A few words about…™ Stan & Ollie – in Blu-ray

Shot digitally, the Blu-ray, from Sony represents the film beautifully. 4 Stars

Credit where credit is due.

Had my old friend, Roy Frumkes, not introduced me to cartoonist extraordinaire, Al Kilgore back in the late ’60s, I doubt that I would have ever grown to appreciate “The Boys” as they deserve.

It’s probably a safe bet that very few who visit HTF are aware of the song, “At the Ball, That’s All.”

The lyrics begin…

“Commence advancin’

Commence advancin’

Just start a prancin’…

If they don’t sound familiar, it might all come together if one watched the little dance number that Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy did, in front of a rear screen, of an outdoor western town, for Way Out West (1937).

It’s the lead-in to Scottish director Jon S. Baird’s delightful film, Stan & Ollie, which uses that number, beautifully shot from a reverse angle at the start, for his film which chronicles the final years of Laurel and Hardy’s relationship. It segues to 1953, and their final tour through England.

I loved this film.

Probably mostly based upon the fact that Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly virtually become Stan and Ollie, along with more than a bit of help from prosthetics designer, Mark Coulier.

But had Mr. Coogan and Mr. Reilly not had the ability to channel the men they re-created, this never would have worked.

Stan & Ollie is a delight to behold, and for those not yet familiar with their work, a wonderful means of introduction.

Shot digitally, the Blu-ray, from Sony represents the film beautifully.

As an aside, the film’s opening involves a long shot following the actors from their dressing to to the set, which is actually three parts, beautifully blended together.

And while you’re watching them walk through a stand-in for the Roach lot in Culver City, later Selznick, keep an eye out for what I perceive to be the prop gears, probably from Chaplin’s Modern Times, shot the previous year (1936).

Image – 5

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

72 Comments

  1. I completely fell in love with this film when I saw earlier this year. It renewed my love for the works of the comic duo so much so, that I’m watching the Laurel and Hardy DVD collection film by film again.

    The Blu is on order for this film (can I call it a film, when it was shot digitally?) and can’t wait to watch it again. So glad it received your 5 rating.

  2. 'Stan and Ollie' is a great tribute to my very favourite double-act in comedy history, approached only by the wonderful Morecambe and Wise and French and Saunders. It's a very touching movie, fulll of tender joy and sadness. Highly recommended to all.

  3. PMF

    Wouldn't it be great if "Stan & Ollie" led a younger generation back to their own discoveries of the Laurel & Hardy shorts?:thumbs-up-smiley:

    Good luck with that. I doubt many of the "younger generation" will see this film, much less the L&H originals.

    Unless by "younger generation" you mean "people under 100" – then maybe! 😀

  4. I introduced my 4 grandaughters (all now teenagers), to L&H when they were very small, and they loved them then, and still do now.
    Stan & Ollie have always stood at the head of comedy duos for me. Their chemistry is incomparable.
    By coincidence, I was about half way through re-watching the L&H DVD set when "Stan & Ollie" was released in theatres. Of course, I put my order in for the Bluray as quickly as I could.
    My grandaughters are all eagerly waiting with me to see "Stan and Ollie".

  5. Johnny Angell

    No 4K?

    I'll be lucky if I get the Blu-Ray. I pre-ordered this two months ago from Amazon, It was supposed to arrive last Tuesday, it got pushed to Thursday, and now pushed back again to May 9. I don't know what is going on. I never had any issues with BD pre-orders until I ran into this mess.

  6. Bryan^H

    I'll be lucky if I get the Blu-Ray. I pre-ordered this two months ago from Amazon, It was supposed to arrive last Tuesday, it got pushed to Thursday, and now pushed back again to May 9. I don't know what is going on. I never had any issues with BD pre-orders until I ran into this mess.

    Well, there's Another Fine Mess . . .

  7. Bryan^H

    I'll be lucky if I get the Blu-Ray. I pre-ordered this two months ago from Amazon, It was supposed to arrive last Tuesday, it got pushed to Thursday, and now pushed back again to May 9. I don't know what is going on. I never had any issues with BD pre-orders until I ran into this mess.

    Bullmoose says they have "low stock, should ship Tuesday" 19.97 + $3 shipping unless you have another item to get FS at $30.
    Trying to remember is you';re Canadian with a US Mailing address or if I'm confusing you with a different Bryan

    Amazon and these MOD release don't seem to mix well, but the 3/26 releases have been especially bad.

