- SKU: 14157477
- Release Date: 02/15/2005
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- Five classic short subjects
- Digitally remastered
- Scene access
- Regions: All Regions
White-faced comedian Larry Semon produced, co-directed, and starred in this two-reel farce, filmed at breakneck speed at the Charles Ray studios and the Santa Monica Auto Race Course. Avery DuPays (Frank "Fatty" Alexander), the city's wealthiest man, has promised his daughter Lou's hand in marriage to whomever wins the Big Auto Race. Both Dangerous Dan McGrew (Oliver Hardy) and The Speed Kid (Semon) love Lou (Dorothy Dwan), but she seems to prefer the latter. Avery, of course, favors the richer McGrew, who, unbeknownst to the Kid and his mechanic (Spencer Bell), removes the brakes from Larry's race car. Despite this handicap -- or perhaps because of it -- the Kid wins both the race and the girl. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
Not one, but two epic documentaries about the wilds of Africa were released in 1923 (Hunting Big Game in Africa and Trailing African Wilds). It had been some months since Stan Laurel had made any parodies -- something he was famous for before he teamed up with Oliver Hardy -- and a safari seemed like a good subject to spoof. The two-reel Roughest Africa turned out to be a winner, with Laurel playing Stanislaus Laurello, an adventuresome professor, and James Finlayson as Hans Downe, Laurello's cameraman and sidekick. There's not much plot to speak of, and much of the action revolves around Stan chasing or being chased by a variety of wild animals, from lions to an ostrich to a porcupine. Laurello proves to be less than capable in the wild. He has a hard time shooting and hitting an elephant, even after drawing a target on the beast's head. Some sources falsely claim that future famed director George Stevens was the cinematographer on Roughest Africa; the credit actually goes to Frank Young. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
Diminutive Bobby Ray and portly Oliver Hardy play employees of the Blatz and Blatz Interior Design company, hired to wallpaper Dr. Brown's sanatarium. When an inmate accidentally drops alcohol into the hospital's water supply, the two drunken wallpaperers go at their work with a vengeance. A now-forgotten comic, Ray looked enough like Stan Laurel for this inexpensive two-reel comedy to be advertised as a Laurel and Hardy offering when released to the home movie market in the early '60s. Hardy himself later acknowledged that his character in this film resembled the Ollie of later fame, with a condescending attitude toward his less-brainy partner, dainty hand gestures and all. Produced by comedian Billy West and released as a "Mirthquake comedy," Stick Around also featured Hazel Newman as a nurse and Harry McCoy as the owner of the sanitarium. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
This is one of the more well-known Stan Laurel solo comedies, but in truncated form -- much of the Army footage is usually left out. It actually begins with Smithy (Laurel) as a private, making life miserable for his irascible sergeant (James Finlayson, who had a special talent for irascibility). When he finally enters civilian life, he has a hard time finding a job but finally lands work on a construction crew. But Smithy is no better at building a house than he was in the army -- he can barely get a roll of tar paper up to the roof. To make matters even more interesting, his old sergeant winds up being one of the workers, too, and once again he finds himself at the mercy of Smithy's eternal ineptitude. The owner of the firm decides to promote a certain Smith (Glenn Tryon) to foreman, but the secretary (Ena Gregory) thinks he means Smithy, and hands him the letter containing the promotion. Smithy has a field day with his new title, and immediately fires his old sergeant. The freshly built house keels over into a heap and Smithy (along with his old sergeant) both rejoin the service. Some of the jokes in this two-reeler wound up in the Laurel and Hardy silent, The Finishing Touch. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
Crazy to Act
This Mack Sennett two-reel comedy features Oliver Hardy, who was on loan from the Hal Roach studios. Arthur Young (Matty Kemp) is in love with Ethel St. John (Mildred June), but he has no money and she wants to be in movies. Gordon Bagley (Hardy) also wants to marry her, and she accepts his proposal, providing that he make her a motion picture star. Bagley agrees, and finances a film for her, using her friends as cast and crew. Arthur plays her love interest, which does not thrill Bagley in the least. Finally the film is finished, and it is screened for everyone involved. Not only does Bagley hate the love scenes, he realizes that the picture is awful and was a total waste of money. Just so it isn't a complete loss, he grabs Ethel and drags her off to the minister. Arthur, however, is close behind and he manages to grab Ethel and they escape. ~ Janiss Garza, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Larry Semon - The Speed Kid
- Dorothy Dwan - Lou
- Oliver Hardy - Dangerous Dan McGrew
- Frank Alexander - Avery DuPays
- James J. Jeffries - The Smithy