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Rent >> Laurel and Hardy - The Essential Collection

Laurel and Hardy - The Essential Collection (Pardon Us / The Music Box / Pack Up Your Troubles / Sons of the Desert / The Bohemian Girl / Our Relations / Way Out West / Swiss Miss / Block-Heads / A Chump at Oxford / Saps at Sea)
Celebrating the genius of the most beloved comedy team of all time, Laurel and Hardy - The Essential Collection debuts in a stunning 10-disc set on October 25, 2011 from RHI Entertainment and Vivendi Entertainment. With a comedic style that defined an era and created a legacy that is still celebrated today, 58 of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy's talking shorts and feature films, produced under legendary movie mogul Hal Roach from 1929 through 1940, are now available for the first time in the U.S. all together in one magnificent collection.

Transferred in high definition for the first time and digitally enhanced for home viewing in the finest quality available to date, the set contains favorites that have been enjoyed for generations including Helpmates, Hog Wild, Another Fine Mess, Sons of the Desert, Way Out West, and the Academy Award winning film The Music Box.

Laurel and Hardy - The Essential Collection comes housed in collectible, book-style packaging with an extensive, detailed film guide. The set also boasts over two hours of special features including exclusive, never-before-seen interviews with comedy legends Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Lewis, Tim Conway and more, who discuss the enduring impact and influence of Laurel and Hardy.

Additional features include commentaries by Laurel and Hardy aficionados, along with a virtual location map that allows viewers to take an interactive tour of the iconic places in and around Los Angeles where Laurel and Hardy filmed.


Unaccustomed As We Are
(1929, 21 min.)
The title is a clever reference to the actual circumstances of this production. After many years of making silent short subjects, solo and together, Laurel and Hardy made their first talking film appearance in this situation comedy. Hardy surprises his wife by bringing a pal home for dinner, only to find even worse trouble with a jealous neighbor who just happens to be a policeman.

Berth Marks (1929, 20 min.)
Itinerant musicians struggle through a sleepless, overnight train ride to their next important engagement, in Pottsville. This was the team's second "all-talking" comedy. Film and rail buffs continue to visit the 1887 train "Palms" train depot used here, now relocated to the far away Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles.

Men O' War (1929, 20 min.)
Sailors on holiday visit a sunny park where they pick up two cuties and treat them at a soda fountain, on 15 cents. The climax is a wild boat-rowing melee in which canoes crash and capsize. These drenchings had to be shot three times, after enthusiastic fans gathered and kept ruining the footage. The short contains some pre-Code double entendre that might not have passed the censors later. It was shot on location in Hollenbeck Park, a magnet for fans visiting Los Angeles today.

Perfect Day (1929, 20 min.)
Two families set out for a pleasant Sunday picnic in their Model T Ford. They tell everyone "goodbye," but don't get very far.

They Go Boom (1929, 20 min.)
Ollie is ill with the sniffles; Stan tries to assist his friend but they both run afoul of the nasty landlord. This transitional "all-talking" short is less familiar to fans because the separate Vitaphone discs with the soundtrack were missing for so long.

The Hoose-Gow (1929, 20 min.)
This is the misadventures of innocents at a prison camp. An early talkie that emphasized slapstick, it was shot on location at the studio's Arnaz Ranch. Hardy was scarred during shooting when Laurel accidentally nicked him in the rear end with a real pick ax.

Night Owls (1930, 21 min.)
A failed cop persuades two vagrants that they should pretend to rob a house so he can capture the thieves and take credit for it. But the burglary is bungled; the residence they select is owned by the chief of police. 

Ladrones (Spanish, 1930, 36 min.)
This is the remarkable re-filmed (not dubbed) and expanded Spanish language version of Night Owls. Running almost twice as long, this adaptation offers plenty of new gags and a different ending. Laurel and Hardy were coached by Spanish tutors an dread some of  their dialogue as written phonetically on blackboards off-scene.

Blotto (1930, 26 min.)
During prohibition, Ollie persuades henpecked pal Stan to trick his wife and sneak away from an evening of calm domesticity in favor of forbidden drinking with fellow revelers at a nightclub. The icy, regal countenance of beautiful Anita Garvin provides the penultimate matrimonial opponent. She recalled, "I love the scene with Stan and Babe laughing. I never get tired of watching those two laugh like's of the greatest ever."


