In January 2019 we’ll see the infamous Laurel and Hardy grace our screens again portrayed by John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan in the upcoming biopic Stan & Ollie. This film will tell the story of their attempt to re-establish their place on the silver screen by touring Britain, a tour that would go on to become their final act. Before you see that though, you should definitely revisit their older work which is still as side-splitting today as it was back then. Truth be told you can’t really go wrong with any of their titles, no matter what their performance will always leave you smiling, that being said here are five classics I think are great.
The Music Box
Arguably the most loved of their films and it’s easy to see why. The Music Box is a simple premise in which Laurel and Hardy are working as delivery men, tasked with moving a piano into a house at the top of a very long stairway. Naturally getting the piano up the flight of stairs is littered with obstacles and people to make the task nearly impossible and you can’t help but laugh as the piano seems to find its way to the bottom as often as it does its way up.
Towed in a Hole
This is my personal favourite. In Towed a Hole, Stan and Ollie decide to buy a boat in order to make more money in their “fresh fish” business, the entire film revolves around the two of them trying to fix it up in order to make it seaworthy and naturally everything that can go wrong does go wrong. As usual Stan’s efforts begin to do more harm than good, and as Ollie gets angrier with him the two end up fighting to the point of destruction, classic Laurel and Hardy.
In Brats they don’t just play themselves but they also play their tiny children as well. Brats is a great example of some of the old camera tricks Laurel and Hardy would employ so well for comic effects as they make themselves look both big and small. Also it’s a fine example of how children never change, something that will really make you chuckle here.
Stan and Ollie get a job at the saw mill, hilarity ensues. This film is packed to the brim with slapstick humour, of course many of them are but this is one of the best examples of it. There are dangers aplenty in the saw mill and thanks to Stan, Ollie finds himself on the wrong side of each of those all ending in him making his way through an elaborate ventilation system that still makes me laugh whenever I think of it.
Sometimes you wonder why these two are friends, I think this is a great example of their relationship. After a wild party Ollie’s house is left a mess, Stan comes over to help him fix things before his wife returns. Once again his efforts ruin everything but the fact he makes them are what keep these two friends despite the fact every new suit Ollie puts on is left in tatters.