Monthly Archives: October 2006

Will We Ever Find “Hats Off”?

hat.jpgLess than five years ago a very interesting blurb was posted on a Laurel and Hardy website’s message board. The posting made the startling declaration that the long-lost 1927 L&H film Hats Off had been discovered and was tied up in negotiations with various video companies for future release. This was not the first and I expect it will not be the last time that a rumor or claim is made that this film has been found.

Laurel and Hardy fans have had the rug pulled out from under them so many times when it comes to the discovery of this film that it seems impossible that it will ever turn up. But let me be the first to say that I will almost guarantee that Hats Off will be found in my lifetime (I can’t speak for yours). Just look at Laurel and Hardy history and see that the odds are stacked in our favor. (more…)

Music Cue Sheet: Me and My Pal

img678.jpgInvariably when one watches Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, or any other classic film made at the Hal Roach Studios, they are usually overcome with the uncontrollable urge to tap their feet along to the contagious rhythms playing in the background. Most of the songs can be attributed to Leroy Shield (although T. Marvin Hatley also contributed heavily, especially to the later pictures).

We at The Wax Apple have sought to uncover the names of (and, where relevant, the composers of) all of the Laurel and Hardy film scores. (more…)

Tiny Sandford: Bigger Than We Thought

doublewhoopee.jpgStanley “Tiny” Sandford provided Laurel and Hardy with one of their most menacing adversaries by sheer virtue of his incredible girth. Often we see him portraying an officer of the law – or least someone laying it down for Stan and Ollie. Filmographies generally agree that Tiny appeared in 23 films with the boys, so we can assume that this number is correct, right? In the immortal words of Stan Laurel, “uh-uh.” (more…)

Viola Richard: Where Did She Went?

viola-in-should.jpgViola Richard has been one of the most asked-about and frequently misinformed-about co-stars in the entire Laurel and Hardy repertoire. With a face and physique like Viola’s, it’s easy to see why. She understandably fluttered the hearts of fans everywhere with her appearances alongside the boys in six of their silent films: Why Girls Love Sailors, Sailors Beware, Do Detectives Think?, Flying Elephants, Leave ‘Em Laughing, and Should Married Men Go Home? She is also featured most notably in the 1928 Charley Chase silent Limousine Love.

But outside of her film appearances in 1927 and 1928 at the Hal Roach Studios, Viola seemed to have all-but-vanished into thin air. Why would this actress destined to break the hearts of many young men in film fandom drop completely out of sight after such an auspicious career beginning? It is my distinct privilege to bring you the up-until-now unknown facts about one of the fairest of them all. (more…)

Jean Meets Edith

jeanparker.jpgThe stunning Jean Parker, best known to Laurel & Hardy buffs as the lovely Georgette, the object of Oliver Hardy’s affection in The Flying Deuces, passed away on November 30, 2005. Jean had an illustrious Hollywood career starring in over seventy-five films. She also worked in Zenobia, Hal Roach’s 1939 attempt to team Oliver Hardy with Harry Langdon during a contract dispute with Stan Laurel.

Among Jean’s films, she co-starred in three with Our Gang star Edith Fellows, most notably in Life Begins with Love in 1937. Here is a photo of the two starlets together: (more…)

The Liberty Alley

Liberty AlleyThere once was an alley in Culver City made famous as the location where two guys were caught with their pants down. If you’re reading this because Google erroneously brought you to this site, you may be intrigued by that statement. But if you’re a Laurel & Hardy fan, you know that I am referring to a scene from the film Liberty in which the boys, as escaped convicts, attempt to exchange their plain clothes for their prison uniforms. In their haste, the boys mix up the pants and wind up wearing one another’s trousers. While searching for a secluded place to exchange pants, they duck down an unassuming alleyway. (more…)

“Out Please!”

Karl SloverTypical of all Sons of the Desert Conventions thus far is that they have all been held in hotels with elevators. This has left ample opportunity to bellow out yet another ridiculous line of dialogue from the films of our favorite funnymen. From the back of a crowded elevator, we will often hear in a baritone voice, “Out Please!” A worthy trivia question to follow might be: who played the midget who spoke this line in Block-Heads? Most likely, even from the most skilled contestant, the response will be: Harry Earles. But now we know – ’tisn’t so.

When the exhaustive filmography was compiled in the McCabe-Kilgore-Bann Laurel and Hardy bible, many faces were matched with names by using an illustrated casting directory. Harry Earles, as it turns out, was the spitting image of another midget performer named Karl “Karchy” Kosicsky. (more…)

Another What Mess?

pdvd_045.jpgLaurel and Hardy buffs often take great pride in correcting anyone who incorrectly quotes Oliver Hardy as saying “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.” But is this line really incorrect? The actual line is, of course, “Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.”

We all know that there is indeed a Laurel and Hardy film titled Another Fine Mess, and it most certainly paved the way for the oft quoted inaccuracy. But was there ever a time when Ollie actually said “another fine mess”? Was this line ever actually heard in one or more of their 106 films?

Well, yes…and yes. (more…)

The Music Box Landings

Music Box StepsEvery Laurel and Hardy fan that visits Los Angeles wants to climb to the top of the Music Box Steps. They aren’t the best-preserved filming location, but they’re probably the most memorable and instantly recognizable single location used in any of the boys’ films, mostly because they were so integral to the film’s plot. (more…)

L&H Loved “This Is Your Life” – Pt. 2

These letters were recently revealed on the DVD release of This Is Your Life. Although commonly accepted that the boys (especially Stan) did not enjoy the experience of the show, these letters indicate otherwise. If Laurel and Hardy were less than thrilled about appearing on the program, the notes penned to host Ralph Edwards afterward indicate their immaculate professionalism. (more…)

L&H Hated “This Is Your Life” – Pt. 1

Here is the orginal TV Guide article on the boys from April 1955 (along with the issue’s cover) indicating their supposed feelings about their This Is Your Life TV appearance – and also their thoughts on the showing of their films on television. Sounds like the author of the article made some embellishments to their quotes. (more…)

lectures on art and color

You’ve seen people naked. Quite an auspicious opening line, eh? Anyway, you’ve seen people naked. And photos of your favorite celebrities fully clothed are few and far between. But when your favorite celebrity poses nude, there’s always a bit of shock value. It’s the forbidden fruit, the guilty pleasure of seeing the uncommon.

The same might be said for seeing our favorite vintage stars in color. When it comes to Laurel and Hardy, I must admit that there is nothing quite so cool as to see the boys in living color. Probably the simple reason for this is that there are so few photographs and so few reels of film that show them in this fashion. I’ll never forget one time back in the mid-nineties a member of the Sons wrote to me inquiring about my tent newsletter Dante’s Info. He had heard that I had printed color in a couple of issues and was interested in getting copies of these particular volumes. He was not interested in the content of the newsletter, nor of what the color photos in question even were; the fact that I had used color at all was enough for him. (more…)

Charlie Hall Elevated in Stature

It has been generally accepted that Charlie Hall appeared in 46 films with Laurel and Hardy. In the invaluable tome Laurel and Hardy by John McCabe, Al Kilgore, and Richard W. Bann, it is noted that he worked with the boys in 47 films – but this included Charlie’s deleted appearance in Oliver the Eighth.

All filmographies to date only show Mr. Hall appearing in 46 films with Stan and Babe, but now it can be reported that Charlie Hall actually appeared on screen in 47 films with the boys. (more…)