La Vida Nocturna (Spanish, 1930, 39 min.)
Blotto was the team's first three-reel comedy, and this unexpurgated Spanish adaptation extends the running time by a full reel. Linda Loredo, a Latin actress, replaced less hot-tempered Anita Garvin as Stan's wife, who is always wise to any of his schemes.

Besides some new gags, the extra footage allows more time for a daring floor show (with a live orchestra) featuring a scantily clad dancer - a sequence deemed too wild for American sensibilities even by the liberal standards of pre-Code Hollywood.

Brats (1930, 21 min.)
Here the stars played double roles for the first time - themselves and their own sons, for whom they are babysitting while the wives are out. The inviting play-land set for the diminutive pair features gigantic props and furniture built exactly three times scale. 

Below Zero (1930, 21 min.)
In a wintry setting, destitute but still cheery sidewalk musicians find a wallet in the snow. It belongs to a policeman, whom they unwittingly invite to dinner in gratitude for saving them from a desperate character.

Daughter Lois Laurel remembers visiting the set, and tasting the "snow." She made a face. It was a combination of white cornflakes and Lux Soap shavings.

Tiembla Y Titubea (Spanish, 1930, 28 min.)
Translates as "shivering and shaking," the title used for the re-working in Spanish of Below Zero. The property was expanded to three reels to accommodate the foreign market, which Laurel told a reporter at the time was "an experiment." There are enough new gags and variations in this extended interpretation (the incidental music scoring, for example) to more than reward any comparison of the two versions.

Hog Wild (1930, 19 min.)
Stan "helps" Ollie put up a radio aerial on the roof; Mrs. Hardy wants to hear Japan. Filmed on location at a "prop" house built on a rented lot closer to MGM than to nearby Hal Roach Studios.

The climactic streetcar collision was a shot half an hour away on the campus of the University of Southern California.

The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (1930, 30 min.)
In order to claim inheritance, the boys present themselves at a creaky, bat-filled mansion on a stormy night. The blockbuster of all Laurel and Hardy shorts was, surprisingly, this played-straight spoof of old dark-house horror chillers.

It grossed almost four times as much as Another Fine Mess, clearly a superior picture.

Noche De Duendes (Spanish, 1930, 49 min.)
Meaning "night of the ghosts." This is the Spanish rendition of The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case expanded to 49 minutes! The extra footage at the outset is comprised of overnight train travel to the eerie estate, as incorporated from Berth Marks.

Even to audiences not fluent in Spanish, these fresh export versions are both a delight and a revelation. Incidentally, the interior of the old, dark house set was never struck at the studio, and remained in use for TV production through the 1950's.

Another Fine Mess (1930, 28 min.)
Fleeing from a policeman, two vagrants duck into a deserted mansion. When a ritzy couple shows up as prospective tenants, Ollie poses as the grandiose owner, while Stan demonstrates his versatility doing double-duty as butler and maid. His cheery, dame masquerade tete-a-tete on the sofa with sensational Thelma Todd is a pre-Code delight, completely at variance with Laurel's usual dim bulb visage.

Filmed at a mansion once owned by famed movie musical director Busby Berkeley. The film's title does not comport with the popular catch phrase so often used: "another nice mess." This is a remake of an early Laurel and Hardy silent, Duck Soup, which was based on a 1908 stage sketch written by Laurel's father, a British theatrical impresario.


Be Big! (1931, 28 min.)
The boys trick their wives so they can party at a hunting lodge, but they have trouble getting into special riding togs worn by their fraternal order. Upon discovering this deception, the ladies grab handy shotguns to demonstrate their disapproval and blasting skills.

Chickens Come Home (1931, 30 min.)
In a literal reworking of Love 'em and Weep, Mr. Hardy plays an important businessman. Having made his fortune in fertilizer, Hardy is well qualified to run for mayor, but is blackmailed by a venomous old flame from his past.

Politiquerias (Spanish, 1930, 56 min.)
This Spanish counterpart of Chickens Come Home doubled the length of its source material in order to obtain bookings as a feature abroad. What really distinguishes this interpolation is the expanded mayoral campaign dinner party, and the unusual pre-Code "entertainment" provided courtesy of the otherwise cultured Egyptian appearing vaudeville performer, Hadji Ali.