  8. Amazon shipped my copy of the blu-ray on Friday with an expected delivery date of this coming Friday (that's the non-prime Free shipping treatment for you). Given the difficulty I've heard other people experiencing with acquiring this title, I'm surprised that Amazon has fulfilled my pre-order as early as it did. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing this film for the first time next weekend.

  9. avroman

    I introduced my 4 grandaughters (all now teenagers), to L&H when they were very small, and they loved them then, and still do now.

    I think if someone is exposed to 'old' movies or TV shows or music when they're young, they're more likely to accept or enjoy them than if they're teens or adults. I've seen many people say the same thing over the years and it was certainly true for me as well.

  10. It is a wonderful tribute. A love story. Chaplin – Keaton – Langdon -Lloyd were all comedic genius's of the time but when I want to laugh out loud it's always the boys.

    As I have said before – there should have been a better film launch – the movie deserved better. I also wish some of the restoration of their stuff would have been ready now as, I think, when this goes streaming it will increase demand to view some of their work. It remains to be seen. But never say never – Trail of the Lonesome Pine was #2 on the charts in the U.K. in 1975.

  11. Colin Jacobson

    Good luck with that. I doubt many of the "younger generation" will see this film, much less the L&H originals.

    Unless by "younger generation" you mean "people under 100" – then maybe! 😀

    "You can lead a horse to water, but a pencil must be led." – Stan Laurel

    I'm laying out the Pepsi challenge to you, my good Mr. Jacobson.
    The very fact that its a 2018 release, all it takes is one individual from the younger generation to tip their friends off;
    be it through a BD copy that their mom or dad showed them, streaming clips on YouTube and all other cable and computer sources.
    I'm amazed that the film got the initial green-light; and grateful for it; and now, here it is, at its end result.
    Mark my words, "Stan & Ollie" will be discovered, while "Laurel & Hardy" will be re-discovered.

  12. PMF

    Wouldn't it be great if "Stan & Ollie" led a younger generation back to their own discoveries of the Laurel & Hardy shorts?:thumbs-up-smiley:

    Don't count on it. When I saw it, I was the youngest person in the theater and I'm in my 60's.

    It's not like the 1970's when college kids rediscovered Keaton, Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, etc. and there were film courses about them.

    I fear that film history to many younger people today is discovering Tim Burton's Batman movie.

  13. zoetmb

    Don't count on it. When I saw it, I was the youngest person in the theater and I'm in my 60's.

    It's not like the 1970's when college kids rediscovered Keaton, Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, etc. and there were film courses about them.

    I fear that film history to many younger people today is discovering Tim Burton's Batman movie.

    I hope you're wrong – but I fear you may be right. Let's hope not. The only thing I see new in today's film is CGI.

  14. I was supposed to watch this last night, but I think I am coming down with the flu and I spent the night in bed instead.

    Have been dying to see this film.

    My love for Laurel & Hardy harkens back to my teen years where I collected their films on Super 8mm. I built a makeshift theater in my basement (where my current theater now resides), and invited friends over to watch titles like LIBERTY, THE LAUREL & HARDY MURDER CASE, THE MUSIC BOX, etc.

    Will probably finally watch this over the weekend. Looking forward to it.

  15. Ronald Epstein

    I was supposed to watch this last night, but I think I am coming down with the flu and I spent the night in bed instead.

    Have been dying to see this film.

    My love for Laurel & Hardy harkens back to my teen years where I collected their films on Super 8mm. I built a makeshift theater in my basement (where my current theater now resides), and invited friends over to watch titles like LIBERTY, THE LAUREL & HARDY MURDER CASE, THE MUSIC BOX, etc.

    Will probably finally watch this over the weekend. Looking forward to it.

    Be careful – this years flu is nothing to play with. Treat yourself well – lots of rest and fluids.
    I bought a Super 8 sound projector just to watch L&H films before the BetaMax came out so they were also my entry into the world of movie collecting.

  16. While I’m partial to Abbott and Costello, the greatest comedy duo ever imo, I’ve always liked L&H. Especially their perennial classic March Of The Wooden Soldiers.

    I look forward to this film and hope it does indeed spark more interest in their great work.

