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Author Topic: What is your favorite Laurel and Hardy Feature?
Osi Osgood
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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted July 09, 2009 09:18 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Since this is not really dealing with Super 8, I put it in general yak!

What is your favorite film of the lads?

I have a very hard choice in this, between "Blockheads" and "Sons of the Desert", but the award has to go to ....

"SONS OF THE DESERT"

Both of these features are so well paced and played out that they feel like a really good short, but the lads win out in this one, it has all the best elements in spades ...

Angry Wives
scheming lads
Things going from bad to worse, hilariously.

and that wonderful moment when Laurel looks into his wifes eyes and can't lie.

Though Blockheads has the same elements as well, AND a wonderful little battle with Jimmy Finlayson!

Actually, I'm almost changing my mind!!!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Steve Klare
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 - posted July 09, 2009 09:45 AM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My favorite Feature Length is "Way out West": the dance scene between Stan and Ollie is worth the price of admission all by itself!

My favorite short has to be "The Music Box". I'm not even sure if it's because it truly is better than many of the others, or if I've seen it so many times it's become perfect in its own right. There is little doubt that for right or wrong it is the classic L&H: the one they are most remembered for.

Close behind has to be "Busy Bodies". This one is great because it builds one disaster on the next. The sequence where Stan glues a paintbrush on Ollie's face and then shaves it off with a carpenter's plane is hysterical! I describe this as an industrial safety film for people who just don't care!

Then there is "Perfect Day": everything you needed to know about futility in 20 minutes! Stan and Ollie reduce yet another Model T to rubble just trying to go on a picnic.

All of the shorts are on wonderful Blackhawk prints without even a rumor of colorization! The feature is a DVD, but I'll get it on film eventually.

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted July 09, 2009 10:23 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If we include shorts, I would have to say, as first choice,

"Towed in the Hole"

Those wonderful shots, from different places on the boat of a scared Stan peeking out from smaller and smaller holes, then
looking up, bewildered and asking ...

"Why is the paint on your face?"

We next see Stan with a black eye!

and, of course, my beloved ...

"Helpmates"

Ollie throws a wild party and the house in a shambles, and the wife is coming home later in the day. Ollie calls Stan over to help him clean up, and they progressively demolish the house with Stan, at the end, stating the obvious ...

"Well, I guess there is nothing else I can do."

Leaving poor Ollie sitting in a burned down house and, to add insult to injury, it starts to rain.

Brilliant!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Keith Ashfield
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 - posted July 09, 2009 10:45 AM      Profile for Keith Ashfield     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Feature - "Way Out West" - the dance sequence and of course "Lonesome Pine".
Shorts - "Blotto" - just watching the scene where they get "drunk" on a non-alcholic bevereage is hilarious.
"Tit fot Tat" - "I Thought You Said Tip My Hat".

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Paul Spinks
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 - posted July 09, 2009 11:26 AM      Profile for Paul Spinks   Email Paul Spinks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have to agree with Osi, "Sons of the Desert" is such a great feature and "Towed in a Hole" works for me every time. "Fresh Fiiiiish!"

Paul.

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Joe Caruso
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 - posted July 09, 2009 05:19 PM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a tough one -

Being a SON, I'm partial to everything, yet here's my spin; Not favorites, rather among them;

Unaccustomed As We Are (Because it was their first)
Chickens Come Home - Perfect Day - Blotto - Come Clean

Pardon Us (Again, because it was their first)
Fra Diavolo
Way Out West
Saps At Sea

That's that - Fraternally, Shorty

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Paul Adsett
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 - posted July 09, 2009 07:32 PM      Profile for Paul Adsett     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My favourite L&H short is 'Blotto". I showed this for the first time a couple of years ago at my Halloween film show and people in my audience were literally chocking with laughter, including myself! One lady at the front row was literally gasping for air, I thought she was going to have a heart attack!.
A couple of glasses of wine is highly recommended before watching this hilarious film! One of the boys very best.

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Gary Crawford
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 - posted July 10, 2009 06:44 AM      Profile for Gary Crawford   Email Gary Crawford   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For features...I think Way Out West has more entertainment value and is better constructed as a feature than any of them, but for me Blockheads is tops. It gives us a story of frustration and disaster built on the friendship and love the two guys have for each other. Ollie is sooo glad to see Stan again....and introduces him to his perfect life...and within a few hours, just as in the old days, Stan turns it into catastrophe. ...just as in the old days.
For shorts...the choices are too numerous. I frankly never thought much of Blotto...but I've never tried it out on an audience. I must do that. Towed in a Hole is nearly perfect in its slapstick construction....but I've always been in the minority in my admiration for Be Big. Taking one simple task...putting on pants and boots....and turning it into 25 minutes of gag after gag after gag...until the big explosive finish....is just brillant.

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted July 10, 2009 09:50 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the understated gags in "Towed in the Hole" is when Ollie is desiring to drench Stan with water, but Stan is in charge, having the hose, and it's truly funnier than hell with his little
"spurts" he lest out in warning.