Laughing Gravy (1931, 31 min.)
Living in a boarding house, Stan and Ollie try to conceal a pet pup from their enraged landlord on a snowy, cold winter's night. The short borrows from their silent antecedent, Angora Love, and presents a wonderful array of undistilled routines. It was shot and previewed as a three-reeler. The last reel, with a rather dark tone and containing perhaps the most heartfelt sentimentality in the entire Laurel and Hardy canon, was cut before release.

At the last moment, Roach had been asked by Metro to restrict shorts to two reels. A new, alternate ending was devised, but only for issue in English-speaking territories. A transfer of the original 35mm work print containing these deleted extra ten minutes can now at last be viewed her, immediately following the shortened domestic version's end title.

Les Carottiers (French, 1931, 65 min.)
Means "the chislers" which was actually the working title for Be Big! This short feature is the slightly more risque, re-shot French language adaptation of Be Big! as combined with the unabridged three-reel version of Laughing Gravy.

The idea was to construct feature film running times in order to command the corresponding higher film rental prices in French-speaking territories. Linguists seem to believe Mr. Hardy handled his French pronunciations better then Mr. Laurel.


Los Calaveras (Spanish, 1931, 63 min.)
Translates as "the revelers," and is the Spanish equivalent of Les Carottiers. This film turned out to be the last foreign language footage Laurel and Hardy shot in this remarkable experiment.

Stunning Anita Garvin was retained as Mrs. Laurel, but she silently "mouthed" her lines while a native speaker off-camera standing at an open microphone furnished the Spanish dialogue.

Our Wife (1931, 21 min.)
With Stan as the bungling best man, Ollie is engaged to be married. When the bride's father objects, the couple elopes. But the famously cross-eyed Ben Turpin as magistrate marries Ollie to Stan by mistake.

Pardon Us (1931, 70 min.)
Developed as a two-reeler spoofing prison pictures, the project grew into Laurel and Hardy's first feature film at Roach. For years, their popular shorts were billed above the feature attraction on theatre marquees, so, at last, they appeared in a full-length movie themselves.

Imaginative individual set pieces are among the fellows' funniest and most endearing, including a prison-school sequence meant to echo the shorts being made by Our Gang at the time. This is an extended version, restored to reflect what the motion picture looked like during its final preview stage.

Come Clean (1931, 21 min.)
Returning from the ice cream parlor, devoted husbands rescue a suicidal woman of dubious morals from drowning (Mae Busch), then cannot escape her.

With its black comedy inspired by Chaplin's City Lights, the stroy also draws upon familiar routines from the team's other comedies. The parody of connubial bliss is a highlight, as is the climactic disappearance of Mr. Laurel, of which Mr. Hardy explains memorably, "He's gone to the beach." It was remade by Roach a decade later as a "streamliner" titled Brooklyn Orchid.

One Good Turn (1931, 21 min.)
Victims of the Depression with good hearts try to save a sweet old lady from eviction. The concluding and uncharacteristic rebellion against Hardy by Laurel was the one major variance from the shooting script.

The new turnabout finish was devised by Laurel at the last moment to show his daughter Lois that she should not be afraid of her "Uncle Babe,' whom the youngster disliked because he kept pushing her father around in so many films! "Everything was fine after I saw One Good Turn," said Lois.

Beau Hunks (1931, 37 min.)
In a vague parody of Beau Geste and Morocco, Laurel and Hardy join the Foreign Legion so than one of them can forget a lost love.

When asked to name a favorite Laurel and Hardy film, Beau Hunks was invariably one of the two titles Hal Roach would cite. He enjoyed getting a star (Jean Harlow) "for free," and he liked experimenting with this longer running time of four reels, pushing towards feature length. In 1937, the picture was reissued by MGM, making nominal modifications in order to comply with a more strictly enforced Production Code. This is the only version extant today.


Helpmates (1932, 21 min.)
Ollie, panic-stricken and hungover, phones Stan to help him clean up the morning after a wild party, ahead of his wife who is returning home earlier than expected. Naturally, their housecleaning efforts fail in spectacular fashion.