  17. Ronald Epstein

    […]My love for Laurel & Hardy harkens back to my teen years where I collected their films on Super 8mm. I built a makeshift theater in my basement (where my current theater now resides), and invited friends over to watch titles like LIBERTY, THE LAUREL & HARDY MURDER CASE, THE MUSIC BOX, etc.[…]

    Do I detect a fellow Blackhawk Films collector? My Super 8mm projector was a Eumig Magnetic Sound.
    I could only afford the films that went on sale. Remember how all their films went on back-order? And sometimes the wait went on for weeks and weeks. "The Music Box", "Sons of the Desert", "Them Thar Hills", "Tit for Tat", "A Chump at Oxford". Such joys. Hoping you are faring better.

    Mysto

    […]I bought a Super 8 sound projector just to watch L&H films before the BetaMax came out so they were also my entry into the world of movie collecting.

    Another fellow Blackhawk Films collector, as well? If so, then wouldn't that be something to find that we have all reconvened at HTF.
    Guess the old saying remains true, as "water seeks its own level".

    Tino

    While I’m partial to Abbott and Costello, the greatest comedy duo ever imo, I’ve always liked L&H. Especially their perennial classic March Of The Wooden Soldiers.

    I look forward to this film and hope it does indeed spark more interest in their great work.

    I, too, happen to love both teams, as well; yet, in most cases, I've found that people were either L&H or Abbott and Costello fans but never both. Castle Films, if you ever heard of them and depending on your age, offered 7-9 minutes excerpts of the A&C films. I must've had about 7 of them; along with a vinyl recording of "Who's on First?", along with many other classic radio shows.

    To all, I say this; if we were lucky enough to have had this new "Stan and Ollie" film green-lighted and fulfilled in this day and age, then shouldn't it go to show that this film will be caught along the way by so many others, now that its out there streaming and available in clips or as a whole in every other venue? Funny is funny. Talent is talent. And the perfect storm of positives; being "Stan and Ollie", Steve Coogan, John C Reilly and the real Laurel and Hardy are just too infectious, engaging and lovable not to spawn newer viewers as the next year or so goes on.

  18. PMF

    Do I detect a fellow Blackhawk Films collector? My Super 8mm projector was a Eumig Magnetic Sound.
    I could only afford the films that went on sale. Remember how all their films went on back-order? And sometimes the wait went on for weeks and weeks. "The Music Box", "Sons of the Desert", "Them Thar Hills", "Tit for Tat", "A Chump at Oxford". Such joys. Hoping you are faring better.
    Another fellow Blackhawk Films collector, as well? If so, then wouldn't that be something to find that we have all reconvened at HTF.
    Guess the old saying remains true, as "water seeks its own level".

    I, too, happen to love both teams, as well; yet, in most cases, I've found that people were either L&H or Abbott and Costello fans but never both. Castle Films, if you ever heard of them and depending on your age, offered 7-9 minutes excerpts of the A&C films. I must've had about 7 of them; along with a vinyl recording of "Who's on First?", along with many other classic radio shows.

    To all, I say this; if we were lucky enough to have had this new "Stan and Ollie" film green-lighted and fulfilled in this day and age, then shouldn't it go to show that this film will be caught along the way by so many others, now that its out there streaming and available in clips or as a whole in every other venue? Funny is funny. Talent is talent. And the perfect storm of positives; being "Stan and Ollie", Steve Coogan, John C Reilly and the real Laurel and Hardy are just too infectious, engaging and lovable not to spawn newer viewers as the next year or so goes on.

    Oh yes Blackhawk films and sales. One I bought was You're Darn Tootin which was the, I think, first silent L&H I'd ever seen. The only TV showings I ever saw were the 2 reeler soundies. I also bought a couple of films at full tilt from a place called Thomas Film Classics. He was an avid 16mm collector and sold me my projector and later my first betamax.

    For the record I also enjoy A&C – and Three Stooges and even L&M (in small doses) but the "boys" will always be king to me.

  19. Another Blackhawk customer here…. I remember how it seemed to take forever to get a film, once you went to the trouble of getting a money order, sending in the order by regular mail and then waiting ,,, and waiting.. for your films to arrive. Quite a difference from today when we can order something with just a few clicks and get almost instant gratification.

    And I also bought most of my purchases on sale.

