November 21, 2004 |
On Nov. 30, the American Cinematheque celebrates the 70th anniversary of the beloved Laurel and Hardy musical holiday comedy, "Babes in Toyland," with a screening and a reunion of surviving members of the comedy including Payne Johnson and Dickie Jones. "Babes in Toyland" had a tumultuous voyage to the big screen. Producer Hal Roach's big-budget adaptation of the popular Victor Herbert operetta was beset with illness, confusion, directorial changes and on-set accidents.
HOME & GARDEN
October 14, 2004
Re "Best House in a Leading Role" [Oct. 7]: There can be peril for neighbors of movie houses too. In "Big Business," an early Laurel and Hardy movie, the boys get in a scramble with a guy in front of his house. He trashes their car, they trash his house. At the end, the house is nearly demolished. Producer Hal Roach liked to tell the story that the film crew set up in front of the wrong house, much to the consternation of the owners, who came home from vacation to find their house destroyed.
August 1, 2004 |
Slapstick Symposium Kino, $30-$35 This "symposium" brings together four DVDs with 29 short films and one feature from silent comedians Stan Laurel (sans Oliver Hardy), Harold Lloyd and Charley Chase. The collaboration between Kino and Lobster Films, the leading film restoration company in Europe, used the best available film materials and state-of-the-art technology to bring these comedies to vibrant life. Stan Laurel Stan Laurel without Oliver Hardy? It's akin to Bud Abbott without Lou Costello or Sherlock Homes without Dr. Watson.
December 7, 2003
Dennis McDougal ("Fumbling the Franchise," Nov. 16) put his finger on it: True control, the desire for which steers businessman Edgar Bronfman Jr., is just an illusion. The platinum spoon with which he was born was filled with more than a fair dose of power and opportunity. But what was the dream? What is the dream? Surely not control itself. Amazingly, after colossal risk and failure, he is blessed with another opportunity to find a new rudder and right his personal ship. Michael Eidel Los Angeles I can only think of Oliver Hardy's frustrated remark to his pal Stan Laurel: "Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into!"
November 2, 2003
Enjoyed "The Burr of Scotland and the Whir of Cameras" (Oct. 26) on Cheviot Hills because it's where I grew up from 1930 to 1951 -- in those days, a wonderful place for kids. Not long after my parents' custom house was built on Glenbarr Avenue in 1938 (3,000 square feet cost about $10,000!), my sister, my best friend and I discovered a way to get into "The Laurels." Unoccupied, it was the former house of Stan Laurel. It was truly a marvelous place, very large. Two features I can still picture were a sizable bar that looked like a typical old-fashioned saloon, complete with long bar and swinging doors to both the saloon and its bathroom.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 2000
Ten gentle people who brought joy to the 20th century and made it worth living: Jack Benny, Irving Berlin, Charlie Chaplin, Aaron Copeland, George Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein II, Stan Laurel, Ogden Nash, Norman Rockwell, Charles Schulz. HARRY LEVIN Woodland Hills