Filmed in a five-room bungalow erected and furnished on a corner of the studio, as though it were part of the Culver City neighborhood nearby. This stratagem required exercising extreme precaution, because the script called for burning the house down! Directed by James Parrott. With Blanche Payson.

Any Old Port! (1932, 21 min.)
In need of funds, Hardy happens to meet an old friend, now a boxing promoter, and volunteers "Battling Laurel" as the team's prizefighter, only to discover their opponent in the ring is a fearsome old nemesis.

While on location at San Pedro Harbor (for scenes shot but deleted after a failed preview), and then also at Culver City Stadium's fight arena, the comedy stars were besieged by fans and patiently signed nearly a thousand autographs. Directed by James W. Horne. With Walter Long and Jacqueline Wells - later Julie Bishop.

The Music Box (1932, 29 min.)
In remaking the notoriously lost film Hats Off, the boys deliver a crated player piano to the home atop a steep hill. This film won the Academy Award as "Best Short Subject," the first short ever to be so honored.

Critics then and now have exhausted all superlatives in celebrating The Music Box. Laurel himself conferred his personal endorsement as the best picture the partnership produced. The Library of Congress enshrined the short on its National Film Registry deeming it to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

The most famous, most asked about shooting location in all Hal Roach comedies is the terraced staircase shown here. Official city street signs and an etched black marble plaque mark the site today in th Silver Lake district of Los Angeles. Directed by James Parrott. With Billy Gilbert and Charlie Hall.

The Chimp (1932, 25 min.)
When a failing circus folds its tent, the assets are divided among unpaid employees, including roustabouts Stan and Ollie. One gets the flea circus, the other a chimp named "Ethel," who they try to conceal in their lodgings. Named to trade on the success of The Champ, this lesser but still underrated short relied on dry, black humor. The now-restored original titles (the work of Louis McManus and Roy Seawright) may be the most imaginative ever devised for the team. Directed by James Parrott. With Billy Gilbert and James Finlayson.

County Hospital (1932, 19 min.)
With nothing else to do, Stan pays banged-up Ollie a visit in the hospital, bringing a gift of hard-boiled eggs and nuts. The wild ride at the end was intended to top the one from Hog Wild, but economic conditions directed otherwise.

After a screening at his home in 1986, Hal Roach explained, "We tried to make a gag out of the rear projection by showing we knew the thing looked phony." This is the last of five shorts re-released by MGM in 1937, when it was fitted with a lively new musical score by Roy Shield. Directed by James Parrott. With Billy Gilbert.

Scram! (1932, 21 min.)
During a late-night storm, vagrants are invited home by a wealthy inebriate, except he fails to find the correct house. The inspired finale is another of those sequences with the boys reduced to spasms of helpless laughter in a lady's bedroom.

Directed by Raymond McCarey. With Vivien Oakland, Rychard Cramer, and Arthur Housman, making his debut with the Laurel and Hardy unit as a genial and authentic drunk.

Pack Up Your Troubles (1932, 68 min.)
Misfit army rookies survive The Great War, then try to reunite their deceased army buddy's daughter with her family. However, since his name was "Smith," this is not easy. There were many variances from the shooting script, and key scenes were re-shot with different supporting players. Nevertheless, their second fast-paced full-length film brims with great gags, inside jokes and some heart tugs.

Co-directed by Raymond McCarey, but mostly by George Marshall, who played the tough army cook when the actor cast failed to show up! With Donald Dillaway, James Finlayson, Billy Gilbert, meanie Charles Middleton and scene-stealer Jacquie Lyn.

Their First Mistake (1932, 21 min.)
With increasing domestic entanglements, Stan suggest Ollie adopt a baby to ease tensions with his wife.

"A classic," declared film historian William K. Everson, "one of the best and most original Laurel and Hardy comedies. Hal Roach always maintained that with their innocence and loyalty to one another, they processed life around them through the prism of childhood. Directed by George Marshall (who can be seen as the hallway neighbor). With Mae Busch and Billy Gilbert.


Towed in a Hole (1932, 21 min.)
Traveling fish peddlers - crabs a specialty - devise a big business idea: buy a dilapidated old boat to fix up and "eliminate the middle-man." A superb blend of relaxed slapstick and sophisticated visual humor, this short offers a concise assessment of the team's comedic relationship when Ollie pauses during a breach of friendly relations to ask Stan, "Isn't this silly? Here we are, two grown-up men, acting like a couple of children." Directed by George Marshall. With Billy Gilbert.