  20. Yes, here also with the Super8 films. Though I did have some of the Laurel and Hardy films, most of my collection was of the classic horror and classic Sci-Fi films. Now in my early 60's, I now have a home theater with a 140" screen, I have to admit that I kinda miss the clackity clack sound of the old projectors. Also had some 16mm.

  21. Mysto

    http://uschefnerarchive.com/blackhawk-films-catalogs/

    Who says you can't relive your childhood. We here at HTF do it everyday.:razz:

    Forgive us Ronald for derailing this thread.

    ADDED: Think before clicking the link – you can get lost for hours.:wacko:

    I wouldn't say that this is derailing, at all.
    Yes, there are some offshoots; but all roads lead back our talks of Laurel and Hardy.
    Just imagine, one Super 8mm Magnetic Sound short of a B/W Laurel and Hardy went for $39.99;
    which is why I still laugh when people complain about paying for a Criterion BD of an entire feature film.
    And mind you, that feature-lengthed Criterion could be 4 hours long, in color, 5.1 sound and restored.
    The 1977 Blackhawk Catalog showed a price of $99.99 for a Super 8mm Mag Sound edition of "Sons of the Desert";
    which costs more in that year than today's 10-disc DVD collection of Laurel & Hardy.
    To me, a discussion of Blackhawk Films is synonymous to all things Laurel & Hardy;
    as well as "Stan & Ollie".
    BTW, fantastic link.:razz:opcorn:

  22. The Blackhawk link is pretty cool, I opened the Oct/Nov 1979 catalog (when I would have been getting them) and instantly remembered the "Lease Agreement" for the 8 Chaplin features – good for 12 years or "life of the print", whichever is sooner – on page 21. 😉

  23. ahollis

    I know what I’ll be doing tonight. Thanks for that link. I used to save all the catalogs but my mom through them away after I left the nest and before I could rescue them.

    And you still talk to her?!!!:eek:

  24. Peter Apruzzese

    The Blackhawk link is pretty cool, I opened the Oct/Nov 1979 catalog (when I would have been getting them) and instantly remembered the "Lease Agreement" for the 8 Chaplin features – good for 12 years or "life of the print", whichever is sooner – on page 21. 😉

    Your post on the "Lease Agreement" gave me a flashback. And so I returned to the link.
    I now remember as to how they were way out of my price range, but it felt all so impressive.
    1979. To lease "The Circus" in Super 8mm Magnetic Sound would cost $225.00.
    So here we are in the year of 2019; just a mere 27 years after the lease would've run out on me.
    And guess what? It's still way out of my price range.:huh:
    Ah,well, at least the BD price on "Stan & Ollie" won't be posing such dilemmas.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  25. I've heard that that "leasing arrangement" was done to make the Chaplin Estate happy but with full knowledge that compliance would be zilch.

    My copy of Stan and Ollie arrived today, and I plan on screening it tonight with a few L&H shorts to accompany it.

  26. Ronald Epstein

    I was supposed to watch this last night, but I think I am coming down with the flu and I spent the night in bed instead.

    Sorry to read this. I felt myself coming down with it two weeks ago and really began doctoring myself and trying not to succumb. Thankfully, I either had a mild case or staved it off for the most part since I only had mild chills and a runny nose for a couple of days instead of being really laid up for a week with high fever and no appetite.

  27. Saw this in the theater and it was an absolute joy. It sort of works like an extra Laurel & Hardy feature in the way it doesn't shy away from comedy. Reilly and Coogan were perfect in every way. I also loved how their wives (Ida and Lucille) weren't just background characters, but actually had some great bits on their own.

    By the way, a few months ago, I was passing through Harlem, Georgia (Hardy's birth place) where there's the Laurel & Hardy Museum. Worth visiting if you're in the area since it's loaded with memorabilia. There's even a theater in the back where they show the short films to visitors.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It does make me lament the lack of L&H on Blu-ray, though I know UCLA is diligently working their way through restorations of the Hal Roach Studios films.

  28. ahollis

    I know what I’ll be doing tonight. Thanks for that link. I used to save all the catalogs but my mom through them away after I left the nest and before I could rescue them.

    PMF

    And you still talk to her?!!!:eek:

    It’s a thing mothers do. My brother and I had this coffee tin of marbles. I was in the army when they moved to an apartment and things had to…but not our childhood marbles! I still loved her for the rest of her days.

