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Joe548

Laurel and Hardy

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Joe548    1,994

So we had an Abbott and Costello topic, so now it makes sense to have Laurel and Hardy. I thought about this because the other day I was watching a couple fo their movies on TCM, and one of them "Our Relations" said it was a Stan Laurel Production (or film, I forget). This reminded me of maybe what JL decided to become so involved in JLF and others.

Interesting note. I started watching this the other day and couldn't finish. One of the bad guys was Phil Van Zandt, a character actor who was in Citizen Kane. He was in many Three Stooges shorts too. Meanwhile I recorded my Superman shows on ME TV amd there he was again. Once the show was over I went back to finish the L&H movie and there he was again, almost 10 years earlier.

In 1958 he committed suicide because of a stalled career and debts.

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aajjgg    807

by the way laurel and Hardy are also on AFI top 100 comedies of all time..being "Sons of the Desert"...so the only major comedy team NOT on the list (The Ritz Brothers do not count) are Martin and Lewis) ...

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Uncle_R    1,084

You say this like you're reveling in it. You're also acting as though the AFI list means a great deal.

 

We all know Martin & Lewis are not best represented by their movie career. That pretty much goes without saying among JL fans. The recently posted Jerry appearance on Arsenio underlines it: he talks about the long unseen Colgate shows as if younger people would be seeing the real team for the first time.

 

Another thing to keep in mind when comparing comedy teams is that Jerry was 25 when Sailor Beware was made. Lou Costello, meanwhile, was 34 when A&C broke out with Buck Privates (over 40 when Meet Frankenstein was made). And you can go right down the list. The Marxes were all 40 or older when they made Monkey Business. The older acts were well-oiled machines in contrast to the first several years of M&L.

 

It's possible too that Jerry really entered his prime as a comedian, judging by the ability to control and best serve his own talent, in the years after the team broke up. But however you weigh their successes and their shortcomings, Martin & Lewis had a unique magic that warrants lasting attention. So, in that sense, it's a shame they didn't make a list like the AFI 100.

 

 

But about that list...

 

Looking at the strange hodgepodge the AFI produced, you could be forgiving and say, "Well, if nothing else it gives you a sense of audience memory and which movies have endured with the most number of viewers." But that turns out not to be true once you look at the ballot that was sent to voters:

 

Jerry Lewis had only THREE movies nominated (four if you include King of Comedy) -- Sailor Beware, The Bellboy, and The Nutty Professor. Anyone who thinks those three are adequate representation can go jump in a lake.

 

W.C. Fields had only five (the same number as Robert Altman), and they're worth listing just to illustrate some of the arbitrary inclusions and omissions -- International House, It's a Gift, The Bank Dick, My Little Chickadee, and You Can't Cheat an Honest Man.

 

I'm willing to accept that Martin & Lewis don't have as enduring or large a chunk of the hearts of audiences as Bud and Lou (who had two balloted films, incidentally), and I certainly wouldn't think twice about them taking a back seat to Laurel & Hardy or the Marx Bros.

 

But how many voters in 2000 had even seen Sailor Beware would you guess? Which Martin & Lewis movies are the most widely known? I'd guess The Caddy and The Stooge would be the top two, perhaps Sailor and Artists & Models after that.

 

If these others had been on the ballot, would Martin & Lewis have made the list?

 

Possibly. But ultimately the list is so maddening that I don't even care that they screwed Jerry or the team. ANY ranking of American comedies that doesn't include Fields' The Bank Dick and L&H's Way Out West is a list voters can kindly leave Jerry out of, too.

Edited by Uncle_R

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Uncle_R    1,084

Didn't mean to derail this topic by going off on That List. I see red when it gets referenced as a meaningful accounting of American comedy -- like putting Limburger cheese in front of Curly. So my initial response (since pruned) was all over the map, and apologies for that. (The detour did raise one good question, though. Am I wrong in thinking Sailor Beware isn't the most widely seen and best remembered M&L picture among non-fans? Which of the team's movies are most likely to have been seen by the general viewer in your experience?)

 

Laurel & Hardy were meant to be the topic, though.

 

I love them, and Oliver Hardy is one of my favorite performers ever. Legacy-wise, I think they had something like Dean and Jerry's problem for a while in that their best work was not the stuff people saw. It's only just turning around lately thanks to TCM and DVDs. There seems to have been a long stretch where all that was on TV were their later MGM and Fox features, whereas older viewers had grown up with the early shorts on television in the '60s.

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9 Year Old Kid    143

Love Laurel & Hardy and consider them almost the "perfect" comedy duo, if you will. As much as I collect classic movies and television shows on home video, it pains me that I have yet to purchase the latest (and best) Laurel & Hardy Collection (featuring restorations of their sound-era catalog) which far-and-away stands as the best video presentations ever of their work. Reason being: I assume it will inevitably be released on Blu-ray Disc so I continue to hold-off on purchasing the DVD set to avoid the collector's dreaded "double-dip".

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Uncle_R    1,084
I assume it will inevitably be released on Blu-ray Disc

 

Eventually, let's hope. But given the quantity of film materials it represents, don't expect the BD equivalent soon. Which is okay because the DVDs look great! It pains me too that you haven't gotten the set yet. Stop waiting, Kid! :goodjob: (I will reimburse you if the BD comes out within the next 4 years.)

 

It's a bummer to have to re-buy things each time they're reissued and re-reissued, etc. But the more people that buy the Laurel & Hardy Collection, the greater the likelihood and speed of future releases. Their silent catalog still needs to be addressed, for instance.

 

In the same spirit, everyone here should buy the new edition of The Nutty Professor... and think hard about giving it to all their friends who even remotely like Jerry. :xmas:

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9 Year Old Kid    143

I'm sold now, Unc! Guess I just needed a little push. The L & H DVD Collection will be on my Christmas list as well as both The Nutty Professor: UCE Blu-ray set (was waiting for it to hit my price-target < $30) AND the single Blu-ray disc release.

 

So much for financial discipline! Oy!

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Uncle_R    1,084

Another car off the lot! :NEWBALLOONS:

 

Seriously, this makes my day. Just be sure to direct present-buyers to the best deal, as Amazon's price seems to have gone back up (keep an eye on it going down as Christmas nears, but if not, there's always DeepDiscount and so on).

 

I'd feel guilty about loosening other people's purse strings, normally. But this is a homerun / can't miss / you won't be sorry for one moment kind of exception. :thumbsup:

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Joe548    1,994

Plus the kid can't go wrong. We have it in black and white that you will reimburse him if the Blu-Ray comes out within 4 years!!! :money:

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Uncle_R    1,084

Ah, I'd probably just break down and get you the Blu-rays if it comes to that -- once the set hit my target price. :D

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Joe548    1,994

Every time I read about The Music Box it reminds me of a when I took the Hollywood tour a few years ago. Right there in broad daylight the tour guide mentioned to our left is the house with the steps that they used to make the movie. And sure enough all these years later it looks exactly the same as in the movie. It was real and not a Hollywood set.

 

http://www.experiencingla.com/2013/01/silverlake-music-box-steps-part-ii_26.html

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