Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

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Chris Seguin
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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Chris Seguin » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:02 pm

Well that’s my point exactly. Besides the aforementioned “My Darling is a Kangaroo” and a 1948 blurb about Roach wanting to sign them for a series of 12-minute TV shorts, I can’t think of a single Hollywood offer they got between 1945-51. Hardy might’ve been in demand; Laurel & Hardy weren’t.

Now you have me picturing L&H working with Ed Wood.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:34 am

Chris Seguin wrote:Well that’s my point exactly. Besides the aforementioned “My Darling is a Kangaroo” and a 1948 blurb about Roach wanting to sign them for a series of 12-minute TV shorts, I can’t think of a single Hollywood offer they got between 1945-51. Hardy might’ve been in demand; Laurel & Hardy weren't.


Which says the problem was Laurel, Babe was always more connected with the Hollywood establishment (hanging out at the Track can do that).

I've always wondered myself why Stan and Babe didn't get a film together in England, or even appear on the BBC (wasn't there at least one BBC TV interview apart from the THIS IS MUSIC HALL film piece that doesn't exist today?). I mean, even Bela Lugosi got a film in England when his DRACULA tour fell apart, and Keaton did television when he was in Britain. I guess it makes me ask a question I don't think I've ever really looked into, which is how did ATOLL K/ROBINSON CRUESOELAND do financially in England and Europe?


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Chris Seguin
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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Chris Seguin » Tue Jan 29, 2019 1:14 pm

I’d say a lot of this was indeed driven by Mr. Laurel; no doubt Babe was just seeking a paycheque while Stan was seeking creative freedom and a salary he considered worthy of the team. It seemed to get contentious around the time of “The Fighting Kentuckian”; according to AJ Marriot’s book “Laurel & Hardy – The US Tours”, Hardy was reportedly being considered for a series of films co-starring Charles Coburn (AP story April 9, 1949)

Then there’s this missive, also from AJ’s book, dated 14th Feb. ’49:
“My Dear Larry: Am sorry that Benny Benefico disclosed a near fact before it was definite. However I am trying my utmost to avoid a separation of the team regardless of our personal grievances. Anyway, it is entirely up to Mr. Hardy. I expect to get a showdown this week.” So much for two guys WHO NEVER EVER FOUGHT A DAY IN THEIR LIVES.
As for doing television in the UK, there’s this in a letter to Betty Healy dated Dec. 6, 1951: “…expect to leave for England in February for personal appearances also Television shorts over there.” http://www.lettersfromstan.com/stan-1951-12.html That’s about the only thing I’ve ever heard of along those lines.

I think ATOLL K did pretty okay business in the UK (there's newsreel footage of L&H with a bunch of hula girls and Babe saying "I think I'll take the girls to see Robinson Crusoeland", to which Stan replies, "I think that's a good idea" on the new BFI ATOLL K blu-ray). Apparently the B.O. was disappointing in France but strong in Germany and The Netherlands. Norbert Aping details a lot of it in his making-of book.

Ed Watz
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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Ed Watz » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:08 am

It's strange that a documented real-life quarrel between Laurel & Hardy is usually overlooked by true L&H aficionados but STAN AND OLLIE made no qualms about fabricating a fake rift between The Boys.

In an old issue of PRATFALL! (circa 1970) there's an article titled "Babe's Night Out," in which a restauranteur recalls how Babe became a frequent guest at his eatery during 1944 (Babe admitted he was a fan of the chef's baked potatoes fried in hamfat). When the owner inquired why Babe never brought Stan along with him, Hardy confided that he and Stan had a disagreement and weren't on speaking terms.

I know the National Enquirer is not the best source for this kind of thing, but nevertheless the next story seems to match around the same timeline. In the early 1970s the Enquirer ran a piece where either a Fox or MGM technician who worked on an late L&H picture was interviewed. The man claimed that Stan and Babe had a blowup on the set, with Stan supposedly saying to his partner, "I only work with you because you help me make good money. As a person, you stink."

However long this animosity continued, perhaps it was due to Stan's frustration over lack of control, clashing with the more pragmatic view of Mr. Hardy's (i.e., "we're still in demand, the material isn't the greatest, but Stan, let's just do our best."). The team's salary in 1944 was at their highest since the Roach days (both of them earned $75K for their movie work that year). I can imagine Babe being frustrated with a partner who was willing to sit out any lucrative work for the next two years -- that is, if Fox was dangling an option for more features after THE BULLFIGHTERS. Film Classics' major postwar reissues of their Roach features didn't occur until 1946, so it's especially curious that no studio picked them up.

If the biopic had to highlight a disagreement between the team, the filmmakers should have looked into a genuine rift instead of the "you betrayed me" theme used in STAN AND OLLIE.
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Rob Farr » Mon Feb 25, 2019 6:05 pm

I first read of the on-set fight in James Robert Parish's The Funsters, published in 1979, a (slightly) more reputable source than the National Enquirer, tho he might have just been recounting that paper's story. In Parish's retelling of the technician's account, they actually came to blows. I'm sure it was a source of tension between the two that Stan fought tooth-and-nail with Roach over stories and editorial control throughout the 1930's, but was completely defeated by Fox almost from the start. Anyway, the work is the important thing, not how they got along or didn't throughout their 30-year partnership.
Rob Farr
"If it's not comedy, I fall asleep" - Harpo Marx

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:27 pm

I believe nothing that comes from the National Enquirer, and doubt that whatever their disagreements were, one would never have thought the other would "stink" as a person. much less say so on a set. Abbott and Costello perhaps, Martin and Lewis definitely, not Stan and Babe.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Ed Watz
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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Ed Watz » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:19 am

Whatever Babe was telling the restauranteur as quoted in PRATFALL! -- about the team not speaking to each other in 1944 -- this interview makes it clear that they were fast friends again during their 1947 tour. Babe's compliment to Stan that "you've taught me everything you know about comedy" sounds almost extraordinary given the evidence found in Hardy's pre-team work but I don't doubt the sincerity behind Babe's words.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5Paz-xzLMo
"Of course he smiled -- just like you and me." -- Harold Goodwin, on Buster Keaton (1976)

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:11 am

Ed Watz wrote:Whatever Babe was telling the restauranteur as quoted in PRATFALL! -- about the team not speaking to each other in 1944 -- this interview makes it clear that they were fast friends again during their 1947 tour. Babe's compliment to Stan that "you've taught me everything you know about comedy" sounds almost extraordinary given the evidence found in Hardy's pre-team work but I don't doubt the sincerity behind Babe's words.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5Paz-xzLMo


Well, notice he's saying "you've taught me everything YOU know about comedy", he's talking about Stan's knowledge, not what he already knew and brought to the table.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Chris Seguin
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Re: Saw STAN AND OLLIE last night.....

Postby Chris Seguin » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:55 pm

I could easily imagine Stan absolutely wanting to call it quits with the big studios in 1944, with Babe's reaction being "last time you went searching for greener pastures it brought us here -- and you've been miserable ever since!" So most people here are right, there were lots of opportunities to show actual tension (spring of 1949 would be a good time period) between the boys. The professional and personal tension must have been incredible.
Say what you will about ATOLL K, but it saved their partnership --- because they sure weren't getting any other offers between 1948 and '50.

Chris


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