Combustible Celluloid
Own it:
With: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, etc.
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Stan Laurel, etc.
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 590
Date: 01/26/2021

Laurel or Hardy: Early Solo Films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (2021)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Stan Sans Ollie

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This massive Blu-ray set from Flicker Alley, running 590 minutes, collects 35 short films featuring either Stan Laurel or Oliver Hardy, made from 1914 to 1926, before they met and became one of comedy's greatest teams. Unfortunately, these films will mainly be of interest to the most die-hard fans or to historians. To casual fans of silent comedy, the shorts are not terribly ingenious or terribly funny. Laurel had yet to find his rhythms as an actor (he tended to open his mouth too wide), and Hardy — credited here as "Babe" Hardy — was relegated mainly to supporting roles. And quite a few of the shorts are merely attempts to copy Chaplin. However, for those that are interested, Flicker Alley's set contains their usual meticulous work, with fine restorations, new music scores, photo galleries, and a detailed liner notes booklet.

The films include:

Stan Laurel Films: Bears and Bad Men (1918); The Egg (1922); A Weak-End Party (1922); The Pest (1922); When Knights Were Cold (1923); The Handy Man (1923); Pick and Shovel (1923); Collars and Cuffs (1923); Gas and Air (1923); A Man About Town (1923); The Whole Truth (1923); Brothers Under the Chin (1924); Zeb Vs. Paprika (1924); Wide Open Spaces (1924); Detained (1924); Twins (1925); Pie-Eyed (1925)

Oliver Hardy Films: Mother's Baby Boy (1914); The Servant Girl's Legacy (1914); An Expensive Visit (1915); A Lucky Strike (1915); The New Adventures of J. Rufus Wallingford: The Lilac Splash (1915); The Serenade (1916); Hungry Hearts (1916); The Candy Trail (1916); The Chief Cook (1917); Hello Trouble (1918); Married to Order (1918); He's In Again (1918); The Rent Collector (1921); The Bakery (1921); The Show (1922); Rivals (1925); Wandering Papas (1926); Say It With Babies (1926)

Movies Unlimtied