ollie, sending him down the chimney. Ollie gets back on the ladder, which has been set in Stan's car for support, but Stan starts the engine and they end up on a wild ride through town. The ladder ends up on a bus and Ollie falls in its path. He manages to escape getting run over when his tearful wife appears. Ollie tells her reassuringly that he is okay, but she's not crying over him -- she's upset because the radio has been repossessed. They all head back to Stan's car, just in time for it to be crushed by a streetcar. In most Laurel and Hardy films, Ollie's the one who suffers the most damage; this time around he seems to get it even worse than usual! Originally filmed in black & white, a colorized version was released in the late 1990s for home video. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
Another Fine Mess
The 1930 Laurel & Hardy 3-reeler Another Fine Mess is a remake of the team's 1927 effort Duck Soup--which, in turn, was based on "Home from the Honeymoon", a vaudeville sketch written in 1908 by Stan Laurel's father. Escaping from an angry cop, Stan and Ollie take refuge in a posh East Side mansion. It turns out that this is the home of great white hunter Colonel Buckshot (James Finlayson), who has just gone on an expedition to Africa, leaving his butler and maid with instructions to rent the mansion in his absence. But the servants have snuck out for the weekend, leaving Laurel & Hardy alone to contend with potential renters Lord Plumtree (Charles Gerard) and his sexy American wife (Thelma Todd). To avoid being arrested, Ollie poses as Colonel Buckshot, while Stan does double duty as both butler and maid (complete with flaxen wig). Originally lensed in black and white, Another Fine Mess was computer-colorized in 1986, but you'll enjoy it anyway. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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