There is one absolute truth and the Lads that is not true of any of the other great comedy teams, (not even the Marx Brothers).

Stan and Ollie could milk a gag beyond anybody else. Look at how many shorts, (as mentioned before) revolve around a simple premise, (putting on pants and boots) and milk them for a whole
twenty or so minutes?

Carrying a Piano up a staircase for thirty minutes? WOW!

I have often thought, what the Marx Brothers could have done in a short subject format?

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Tony Stucchio
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 - posted July 10, 2009 08:36 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are very few from their prime years (late 1927 as a team to 1940) that I dislike. It is hard to pick a "best" feature. WAY OUT WEST and SONS OF THE DESERT are the usual candidates, and I've never been able to decide which is better. BABES IN TOYLAND is grand in so many ways. PARDON US is a personal "favorite", and OUR RELATIONS excellent. BLOCK-HEADS is great until about the last 5 minutes, then it falls apart.

I agree about BLOTTO being one of their best shorts. So is SCRAM!
To me they are both right up there with HELPMATES, HOG WILD, TOWED IN A HOLE, THEM THAR HILLS, TIT FOR TAT, and THE MUSIC BOX.
BELOW ZERO is a great one despite not being one of their funniest. The only shorts I don't like very much are TWICE TWO and BERTH MARKS.

The silents: BIG BUSINESS, LIBERTY, TWO TARS, and PUTTING PANTS ON PHILLIP are my favorites -- at least on the days where I'm not enjoying BACON GRABBERS and THE FINISHING TOUCH. Is YOU'RE DARN TOOTIN' a good one? You're darn tootin' it is!

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Yanis Tzortzis
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 - posted July 14, 2009 05:00 AM      Profile for Yanis Tzortzis   Author's Homepage   Email Yanis Tzortzis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
.....Blockheads has had one of their best dialogues:
Ollie: ....You never told me you had two legs!!....
Stan:....Well, you never asked.......... [Big Grin]

--------------------
Yannis

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Gian Luca Mario Loncrini
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 - posted July 14, 2009 07:31 AM      Profile for Gian Luca Mario Loncrini   Author's Homepage   Email Gian Luca Mario Loncrini   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
My favorite Feature Length is "Way out West": the dance scene between Stan and Ollie is worth the price of admission all by itself!

I totally agree with Steve.

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I remember when I was (super) 8 years old...

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Dan Lail
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 - posted July 16, 2009 11:04 PM      Profile for Dan Lail   Author's Homepage   Email Dan Lail   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Swiss Miss. [Smile]

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Michael De Angelis
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 - posted July 17, 2009 12:32 AM      Profile for Michael De Angelis   Email Michael De Angelis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As Tony said, It's hard to pick a best feature.

The films are divided into era, and in my opinion, their most stellar work was up until 1934.
The short films were great stepping grounds for the features.

If I was forced to select the very best features from this early sound era,
it would be Sons of The Desert and Babes in Toyland.

"Sons," on the whole vision being the perfect cast, comedic timing, and story that organically holds together. A timeless vehicle that fits their modern characters.

"Toyland," because it illustrates their persona - two children at play, and out to save humanity. The creative mix of story, fairy tale, music, set design
and in accord with Walt Disney make this a wonderful accomplishment.

Roach's "separate and divide"contract negotiating management,
lasting friction coupled from the Toyland script disagreements,
Ollie's troubled life, and Stan's multiple marriages,
and divorces were embattling too.

Last but not least, the budget cuts and lack of complete artistic control strained the work on some of the films - resulted in conflict.

Thus, the mood shifted from Thicker Than Water and onward.
when Roach declared the two-reelers being unprofitable.

Arguably, the best feature from the second wave was Way Out West,
and it was a Stan Laurel Production too.

We Faw Down plays out better than the Blockheads ending.
Chump at Oxford is a delight and Saps at Sea finishes out with wonderful wackyness that is embellished with a fun music score.

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Isn't it great that we can all communicate about this great
hobby that we love!

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Mikael Barnard
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 - posted July 17, 2009 03:20 PM      Profile for Mikael Barnard   Email Mikael Barnard   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Picking a favourite Laurel and Hardy is such a challenge, best feature as far as I'm concerned is easy- I'm a complete sucker for 'Flying Deuces'- but shorts and silents? Putting Pants on Philip, Country Hospital, Big Business, Tit for Tat, damn they're ALL good, true some are better than others but I don't think there's any I dislike (although I have to try really, really hard to like the Fox disasters). I suppose if someone put a gun to my head and said choose it would run thus:

Favourite Silent: The Finishing Touch (although I'd be begging the gunman to let me put Big Business at joint first)

Favourite Talkie: HAS to be Dirty Work!
"Somewhere an electric chair is waiting". [Big Grin]
Practically every line and gag has me in stitches every time.

Favourite Feature: Flying Deuces.