Twice Two (1933, 20 min.)
Stan and Ollie are married to each others' sisters, and plan a dinner party to celebrate their mutual anniversaries. Featuring a variation on the double-roles device employed for Brats, with voices for the bickering wives furnished by Carol Tevis and May Wallace. In the script, the "surprise" was to have involved a 16mm home movies projector! This was the last directing job on the unit of James Parrott.

Me and My Pal (1933, 20 min.)
Ready to leave for his wedding, Mr. Hardy is distracted when best man Mr. Laurel arrives with his gift - a jigsaw puzzle. Merchandising stills shot during the production of Pack Up Your Troubles showed Laurel and Hardy trying to a assemble a studio-licensed jigsaw puzzle and could well have been the genesis of this entertaining comedy.

Directed by Charley Rogers and Lloyd French. With James Finlayson and Frank Terry, aka Nat Clifford, as both the butler and radio announcer. Also a gag writer at the studio, Terry wrote the title tune for Sons of the Desert.

The Midnight Patrol (1933, 20 min.)
In a variation on Night Owls, with a nod to Chaplin's Easy Street, bungling police officers investigating a burglary break into a home owned by the chief of police. The significance, if any, of the use of a specific street address on Walnut Avenue both in this film and in The Music Box, remains a mystery. But there was such a street in nearby Venice, and a popular carpenter at the studio lived there. Directed by Lloyd French. With Frank Brownlee and Frank Terry.

Busy Bodies (1933, 19 min.)
Carpenters drive to and "work" at a planing mill. Relying heavily on pantomime (Stan speaks only 24 words!), as well as violent but unhurried slapstick, this rates as one of the team's finest shorts.

When fans wrote to Laurel late in life and asked for recommendations, he would often say Busy Bodies and Towed In A Hole. Curiously they were made within a year of one another, and have the same structure - Laurel and Hardy, dressed in overalls, start out in an open car, driving to work, where their construction labors are unsupervised nonsense, and they wreck everything, including their even-then antique flivver for the finish. Directed by Lloyd French. With Charlie Hall.

Dirty Work (1933, 19 min.)
Engaged as chimney sweeps - nearly obsolete occupation even in 1933 - the duo visits the home of a mad scientist at work on perfecting a rejuvenation elixir. To simulate the filthy soot found in a chimney, the studio procured two barrels containing 400 pounds of pulverized cocoa (powdered chocolate)!

Directed by Lloyd French. With Lucien Littlefield and Sam Adams in parts originally intended for Richard Carle (Habeas Corpus) and Frank Austin (The Laurel and Hardy Murder Case).

Sons of the Desert (1933, 65 min.)
Errant husbands trick their wives so they can secretly attend a fraternal order's weekend convention in Chicago. Many believe this is the team's best feature, both a critical success and one of the year's top ten box office draws. The film has much subtlety and was meticulously plotted, but also exults in bone-crushing slapstick. Mr. Hardy winds up the target of endless pots, pans and kitchen crockery all hurled with unerring accuracy by his tyrannical wife, played by Mae Busch.

A popular tune, Honolulu Baby by studio music director Marvin Hatley, came out of this picture. Directed by William A. Seiter. With Charley Chase as an obnoxious lodge member and Dorothy Christie as Mr. Laurel's beautifully, gun-toting wife.

Oliver the Eighth (1934, 27 min.)
Working as barbers, Ollie responds to an ad and leaves to wed a wealthy widow, with Stan tagging along later. Mae Busch plays the diabolical matron who is clearly crazy, as evidenced by a number of bits of business.

This partial reworking of Murder Case was triggered by Hal Roach finding a personal ad in the newspaper - the source of many stories he launched. Hardy onscreen sitting in a barber's chair dreaming of having his throat cut conceals a sad irony as off-screen during production Laurel's younger brother died of heart failure in a dentist's chair. Directed by Lloyd French. With Jack Barty.

Going Bye-Bye! (1934, 21 min.)
After testifying against a murderer who promises vengeance, two witnesses decide to leave town. The plot echoed Do Detectives Think? but was timely because the biggest story in America then was the John Dillinger manhunt. The initial working title was Public Enemies. Directed by Charley Rogers. With Walter Long and Mae Busch.