  29. I am glad the Academy finally honored Stan Laurel with an honorary award, but I'm sorry Oliver Hardy wasn't similarly honored before his death. Another sad omission in the history of the Academy.

  30. Patrick McCart

    […]It does make me lament the lack of L&H on Blu-ray, though I know UCLA is diligently working their way through restorations of the Hal Roach Studios films.

    Bravo to UCLA. Let them know that I've already pre-ordered in my mind. Cant' wait.
    Great confirmation that such good actions that are now underway.:thumbs-up-smiley:

    Johnny Angell

    It’s a thing mothers do. My brother and I had this coffee tin of marbles. I was in the army when they moved to an apartment and things had to…but not our childhood marbles! I still loved her for the rest of her days.

    I, myself, have had treasures thrown out.
    How do they do it? These woman who turned into mothers.
    Our stuff gets tossed and still we end up loving them. It defies all logic.
    Maybe men are Hardy's and woman are our laurels.
    It's the most darndest of things.;)

  31. Matt Hough

    I am glad the Academy finally honored Stan Laurel with an honorary award, but I'm sorry Oliver Hardy wasn't similarly honored before his death. Another sad omission in the history of the Academy.

    I'm quoting from memory, but when Stanley accepted his honorary Oscar he lovingly stated, "Gee, I wish Ollie were here.":cool:

  32. TravisR

    I think if someone is exposed to 'old' movies or TV shows or music when they're young, they're more likely to accept or enjoy them than if they're teens or adults. I've seen many people say the same thing over the years and it was certainly true for me as well.

    Probably a better chance but no guarantee. I tried this with my daughter and other than an occasional I love Lucy she won't watch anything made before the year 2000.

  33. Randy Korstick

    Probably a better chance but no guarantee. I tried this with my daughter when she was little and she seemed to enjoy quite a few older movies and tv shows at the time but now other than an occasional I love Lucy she won't watch anything made before the year 2000.

    Same thing happened to my son (I think it's all about being cool) but now that he is older he has re-discovered the old stuff. He got married – got a couple of cats and named them Stan & Ollie.

  34. I watched Stan & Ollie last night. Other than what I felt to be a bit of a "Hollywood Ending," I thoroughly enjoyed it. The makeup on Reilly was a bit distracting and I could sometimes hear his own vocal patterns coming out, but still thought he did a great job. Coogan, on the other hand, was flawless. After watching many of his performances over the years, I'm in awe of his many talents.

  35. Mysto

    Same thing happened to my son (I think it's all about being cool) but now that he is older he has re-discovered the old stuff. He got married – got a couple of cats and named them Stan & Ollie.

    Actually I think its about to many options now with all the cable channels, DVD and Blu Ray and everything on streaming. When most of us grew up there was no home video and only 10-12 channels on tv

  36. Randy Korstick

    Actually I think its about to many options now with all the cable channels, DVD and Blu Ray and everything on streaming. When most of us grew up there was no home video and only 10-12 channels on tv

    You had 12 channels – when we grew up we only had 3 (four if you count Canada). And we had to walk 12 miles to school – in the snow – uphill – both ways:razz:

    Perhaps you're right. I'm glad I grew up before computers – video games – and cable tv (even though I love my technology)

  37. Mysto

    You had 12 channels – when we grew up we only had 3 (four if you count Canada). And we had to walk 12 miles to school – in the snow – uphill – both ways:razz:

    Luxury.

    When I grew up we had no entertainment at all except for the rats in the basement who would put on plays based on old Jack Benny radio scripts.

  38. I viewed Stan and Ollie the other night, and overall I liked it. Here are a few comments:

    1. John Reilly and Steve Coogan gave remarkable performances and absolutely nailed L&H's mannerisms and comic timing. I give a slight edge to Reilly because of how his acting combined with the prosthetics built the illusion that Hardy had come back to life. In still images, Coogan doesn't quite look like Laurel, but in motion the illusion is well conveyed. I will say though that vocally Coogan sounded more like Laurel than Reilly sounded like Hardy. Oddly enough, Coogan never attempted (at least in the finished film) Laurel's signature smile, laugh, and cry. Overall, Coogan and Reilly did well in playing L&H and showing the poignant bond the two men developed during their British tours.

