LOST FILMS OF LAUREL AND HARDY, THE: THE

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Overview

Synopsis


Short Kilts
Although Putting Pants on Phillip was one of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's first efforts as a team, it wasn't the first time that Laurel wore kilts in a Hal Roach comedy. This two-reeler, made when he was still a single, is about two feisty Scottish clans, the MacGregors and the McPhersons. The MacGregor son (James Finlayson) tells his family that they have been invited to the McPhersons for dinner, but apparently he's mistaken; when they arrive at the McPhersons', they're told to wait while the family finishes their meal. The McHungry family joins the festivities, but when a game of musical chairs gets out of control, the MacGregors and the McPhersons have a row. The McPherson son (Laurel) refuses to allow the feud to come between him and his sweetheart, the MacGregor girl (Ena Gregory). They elope, as do the MacGregor son and the McPherson daughter. The feud ends as a result of the two marriages, but starts up again with yet another game of musical chairs. As the youngest McPherson, Our Gang member Mickey Daniels has some amusing moments when he makes life difficult for his big brother, Stan. This was Laurel's last film for Hal Roach for about a year -- after this completion of this film, he moved over to Joe Rock's production company. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide, Rovi

Duck Soup
A pair of adle-pated vagrants on the run from the police take refuge in a posh mansion, assuming the identities of its vacationing millionaire owner and the housemaid. Complications ensue when a couple arrives to enquire about renting the house. Forced to play out the charade to its ultimate exposure, the itinerant hoboes are once again sent fleeing from the law. Long believed to be lost forever -- when this early Laurel and Hardy film (only their third together) finally turned up again in the mid-'70s it was a positive revelation for both film historians and die-hard Stan and Ollie fans. Their familiar characterizations and razor-timed teamwork, though somewhat rough around the edges, are already fully in evidence, as if they'd been working together for years. Adapted from a Music Hall stage sketch penned by Arthur Jefferson, Stan's father, the same basic material later reappeared in the four-reel comedy Another Fine Mess (1930), in which the boys repeated their roles and most of the gags with even more successful results. ~ All Movie Guide, Rovi

Fluttering Hearts
This especially funny Charley Chase two-reeler features Oliver Hardy in a supporting role. A girl (Martha Sleeper) rushes off to a white sale, but is stopped by a cop (Eugene Pallette) for speeding. Charley, a wealthy young man (Chase), gets involved, and soon the three of them are heading off to battle housewives at the sale. When Charley finds out that Martha's father (William Burress) wants her to wed a self-made man, he gets a job as his chauffeur. Big Bill, a blackmailer (Hardy), has a letter which incriminates the father, and Charley sets out to retrieve it. He winds up at the speakeasy that Big Bill haunts, and, through a few tricks involving a mannequin, manages to get the letter and win the girl. As a director, Chase would rework part of this picture for Thelma Todd and ZaSu Pitts -- the result was The Bargain of the Century. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide, Rovi

Habeas Corpus
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy are perhaps unique amongst comedians of the 1920s and 1930s, and their silent and sound films are equally funny. This two-reeler was originally released with music and sound effects; it would be nearly six more months before the boys made their talkie debut. This short (which some claim is not one of the duo's best silent films, a point definitely to be argued) is so entertaining that it's easy to forget that it's a silent film. Stan and Ollie have stopped at a mansion to beg for food. They don't realize that they're at the residence of a mad scientist (Richard Carle) who needs a pair of grave robbers to bring him a corpse for one of his experiments. The boys find themselves enlisted, and neither they nor the scientist realize that the butler (Charles Rogers) is an undercover detective who is trying to keep the madman under control. While Stan and Ollie head off for the graveyard, the scientist is carted away. The detective, meanwhile, goes to the graveyard himself in order to scare away the would-be grave robbers. Frighten them he does, but he hasn't counted on the boys' persistence (or their stupidity). The duo's attempt to climb the graveyard wall results in Ollie flying through it and smashing it to bits. Later on, Ollie is spooked by his own toes, which are peeping through a mound of dirt, and smashes them. The detective, wrapped in a sheet and trying to alternately play a ghost or a corpse, gets his share of knocks, too. When Ollie finally puts him in a sack and has Stan cart him off, the detective pokes his hands and feet through the material. He frightens the boys so much that he and Ollie wind up falling in a deep puddle (Stan, as usual, avoids this fate). The boys finally run away in fright. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide, Rovi

Leave 'em Laughing
In this Laurel and Hardy two-reel silent, Stan's toothache is keeping both him and Ollie awake. Their attempts to pull the tooth out also wake up their chagrined landlord (the perennial Laurel and Hardy landlord, Charlie Hall). The next day, Ollie takes Stan to a dentist (Jack V. Lloyd). Stan, after sitting in the waiting room and seeing the wreckage a dental visit can do, has gotten very nervous by the time his turn comes. Ollie tells the dentist to leave the room while he calms down the squeamish Stan. Ollie, naturally, is the one who winds up with an extracted tooth. Both of them finally leave the office under the influence of laughing gas. They encounter a cop (Edgar Kennedy, the perennial Laurel and Hardy policeman), who does not understand what is so funny. After several failed attempts to get them to stop laughing and get going, the cop takes over the wheel and drives them off -right into a puddle. Stan and Ollie are still laughing as they sink ever deeper into the mud. Much of the dentist's office scene was repeated in the boys' 1931 sound feature, Pardon Us. ~ Janiss Garza, All Movie Guide, Rovi

Wrong Again
This entertaining film is one of Laurel and Hardy's most bizarre. Stan and Ollie work as stable-hands for a racehorse named "Blue Boy." They overhear two men talking about "the famous Blue Boy," which has been stolen. There is a $5000 reward for its return, but the boys don't know that the men are talking about a famous painting. Trying to collect the reward, they take the horse to the mansion of the owner of the painting, arriving as he is getting out of the shower. Without looking at what Stan and Ollie have brought in, the owner tells them to put it on top of the grand piano. Stan does not understand, but Ollie tells him that rich people are "just the reverse" from everybody else. Stan and Ollie have quite a struggle to get the horse on top of the grand piano! ~ Bruce Calvert, All Movie Guide, Rovi



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