You may not find this Laurel & Hardy title on many of the boys’ filmographies – and indeed it almost slipped under my radar. Thanks to one of my readers for drawing my attention to this little critter! After a quick bit of research, I’m now crow-barring in this blog to ensure my (and possibly your) ‘completest’ tendencies are satisfied as much as possible.
‘Now I’ll Tell One‘ is (or was) a long lost Charley Chase comedy, which was marketed on the film’s poster as starring Stan Laurel. As such, Laurel & Hardy historians didn’t pay it too much attention, until that is, in 1989 the second reel of the film was uncovered by Film Researcher Dave Wyatt. To everyone’s surprise, this significant discovery became all the more significant, as not only did it fill in a missing piece of the Stan Laurel catalogue, but it also made sure that the previously acknowledged tally of films featuring Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy (whether as a team or not) changed from 105 to 106. You see, the newly discovered second reel confirmed not only Stan’s role as Charley Chase’s lawyer, but also revealed Ollie playing the part of a policeman investigating a disturbance at Charley Chase’s house.
This was truly a momentous find – and proof, of course, that even today lost films can still be discovered, by individuals such as the excellent Mr. Wyatt (so, there may still be hope yet for Hats Off).
To watch a montage of stills and the second reel of Now I’ll Tell One CLICK HERE
The Stan we see in this film is the old, ‘pre-teaming’ one with the little rounded glasses, as in many of his solo movies, such as Dr. Pyckel and Mr. Pride (1925) and The Sleuth (1925). There’s not many signs of the Stan Laurel traits that become so familiar and iconic, but it appears to be a solid performance, without overshadowing the main star of the picture.
Ollie, on the other hand, has a very minor role. Appearing, as part of a flashback sequence, as a cop investigating a disturbance. Whilst his time on screen is short, his genteel manner and finesse does come through – one can only imagine what a thrill it must have been to have been the one to discover a performance by very familiar Ollie in this previously forgotten film.
The re-discovered second reel of Now I’ll Tell One was screened publicly for the first time as part of the Stan Laurel Centenary Celebrations in London in 1990.
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