    2. One piece of dramatic license is how the on-screen L&H personas subtly melded into their private lives. From what I have heard, this wasn't exactly the case. Vivian Blaine, who co-starred with them in Jitterbugs, commented some years later how professional and serious they really were and that they weren't "funny" when not acting. For the purposes of the film, I do think it was appropriate, and it wasn't done in a grotesque manner a la Keefe Brasselle in The Eddie Cantor Story.

    3. On the subject of dramatic licenses in general, yes the film plays fast and loose with the historical facts, but that's to be expected with biographical films. There's a scene in Jolson Sings Again when Larry Parks comments to the screenwriters of The Jolson Story that "facts really don't matter – just get the general scheme of things right." I do believe that the "general scheme" of the film is correct. Just to be clear, the central conflict is fiction – Laurel never held it against Hardy for doing Zenobia (the elephant picture). In fact, he encouraged Hardy a decade later to accept the role of John Wayne's sidekick in The Fighting Kentuckian when he was unable to work due to his compromised health (Stan had issues with his diabetes at the time). Some L&H scholars have also objected to how Hal Roach was portrayed, and I can see why. However, Roach's lack of screen time precludes the film from developing his character and relationship with Laurel. Yes, the two men quarreled a lot, but the quarrels centered on creative matters and not money (Laurel was the top-salaried performer on the lot, and Roach paid him more than he paid himself).

    4. I laughed out loud at the film's beginning when Hardy makes a comment about wondering where the Roman soldiers came from because I was thinking exactly the same thing. I can't think of any production from the mid-1930s that would have required extras dressed up as Roman centurions on the Roach lot. So, did the screenwriter insert that joke as a nod and a wink to those of us who can get so hung up on historical accuracy, or am I reading too much into the line?

    5. I appreciated the nearly old-fashioned way the movie was filmed. The film was allowed a slow pace that did well in accentuating Coogan and Reilly's great performances. We didn't have the MTV style of fast edits but instead long takes of actors actually acting. Also, I didn't notice the hyper-CGI use that annoys me with many films of today.

    6. Will the film spur a revival of interest in L&H? Probably not. Several years ago, I remember some being very excited about The Artist and how it would do wonders in promoting silent films with the general public. That never really happened. Those who saw the film liked it, but they felt no interest in seeking out silents (I experienced this first hand when talking to a few friends on their reaction to the film). Stan and Ollie won't hurt the L&H legacy, but I don't think it's going to spur people to check out their work en masse. I wish it would though.

    In short, Stan and Ollie is a great film and a loving and affectionate tribute to the boys. Go out and see it – you won't regret it.

  39. Arthur Powell

    I viewed Stan and Ollie the other night, and overall I liked it. Here are a few comments:

    1. John Reilly and Steve Coogan gave remarkable performances and absolutely nailed L&H's mannerisms and comic timing. I give a slight edge to Reilly because of how his acting combined with the prosthetics built the illusion that Hardy had come back to life. In still images, Coogan doesn't quite look like Laurel, but in motion the illusion is well conveyed. I will say though that vocally Coogan sounded more like Laurel than Reilly sounded like Hardy. Oddly enough, Coogan never attempted (at least in the finished film) Laurel's signature smile, laugh, and cry. Overall, Coogan and Reilly did well in playing L&H and showing the poignant bond the two men developed during their British tours.

    2. One piece of dramatic license is how the on-screen L&H personas subtly melded into their private lives. From what I have heard, this wasn't exactly the case. Vivian Blaine, who co-starred with them in Jitterbugs, commented some years later how professional and serious they really were and that they weren't "funny" when not acting. For the purposes of the film, I do think it was appropriate, and it wasn't done in a grotesque manner a la Keefe Brasselle in The Eddie Cantor Story.

    3. On the subject of dramatic licenses in general, yes the film plays fast and loose with the historical facts, but that's to be expected with biographical films. There's a scene in Jolson Sings Again when Larry Parks comments to the screenwriters of The Jolson Story that "facts really don't matter – just get the general scheme of things right." I do believe that the "general scheme" of the film is correct. Just to be clear, the central conflict is fiction – Laurel never held it against Hardy for doing Zenobia (the elephant picture). In fact, he encouraged Hardy a decade later to accept the role of John Wayne's sidekick in The Fighting Kentuckian when he was unable to work due to his compromised health (Stan had issues with his diabetes at the time). Some L&H scholars have also objected to how Hal Roach was portrayed, and I can see why. However, Roach's lack of screen time precludes the film from developing his character and relationship with Laurel. Yes, the two men quarreled a lot, but the quarrels centered on creative matters and not money (Laurel was the top-salaried performer on the lot, and Roach paid him more than he paid himself).