Them Thar Hills (1934, 20 min.)
After too much high living, the fellows rent a trailer and take to the mountains for gout-ridden Hardy's health. There they unwittingly drink from well water laced with homemade liquor. According to Billy Gilbert, who plays the doctor prescribing a mountain-rest cure, "the fellows" is how everyone at the studio referred to the Laurel and Hardy characters.

Aficionados today are still acting out the memorable, musical "pom-pom" business. The "outdoors" set was built on Stage 2 in only 16 hours after a planned scenic exterior location at the mouth of the Santa Ynez Canyon presented unfavorable weather conditions. Directed by Charley Rogers. With Charlie Hall and Mae Busch as the sullen motorist and his stranded wife.

The Live Ghost (1934, 21 min.)
Hired by a ferocious sea captain to shanghai others, two fish cleaners are themselves shanghaied on a supposed ghost ship.

Viewing rushes after the first day's shooting, Roach expressed concern that while Hardy had lost a lot of weight playing golf between pictures, Laurel had uncharacteristically packed on ten pounds, which showed around his waistline. "The Boss" asked that they immediately commence efforts on re-establishing their fat versus skinny contrast. Directed by Charley Rogers. With Walter Long, Mae Busch and Arthur Housman.

Tit for Tat (1935, 20 min.)
In the team's only sequel (to Them Thar Hills), they set up an electrical supplies store, but then discover a belligerent old adversary runs the neighboring grocery. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Live Action Short Subject. Providing a marvelous running gags Bobby Dunn ("How d'ya do?") as the thorough shoplifter. Also featuring Charlie Hall and Mae Busch.

The Fixer Uppers (1935, 20 min.)
Greeting card salesmen help a customer who hopes to arouse the jealousy of her husband, a French artist who's been neglecting her. This short was a reworking of the Early Laurel & Hardy silent, Slipping Wives. With dastardly fire-and-brimstone Charles Middleton, ever-popular Mae Busch and the perpetually plastered Arthur Housman.

Thicker Than Water (1935, 21 min.)
In their final two-reel comedy, Stan is a boarder, renting a room from Ollie and his wife. On their way to making a furniture payment, the fellow are lured into an auction and wind up purchasing a grandfather clock. With Daphne Pollard and James Finlayson.

The Bohemian Girl (1936, 71 min.)
A gypsy caravan encamped near a castle gets even with the nobleman who hates them by kidnapping his child and raising her as their own. In the end she is revealed to be a princess just in time to save her beloved guardians, Stan and Ollie. With Mae Busch, Antonio Moreno, Jacqueline Wells, Darla Hood and James Finlayson.


Our Relations (1936, 73 min.)
Comedy of errors ensues when two wanderlust sailors delivering a pearl ring cross paths with their long-lost twin brothers, now respectable and happily married men.

This polished and fast-moving complex story with solid production values was an artistic box office and critical success. Though it was a meaningless concession to salve his bouts of temperament, this was the first of two films nominally credited as "A Stan Laurel Production." With Alan Hale, Sidney Toler, Daphne Pollard, James Finlayson, Lona Andre and Arthur Housman.

Way Out West (1937, 64 min.)
Arriving in a cow town of Brushwood Gulch, our heroes attempt to deliver the deed to a gold mine, as it was bequeathed to a deceased prospector's daughter. A larcenous saloon keeper (James Finlayson) diverts them instead to this wife, a brassy saloon chirp who enacts the role of grieving daughter.

Swiss Miss (1938, 73 min.)
Mousetrap salesmen visit Switzerland where they run into difficulties with a disagreeable gorilla and a tyrannical chef at a Tyrolean Hotel.

The film features a romantic subplot with opera singers Walter Woolf King from Broadway and Della Lind from Vienna. Eric Blore, from the Astaire-Rogers pictures adds just the right note.


Block-Heads (1938, 57 min.)
Twenty years after World War I, Private Laurel remains on duty guarding his lonely post in the trenches; no one ever told him that hostilities had ceased. Following his rescue and happy reunion with long lost pal Mr. Hardy at the Old Soldiers' Home, Laurel is invited home to meet the missus, but she greets him with less that a hero's welcome. With Minna Gombell, Patricia Ellis and old favorites Billy Gilbert, James Finlayson, James C. Morton and Sam Lufkin.

