Laurel and Hardy ('The Boys' as they are affectionately known) are the most recognized comedy duo the cinema has produced. The film that introduced them as the "Stan and Ollie" characters we know so well today was 1927's Do Detectives Think?
. Before that, Stan Laurel (from England) and Oliver Hardy (from America) had long solo careers, as this collection of rare and hilarious comedies shows.
Hardy entered movies in 1913, Laurel in 1917. Stan often played sharp-witted types, and Ollie "heavies" or villains (often with comics Billy West or Larry Semon). By the mid-1920's, both were employed at the Roach Studios, still playing different roles, with Laurel also gag-writing and even directing Charley Chase, James Finlayson, Our Gang - and Oliver Hardy!
Producer Hal Roach played "comic roulette," teaming his stars in the hopes of hitting box office gold. The Boys make their first appearance together in Lucky Dog, but it will be another ten years before they truly become a team. This collection showcases the comic genius of two great performers on the road to fame - Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy.
Mud And Sand (1923) with Stan Laurel: Stan is Rhubarb Vaseline in this parody of Rudolph Valentino's hit Blood and Sand. In old Madrid, it's all a lot of bull as Vaseline triumphs in the bullring and wins the hand of his beloved - the delicious Caramel.
Oranges And Lemons (1923) with Stan Laurel, Katherine Grand: This comedy's no lemon, as fruit packer Stan makes his quota in sunny California and still has time to pack a lot of love in for his girl, Katherine Grand. Laurel's skill in physical comedy shines in this gem.
West Of Hot Dog (1924) with Stan Laurel: After a stage holdup on the way to the town of Hot Dog, tenderfoot Stan must prove himself brave to win his sweetheart. The most "Keaton-esque" of Stan's solo comedies.
Bromo And Juliet (1926) with Charley Chase, Oliver Hardy: Charley puts on a play as a fundraiser, but must keep an eye on his inebriated dad. Ollie is a cab driver trying to collect his fare from Charley, and together they turn the Bard's tragedy into comedy!
Crazy Like A Fox (1926) with Charley Chase, Oliver Hardy: To avoid an arranged marriage, Charley pretends to be insane. Hardy (with white hair!) is a passer-by who gets the first dose of his lunacy!
This fourth collection of early silent Laurel and Hardy movies features five films, all dating from the 1920s. "Mud And Sand" (1923) is set in Madrid, and sees Stan Laurel taking on the role of a bullfighter. "Oranges And Lemons" (1923) deposits Stan in California, where he attempts to romance a girl, and work as a fruit picker. Stan returns once more for "West Of Hot Dog" (1924), in which he attempts to track down a group of robbers. Ollie takes the lead for "Bromo And Juliet" (1926), playing a cab driver who becomes embroiled in a little Shakespeare, while the set closes with Hardy's "Crazy Like A Fox" (1926), which features him trying to avoid a man who pretends to be insane in order to get out of an arranged marriage.