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Laurel & Hardy as SOTM December 2020


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Yet again, TCM's programmers are letting TCM Backlot members select this December's Star of the Month. This year the selection will be one of two classic comedy teams. Who would you like to see honoured in December?

For my money, Laurel & Hardy's work is more consistently funny, but an Abbott & Costello tribute would be more likely to include some rarely-seen-on-TCM Universal titles. So A & C get my vote.

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I am in agreement that a vote for Abbott & Costello will bring more Universal rarities our way.

However, we should also note that the duo made films away from their home studio. And these would likely be scheduled since they are in the Turner Library:

RIO RITA (1942)...MGM
LOST IN A HAREM (1944)...MGM
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO IN HOLLYWOOD (1945)...MGM
THE NOOSE HANGS HIGH (1948)...Eagle-Lion 
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK (1952)...Warner Brothers
ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET CAPTAIN KIDD (1952)...Warner Brothers
DANCE WITH ME HENRY (1956)..United Artists

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On 7/1/2020 at 6:17 AM, Barton_Keyes said:

Yet again, TCM's programmers are letting TCM Backlot members select this December's Star of the Month. This year the selection will be one of two classic comedy teams. Who would you like to see honoured in December?

For my money, Laurel & Hardy's work is more consistently funny, but an Abbott & Costello tribute would be more likely to include some rarely-seen-on-TCM Universal titles. So A & C get my vote.

Any word yet on what they voted for...? 

My guess is that Abbott & Costello will get the honor.

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On 8/29/2020 at 6:23 PM, TopBilled said:

Any word yet on what they voted for...? 

My guess is that Abbott & Costello will get the honor.

I am hearing online that Laurel & Hardy have won this contest, but I have not heard anything from a reliable, official source. So I'll wait to update this thread until we know for certain. I was hoping for Abbott & Costello myself, though really only because rights issues with the Hal Roach estate prevent a large number of Laurel & Hardy's best films from airing on TCM in Canada. You may get Laurel & Hardy, but we'll get some replacements in Canada.

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Someone's been uploading a bunch of the Abbott & Costello flicks on YouTube. Many of them I'd never seen. And quite frankly, I am not well-versed on their filmography.

screen

Anyway, I had insomnia last night and watched HERE COME THE CO-EDS (1945) which was rather diverting. And LITTLE GIANT (1946) which I thought was very-very good.

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21 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Someone's been uploading a bunch of the Abbott & Costello flicks on YouTube. Many of them I'd never seen. And quite frankly, I am not well-versed on their filmography.

screen

Anyway, I had insomnia last night and watched HERE COME THE CO-EDS (1945) which was rather diverting. And LITTLE GIANT (1946) which I thought was very-very good.

Little Giant is one of my favorite from the duo.     Another favorite is Hold  That Ghost.        The script \ story is well written and the cast is first rate,  especially Joan Davis (who with Costello have some very funny scenes),  Mischa Auer, and  Marc Lawrence.    

A%26chold.jpg

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15 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Little Giant is one of my favorite from the duo.     Another favorite is Hold  That Ghost.        The script \ story is well written and the cast is first rate,  especially Joan Davis (who with Costello have some very funny scenes),  Mischa Auer, and  Marc Lawrence.    

A%26chold.jpg

Thanks for mentioning this one. It looks fun. I will have to watch it.

I did go through their filmography. It seems 29 of the 37 films in which they appear together were made at Universal. One of these is a compilation film, released after Costello's death. 

Their biggest hits in terms of box office seem to be: BUCK PRIVATES, RIO RITA, THE WISTFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP and ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN.

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  • Barton_Keyes changed the title to Laurel & Hardy as SOTM December 2020
  • 2 months later...

I would have expected a little bit more from the alleged movie mavens at TCM. The Laurel and Hardy Stars of the Month bio has a number of errors. To wit:

  • The first film Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy appeared in (“The Lucky Dog”) was not a Hal Roach production. Neither player was working for Roach at the time.
  • Roach was not “inspired” to cast Laurel and Hardy in 45 Minutes from Hollywood. This was a Hal Roach All-Stars short that had many Roach contract players in its cast, including Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. They appear separately, and share no scenes together in this film.
  • Laurel and Hardy did not “start making three-reelers” when Roach films began being distributed by MGM in 1927. They didn’t make any three-reelers until the sound era, and even then they were relatively rare. The two-reel film was their preferred format.
  • “Laurel was devastated by [Hardy’s] death and was not up to attending the funeral.” There's no doubt that Hardy's death greatly affected Laurel, but this statement is misleading as phrased. It was health concerns, rather than grief, that forced Stan to miss his friend’s funeral.
  • After that, he refused to perform on stage or in film without his partner.” Laurel had not appeared on stage or in a film without Hardy since 1928. So while he did refuse offers to work on- or off-screen following Hardy’s death, this wasn’t exactly a new stance for him.
  • The most egregious statement of all: “[Laurel] died in 1965, reportedly in poverty…” Absolutely NOT true. While neither he nor Hardy were wealthy, they were never less than financially comfortable following the years in which they retired from the screen. Laurel’s last years were happy ones; he spent much of his time corresponding with his many fans. He answered every letter that he received.

I'm always happy when TCM chooses to honor The Boys. But someone should have been a little more on the ball when writing about them. Had a modicum of research been conducted, none of these errors would ever have been made.

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