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Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy
Stan Laurel was born Arthur Stanley Jefferson on 16 June, 1890 in Ulverston, England; died on 23 February 1965.
Oliver Hardy was born Norvell Hardy on 18 January, 1892 in Harlem, Georgia; died on 7 August 1957.
The son of a British showman, Stan Laurel had been raised in English music halls. In 1910 he made his first trip to America as a member of the Fred Karno musical-comedy troupe, which also included Charlie Chaplin. Laurel stayed in the United States, touring in vaudeville and landing an occasional movie job.
Oliver Hardy had been destined for a military career, but opened a movie theater in Milledgeville, Georgia, instead. He next found work as an actor in Jacksonville, Florida, home of the Lubin film company. Hardy later moved to Hollywood, and by the mid 1920s, he was working as an all-purpose comic at the Hal Roach studio.
Laurel and Hardy's partnership at the Hal Roach studio began in 1926. Within a year of their first joint appearance, they were being touted as the new comedy team. After collaborating on many silent films, they took the transition to the talking film in stride. As their success spread throughout the world, they began making feature films as well and won an Oscar for their short subject entitled "The Music Box" (1932).After the team left the Hal Roach studio, they formed their own production company but were unable to repeat the success they had enjoyed under the guidance of Hal Roach.
Laurel & Hardy Feature Films
As the economics of motion picture exhibition changed in the 1930s, Hal Roach needed to produce feature-length vehicles for Laurel & Hardy. Filmgoers then and now treasure WAY OUT WEST, BLOCK-HEADS and SONS OF THE DESERT among their best full-length feature films. After SAPS AT SEA (1940) Laurel & Hardy left the Hal Roach Studios and signed with major studios 20th Century-Fox and MGM. From 1941-1945 they made eight feature films - six for Fox and two for MGM. In 1951 Laurel & Hardy made their final film appearance together in the disastrous UTOPIA, aka ATOLL K.
Laurel & Hardy Feature Films for the Hal Roach Studios (1931-1940)
1931 Pardon Us
1932 Pack Up Your Troubles
1933 Fra Diavolo (aka The Devil's Brother)
Sons of the Desert
1934 Babes in Toyland (aka March of the Wooden Soldiers)
1935 Bonnie Scotland
1936 The Bohemian Girl
1937 Way Out West
1940 A Chump at Oxford
Saps at Sea
Laurel & Hardy Feature Films for FOX and MGM (1941-1945)
1941 Great Guns (20th Century Fox)
1942 A-Haunting We Will Go (20th Century Fox)
1943 Air Raid Wardens (MGM)
Jitterbugs (20th Century Fox)
Dancing Masters (20th Century Fox)
1944 The Big Noise (20th Century Fox)
Nothing But Trouble (MGM)
The Bullfighters (20th Century Fox)
Other Laurel & Hardy Feature Films
1939 The Flying Deuces
1951 Utopia (aka Atoll K, Robinson Crusoeland)
Laurel & Hardy Talkie Shorts
Unlike many other silent film actors, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy adapted with ease to talking in movies, practically paying no attention to this new component of their work. Happily, their voices matched their screen personalities. And sound effects greatly aided their talking films. So did the wonderful, peppy, period background music. The Boys were then able to punctuate their physical and visual comedy with catch phrases long familiar to fans who smile when they hear variants of such lines as these:
“I'm Mr. Hardy, and this is my friend, Mr. Laurel.”
“Why don't you do something to help me?”
“We certainly do!”
“Tell me that plan again.”
“Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!”
aurel & Hardy Talkie Shorts (1931-1940)
1929 Berth Marks
Men O' War
They Go Boom
Unaccustomed As We Are
1930 Another Fine Mess
The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case
1931 Beau Hunks
Chickens Come Home
One Good Turn
1932 Any Old Port
The Music Box (Won the Oscar for best short subject in 1932)
Their First Mistake
1933 Busy Bodies
Me and My Pal
Towed in a Hole
1934 Going Bye-Bye
Oliver the Eighth
The Live Ghost
Them Thar Hills
1935 The Fixer-Uppers
Thicker Than Water
Tit for Tat
Laurel & Hardy Silent Shorts
Not yet a team, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy first appeared together in the independent film THE LUCKY DOG, which we now believe was shot in early 1921. During the 1920s they appeared separately in a number of silent shorts for the Hal Roach Studios. 45 MINUTES FROM HOLLYWOOD (1926) is the first Hal Roach production featuring both performers. Their characters blossomed as a team in DUCK SOUP, their very next film, then, curiously, regressed.
The independent recollections of both Stan Laurel and Hal Roach cite PUTTING PANTS ON PHILIP (1927) as the first Laurel & Hardy film. THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS (1927) was promoted as the first official Laurel & Hardy release, but the film was actually produced and sold as part of the Hal Roach All-Star series. It was not until SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME? (1928) that the studio officially branded their pictures as "The Laurel & Hardy Series."
Laurel & Hardy Silent Shorts (1921-1929)
1921 The Lucky Dog
1927 The Battle of the Century
Do Detectives Think?
Love 'Em and Weep
Putting Pants on Philip
The Second 100 Years
Why Girls Love Sailors
With Love and Hisses
1928 Early to Bed
The Finishing Touch
From Soup to Nuts
Leave 'Em Laughing
Should Married Men Go Home?
That's My Wife
Their Purple Moment
We Faw Down
You're Darn Tootin'
1929 Angora Love
Laurel & Hardy DVDs