Welcome to the official home of The Laurel & Hardy Blog. The place to discover all you need to know about the films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Each month I publish a new blog discussing a film in the Laurel and Hardy chronology. You can share your thoughts, ideas and love for the boys and their work, so please feel free to join in the discussion.
“Well, now that our troubles are over, where do we go from here…?”
Like many people, I’ve been a huge fan of Laurel & Hardy since childhood. This is mainly due to my father, who would howl at the boys’ films on TV and I would laugh at him, laughing at them. Then one day, something occurred when my attention turned from him and to the screen long enough to finally undertand what it was that my dad found so funny. In that instant, I was bitten by the bug! I had contracted Laurelandhardymania!
I had an unquenchable thirst for more information about the boys and had endless questions such as: ‘Who were they off screen?’, ‘Were they anything like their screen counterparts?’, ‘Where were they born? and ‘when did they die?’ My need for Laurel and Hardy knowledge, films and merchandise became an addiction and it grew by the day, like an out of control addict, I needed my fix! My friends at school thought I was weird and they were probably right!
I began collecting VHS copies of the boys films and built up a sizeable library. I even managed to record the majority of their Hal Roach talkies on my VCR, as they were shown so regularly back then on the BBC. Then, one Christmas, I received my first book on the boys. It was a copy of John McCabe’s, ‘Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy‘ – a paperback with a bright pink cover. I consumed it quickly and shed more than one tear at the end as the subject of Stan and Babe’s passing was handled by the author with much care and sensitivity. But I wanted more. Many more books followed, including my all time favourite – Randy Skretvedt’s, ‘Laurel & Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies‘. This was a small orange paperback, with very fine pages, not like today’s version which is the size of a mattress and weighs about the same as a bus…but, what a book! I remember taking this book with me on Holiday to the USA and devoured every page. The mix of film facts and behind the scenes information, combined with a sprinkling of their personal history was exactly what I’d been looking for – and today’s updated and revised version is all that and SO much more. It truly was and still is THE greatest book on Laurel and Hardy any fan could wish for and my blog would be nothing without it.
Towards the end of 2018, having not watched the boys for a while, due to branching out into other interests, I decided to re-visit their films one by one, from their first silent short together ‘The Lucky Dog‘ (1921) to their last talking feature ‘Atoll K’ (1951) and all that’s in between – 106 films in total. And, to prove to myself, that perhaps I’m not that weird after all, I thought I’d share my thoughts on each film, as I went along, and see what reaction and discussion may follow.
So, why not join me as I work my way through our beloved team’s canon of work. You can add your comments to the blogs or on my social media pages. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To start the discussion, I include my review of the films and try to add a bit of behind the scenes information and some context with what was happening in the boys’ personal lives at the time they were making each film, in an attempt to give a more complete picture.
I follow the chronological order of when the titles were filmed, rather than released by the studios, as set out in Randy Skredtvedt’s ‘The Magic Behind the Movies‘. In writing these blogs, I refer to my own personal Laurel & Hardy library and you can find a complete list of all the books that I use and more by clicking HERE or by using the ‘Books etc‘ tab from the main menu. The affiliate links will take you direct to Amazon, where you can purchase your own copy, should you wish.
So, why not get the kettle on, put your feet up and enjoy some classic Laurel & Hardy, before joining in with the blog’s discussions?