    4. I laughed out loud at the film's beginning when Hardy makes a comment about wondering where the Roman soldiers came from because I was thinking exactly the same thing. I can't think of any production from the mid-1930s that would have required extras dressed up as Roman centurions on the Roach lot. So, did the screenwriter insert that joke as a nod and a wink to those of us who can get so hung up on historical accuracy, or am I reading too much into the line?

    5. I appreciated the nearly old-fashioned way the movie was filmed. The film was allowed a slow pace that did well in accentuating Coogan and Reilly's great performances. We didn't have the MTV style of fast edits but instead long takes of actors actually acting. Also, I didn't notice the hyper-CGI use that annoys me with many films of today.

    6. Will the film spur a revival of interest in L&H? Probably not. Several years ago, I remember some being very excited about The Artist and how it would do wonders in promoting silent films with the general public. That never really happened. Those who saw the film liked it, but they felt no interest in seeking out silents (I experienced this first hand when talking to a few friends on their reaction to the film). Stan and Ollie won't hurt the L&H legacy, but I don't think it's going to spur people to check out their work en masse. I wish it would though.

    In short, Stan and Ollie is a great film and a loving and affectionate tribute to the boys. Go out and see it – you won't regret it.

    Excellent overview. Thank You.
    I too was a little concerned about the "loose facts" but the film was obviously made with so much love I let it pass. I recognize that in a biopic you never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
    I think the film would have had more impact on revival had it won an award. My only hope now is that it catches on in the streaming world. Like I said before – you never know.

  40. Mysto

    Excellent overview. Thank You.
    I too was a little concerned about the "loose facts" but the film was obviously made with so much love I let it pass. I recognize that in a biopic you never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
    I think the film would have had more impact on revival had it won an award. My only hope now is that it catches on in the streaming world. Like I said before – you never know.

    If I may quote Laurel from Going Bye-Bye, "It could happen." 😉

  41. Arthur Powell

    […]
    6. Will the film spur a revival of interest in L&H? Probably not. Several years ago, I remember some being very excited about The Artist and how it would do wonders in promoting silent films with the general public. That never really happened. Those who saw the film liked it, but they felt no interest in seeking out silents (I experienced this first hand when talking to a few friends on their reaction to the film). Stan and Ollie won't hurt the L&H legacy, but I don't think it's going to spur people to check out their work en masse. I wish it would though.[…]

    Yours is an understandable point as to how "The Artist" (2011) did not lead audiences towards "seeking out silents";
    therefore the same may be the case for those thereafter who attend "Stan & Ollie".
    But, IMHO, the marketable distinction is that George Velentin & Peppy Miller are a fiction;
    therefore there are no existing silents to which these two characters can be found.
    Whereas the existence of Laurel & Hardy are very much a fact;
    as are the many shorts and features that are refereed to within "Stan & Ollie".

  42. PMF

    Yours is an understandable point as to how "The Artist" (2011) did not lead audiences towards "seeking out silents";
    therefore the same may be the case for those thereafter who attend "Stan & Ollie".
    But, IMHO, the main and marketable distinction here is that George Velentin & Peppy Miller are a fiction;
    therefore there are no existing silents to which these two characters can be found.
    Whereas the existence of Laurel & Hardy are very much a fact;
    as are the many shorts and features that are refereed to within "Stan & Ollie".

    It's certainly possible. I have already heard some anecdotal evidence about people expressing an interest in seeing more L&H, and that's something I can't say about The Artist.

  43. Pretty much I'd say anywhere/everywhere else over the past several weeks would be the best alternative given Amazon's recent issues with Allied Vaughn titles

    Bullmoose has it in stock $20 (usually quite reliable)– Free Shipping at $30, but no sales tax. regular shipping is $2.99. Ignore the 2-3 week language that they have on all the Allied Vaughn titles.

    FYE says in-stock plus another 25% off $30 until midnight ET so around $17.50 — FS is $40 (extra 10% for Members)

    MovieZyng is Allied Vaughn ecommerce storefront so a good chance they have it in stock or will get it back sooner than others.

    Barnes and Nobles says it's in stock — $35 FS.or for members. 15% off codes are available.

