Two years ago we presented some Laurel and Hardy comedies beautifully restored for the big screen. Now we happily offer you “another nice mess,” in the form of a new batch of restorations to savor.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were the most beloved double act in the movies. Laurel (1890-1965) was English, a talented mime who understudied Charlie Chaplin in the music hall troupe that brought them both to America. Hardy (1892-1957) was an actor-singer from the American South. Both knocked around in silent comedy shorts for several years until 1927, when producer Hal Roach made them a pair. Stan was thin and innocent, Oliver heavyset and haughty. In their movement, dialogue and childlike behavior, they complemented each other perfectly.
Of all the silent comics, Laurel and Hardy made the smoothest and most successful transition to sound, and our presentations focus on several talkies and one extremely rare silent. The films were restored by Jeff Joseph in conjunction with the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and it’s safe to say they haven’t looked this good since they were first released.