Category Archives: Laurel & Hardy

Blu-Ray News #288: Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations.

If you’ve gone through life without seeing a Laurel & Hardy short like Big Business (1929) or The Music Box (1932), I feel really sorry for you. Luckily, Kit Parker is ready to help you exit that world of darkness with Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations, a four-disc Blu-Ray set full of terrific shorts and features from Stan and Ollie.

Shorts
The Battle Of The Century (1927, making its video debut)
Berth Marks (1929)
Brats (1930)
Hog Wild (1930)
Come Clean (1931)
One Good Turn (1931)
Helpmates (1932)
The Music Box (1932, Oscar winner for best short)
The Chimp (1932)
County Hospital (1932)
Scram! (1932)
Their First Mistake (1932)
Towed In A Hole (1932)
Twice Two (1933)
Me And My Pal (1933)
The Midnight Patrol (1933)
Busy Bodies (1933)

Features
Sons Of The Desert (1933)
Way Out West (1937)

Restored from the best 35mm to be found on the planet (thanks to the efforts of Jeff Joseph/SabuCat, UCLA Film & Television Archive and Library of Congress), this set will also include commentaries, interviews, stills and The Tree In A Test Tube (1942), a color short produced by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. It’s coming in June. Essential stuff.

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Merry Christmas.

Big Business (1929) is only technically a Christmas movie — Laurel & Hardy sell Christmas trees door to door. It contains nothing resembling the holiday spirit — since it seems determined to show just how mean, spiteful and destructive people can be. Of course, none of that matters since it’s so incredibly funny.

They say Hal Roach bought the house you see in the film (it belonged to a studio employee) for the sole purpose of letting Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy destroy it. We can assume he did the same with the car that James Finlayson dismantles in retaliation. How much of the tit-for-tat vandalism was scripted and how much was ad-libbed is anybody’s guess.

You can find Big Business on YouTube if you don’t have it at home. Whenever I watch it, I imagine just how much fun it must’ve been to make. And Oliver Hardy has quite a batting average when it comes to hitting pottery with a shovel.

Merry Christmas.

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