    Walmart,com FS $35

    Deep Discount has had it for under $20 a couple times, but it's on backorder now
    BBY and Target had it earlier, but no listed OOS.

  44. David Norman

    Pretty much I'd say anywhere/everywhere else over the past several weeks would be the best alternative given Amazon's recent issues with Allied Vaughn titles

    Bullmoose has it in stock $20 (usually quite reliable)– Free Shipping at $30, but no sales tax. regular shipping is $2.99. Ignore the 2-3 week language that they have on all the Allied Vaughn titles.

    FYE says in-stock plus another 25% off $30 until midnight ET so around $17.50 — FS is $40 (extra 10% for Members)

    MovieZyng is Allied Vaughn ecommerce storefront so a good chance they have it in stock or will get it back sooner than others.

    Barnes and Nobles says it's in stock — $35 FS.or for members. 15% off codes are available.

    Walmart,com FS $35

    Deep Discount has had it for under $20 a couple times, but it's on backorder now
    BBY and Target had it earlier, but no listed OOS.

    I'm pretty sure I didn't see at at my SuperTarget yesterday 🙁 …

  45. B-ROLL

    I'm pretty sure I didn't see at at my SuperTarget yesterday 🙁 …

    You aren't going to see Allied Vaughn MOD discs at any chain B&M store.
    Target did have it for order at some point though — online only like 95% of it's Media these days.
    Best Buy it's an 8 digit (online only) title like all Sony MOD and WAC titles

    Independents like Bullmoose and Zia will have some in stock if you are lucky enough to live near them. Otherwise you're like 98% of the rest of the country and have to look online.

    I gave multiple options where to get it earlier and cheaper than hoping Amazon will get it in stock eventually

  46. Mention was made of CGI not being noticeable or overdone, but having seen the movie several times, i admire just how extensive the use, but in many subtle ways; just look at the end credits to see the army of CGI technicians involved. I'm sure the really crowded theater audiences were "multiplied" extensively, given the low budget. The sea journey to Ireland towards the end was totally landlocked (i saw production photos with green screen), and it's very well done. I'm sure there were lots of mattes used to evoke '50s England. And it's been pointed out that the opening six minute shot is actually seamlessly stitched from three different shots.

    I'm still amazed the production was only filmed for I think $15 million–total chump change for a feature nowadays. My only sense of a tight budget is the apparent use of a single prop newsreel camera for the opening dance number; the actual Hal Roach sound stage would've been far more elaborate with more lights and larger cameras etc. But I quibble–overall kudos though for such a first class result.

  47. AnthonyClarke

    'Stan and Ollie' is a great tribute to my very favourite double-act in comedy history, approached only by the wonderful Morecambe and Wise and French and Saunders

    I almost choked at the idea of French and Saunders being named alongside Laurel and Hardy and Morecambe and Wise, then I noticed that you’d posted that on April Fools Day.

    I wish I’d got in first, saying that the great comedians were Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Michael McIntyre.

    As for this film, it’s brilliant. It did well in the UK but less so elsewhere, so hopefully it’ll find a bigger audience on disc or on iTunes etc.

  48. Just finished watching this film for the first time on Blu-ray.

    By the time the end credits rolled, I was really choked up. This was even more of an amazing film watch than I expected. It exceeded my expectations.

    What a wonderful, exceptional tribute to two men who loved each other and made the world laugh. My childhood was graced by their films which I collected on 8mm.

    Such a tremendous film. I am really saddened it didn't do better than it did, but at least it received the critical acclaim it was due.

  49. The actor playing Stan Lurel did an excellent job, but John C. Reilly I think was Oliver Hardy. What a fantastic portrayal.
    I think Laurel and Hardy are the best comedic duo of all time so this film is like a slice of heaven.

  50. David Norman

    You aren't going to see Allied Vaughn MOD discs at any chain B&M store.
    Target did have it for order at some point though — online only like 95% of it's Media these days.
    Best Buy it's an 8 digit (online only) title like all Sony MOD and WAC titles

    Independents like Bullmoose and Zia will have some in stock if you are lucky enough to live near them. Otherwise you're like 98% of the rest of the country and have to look online.

    I gave multiple options where to get it earlier and cheaper than hoping Amazon will get it in stock eventually

    Wal*Mart had it in store in DVD … 🙁

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