A Chump at Oxford (1940, 42 min. [streamliner featurette] / 63 min. [extended version])
Two street cleaners inadvertently foil a bank robbery and are rewarded with an education at Oxford University. In a sensational transformation, a bump on the head restores Stan's memory, revealing him to be the lost British athletic and scholastic standout, "Lord Paddington." With Forrester Harvey and Peter Cushing.

Saps at Sea (1940, 57 min.)
In this twist on Souls at Sea (with a nod to Chaplin's Modern Times), Ollie goes berserk at the horn factory. When the doctor recommends an ocean voyage as an antidote to calm his nerves, the fellow rent a ship that slips her moorings and drifts miles from shore... with an escaped murderer on board. With James Finlayson, Rychard Cramer and Ben Turpin.

  • A Tribue to Laurel and Hardy - Jerry Lewis and Dick Van Dyke and others share their assessment of Laurel & Hardy's place in the history of comedy.
  • On Location with the Boys - Tour Filming Locations with an Interactive Map
  • Laurel and Hardy Guest Appearances
    • On the Loose (1931, 20 min.) - Zazu Pitts, Billy Gilbert
    • Wild Poses (1933, 18 min.) - Spanky MacFarland, Franklin Pangborn
    • On the Wrong Trek (1936, 18 min.) - Charley Chase
    • The Tree in a Test Tube (1942, 11 min.)
  • Trailers
    • Pack Up Your Troubles
    • A Chump at Oxford
    • Saps at Sea

    bernie | 03/17/2015
    Stan Laurel never wanted to make feature films. In fact, Laurel and Hardy's first feature, "Pardon Us" (1931) was supposed to be a short, but had to be expanded when its prison sets proved too expensive to build. But with the Depression worsening, shorts were having trouble making money, so the Boys increasingly focused their attention on features (their last short was "Thicker Than Water" in 1935).

    The best feature they ever made was "Sons of the Desert" (1933). Stan and Ollie belong to a Masonic-type lodge called the "Sons of the Desert," which is having its convention in Chicago next week. All the members take an oath that they will go, but Stan is afraid his wife won't let him. On the taxi ride home, Ollie sounds a lot the "king of the castle," Ralph Kramden. "I go places and do things and then tell my wife."

    When they get home however (they live next door to one another), it's clear that there is no way Ollie's wife (Mae Bush) will let him go. But Ollie has a plan. He'll pretend to be sick, and Stan will get a doctor to say that he's got to go to Honolulu for his health. Naturally he can't go all alone, so perhaps Stan can come with him (Mrs. Hardy gets seasick). Then it's off to Chicago! As usual, Stan doesn't understand Ollie's scheme at all. ("Why do you want to go to Honolulu?") And the doctor Stan hires (Lucien Littlefield) arrives in a truck full of barking dogs! OLLIE: Why did you get a veterinarian? STAN: Well, I didn't think his religion would make any difference. Even after it's agreed that Stan will go with Ollie to Hawaii, Stan says, "I can't go to Honolulu. I'm going to the convention. I forgot to tell you. I asked Betty and she said I could go." He still doesn't get it! At the convention they meet Charley Chase, who does a nice turn as the loudest , most obnoxious convention-goer in history.

    The boys return home, unaware that the ship that they were supposed to be on has sunk in a typhoon, and the survivors won't be back until tomorrow. Their wives (Mae Bush and Dorothy Christy) are out, having gone to a movie to try to relax their frazzled nerves. They see a newsreel of the "Sons of the Desert" parade. In a great scene, Stan and Ollie hog the camera, clowning around and flirting with pretty girls.

    Back at home, Ollie is reading about the shipwreck and realizes that he and Stan got home one day too early. They try to leave, but the wives are coming up the walkway. They hide in the attic, fix up a bed and plan to stay the night. However, during a tremendous thunderstorm, lightning strikes the attic and the girls go up to investigate. Stan and Ollie go up on the roof in the pouring rain. They decide to slide down the drainpipe (?) and go to a hotel. However, a policeman spots them and delivers them to their wives. Needless to say, they've got a lot of explaining to do.
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