Funny, both Laurel and Hardy both considered Chaplin to be the
superior comedian. I've never got much more than a light chuckle out of Chaplin yet those two make my sides ache. Same with Morcambe and Wise, every loves 'em, why?! Humour is extremely subjective. My sister's father can't stand Laurel and Hardy, but then that really DOES just make him a freak doesn't it! [Razz]

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Joe Caruso
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 - posted July 17, 2009 04:29 PM      Profile for Joe Caruso   Email Joe Caruso   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's a puzzlement (to quote a moment) - I've been in audiences where Clark & McCullough drew howls, and A&C a few titters - I know actors and civilians who dislike Chaplin, Keaton, L&H, and only abide by the latest 'craze' - All I can do is shake my head in bewilderment and think about humor, then go back to my research for a book on the true origins on comedy and tragedy - Bottom Line; Whenever I hear the Cuckoo Theme, I beat a path to the source - My dime on it, Shorty

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Osi Osgood
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 - posted July 17, 2009 05:04 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You make good points Shorty (as well as quite a few other of you).

Comedy, I think, depends largely on two things ...

1. The persons own persona/likes/dislikes.
2. The era in which the audience grows up in.

It amazes me, (as well as deeply saddens), that most young people only seem to laugh if a fella puts his "organ" in a pie. Humor has been so diluted to a few fart jokes which pains me to say.

... and then you see master craftsmen like Stan, Ollie and they're generation. Even in the case of the Marx Brothers, (the "Mel Brooks" of thier time) were able to have racy material, but it still stayed within the "code". Barely, but it stayed.

Look, I may only be 43, but I can say for a fact that with each year that passes, literally everything in our society continues a downward spiral to the "lowest common denominator" , or the most base way of getting a laugh.

I don't think we can really blame the movie goers. The crap first came out in the theaters, THEN the audience either embraced it or they didn't.

... sadly, the audience embraced the crap.

I have written two comedy scripts that I would DIE to get made, and it is classic word-play and physical humor, and not a shred of fart jokes, as well as a comedy novel ...

... not a single taker.

... but thank goodness that we have these amazing and still as fresh as the day they were filmed comedies to enjoy over and over.

My apologies for "preaching" about this, but my blood got up!

--------------------
"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Tony Stucchio
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 - posted July 17, 2009 05:55 PM      Profile for Tony Stucchio   Email Tony Stucchio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
My sister's father can't stand Laurel and Hardy
Wouldn't that make him your father, too?
[Big Grin]

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Mike Tynus
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 - posted July 19, 2009 03:20 AM      Profile for Mike Tynus   Email Mike Tynus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That's just "Levity." [Wink]

My favorite feature would be SONS OF THE DESERT.
I showed this on 16mm at our last banquet of the Chicago Bacon Grabbers tent and it went over with great enthusiasm.

Favorite sound short is MEN O' WAR.
There's just something about the early charm of this film that does it for me.

Favorite silent short is TWO TARS.
In part for the great gags, and also since it's the precursor in some respects to MEN O' WAR.

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Christopher P Quinn
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My Favourite feature is Way Out West followed closely by Saps at Sea & Block-Heads.

Sound short, well Laughing Gravy every time for me. It is in my mind one of there best, although the bed scene in Berth Marks (not one of their best) when they are trying to get dressed for bed, always has me rolling around in stitches. I am also a fan of Them Thar Hills. Tra da da, da da da, da da da da, pom,pom. [Big Grin] and many more.

Silent’s,well i started to appreciate these recently when I got the 21 disc box set, I always collected the sound versions on 8mm, but my fav ones are Two Tars and Habeas Corpus, at the moment. [Wink]

You can't beat a bit of slap stick.
Chris.

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Mikael Barnard
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 - posted July 20, 2009 07:25 PM      Profile for Mikael Barnard   Email Mikael Barnard   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Wouldn't that make him your father, too?"

No, same mother, different father. Unless the levity comment in the post below refers to this and you're making some kind of joke in which case I apologise for it going completely over my head.

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Mike Tynus
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 - posted July 20, 2009 08:20 PM      Profile for Mike Tynus   Email Mike Tynus   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mikael,
I'm not making fun of you at all, just quoting Ollie from BEAU HUNKS. If I offended you it was unintentional and I sincerely apologize.

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Joe McAllister
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 - posted July 21, 2009 04:29 AM      Profile for Joe McAllister   Email Joe McAllister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Definitely "Our Relations" 2 Laurel and Hardy's for the price of one. I sometimes pair it with "Brats" although "Music Box" is my favourite short.

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Mark Williams
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DIRTY WORK is my fave!! [Big Grin]

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Mikael Barnard
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 - posted July 21, 2009 02:45 PM      Profile for Mikael Barnard   Email Mikael Barnard   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dear Mike, sorry for jumping the gun- haven't watched Beau Hunks enough- there's only so many hours in the day! No offense taken.

Mikael.

As for you Mr Williams you, sir, are a man of taste! [Smile]

"What did he die of"?
"He died of a Tuesday"...

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