Yesterday I received a Facebook invitation to participate in the Laurel and Hardy Marathon that begins this afternoon at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Turner Classic Movies. You don't have to ask me twice!
The full schedule can be found on the TCM web site by clicking on the schedule link near the top of the home page. Then scroll to 8 p.m. and the first movie is Thicker Than Water (1935). It ends tomorrow at 8 p.m., after running The Bohemian Girl (1936), starting at 6:45.
Here are my suggestions for the movies that you should not miss. Since this is an all night thing, get your DVR or VCR ready.
Jan 11 9:45 p.m. - The Live Ghost (1934) - The boys find themselves working on a haunted ship with Captain Walter Long (1879 - 1952). Don't miss Mae Busch (1891 - 1946), Charlie Hall (1899 - 1959) and Arthur Housman (1889 - 1942). Watch how things get turned around at the end.
Jan 11 10:00 p.m. - Them Thar Hills (1934) - Another with Mae and Charlie. This one adds Billy Gilbert (1894 - 1971) as the doctor.
Jan 11 11:30 p.m. - Dirty Work (1930) - Finds the pair as chimney sweeps for a mad scientist. Lucien Littlefield (1895 - 1960) is the scientist who amazes Stan and Ollie with his demonstration.
Jan 12 1:00 a.m. - Me and My Pal (1933) - Ollie's getting married but a jigsaw puzzle keeps everyone occupied. James Finlayson (1887 - 1953) is the father of the bride.
Jan 12 2:00 a.m. - Towed in a Hole (1932) - One of my favorites. The boys have almost the entire film to themselves, with Billy Gilbert making an appearance. Listen to Ollie's golden tenor voice singing the call to buy fish, and don't miss Stan's explanation of how to improve their business. Not to be missed!
Jan 12 3:30 a.m. - County Hospital (1932) - Ollie's in the hospital, and what does Stan bring him? Hard boiled eggs and nuts, of course!
Jan 12 4;:30 a.m. - The Music Box (1932) - Stan and Ollie's only Academy Award winning film. Billy Gilbert as the musicologist, and a set of steps that defy the piano. Another one that should not be missed.
Jan 12 5:00 a.m. - Helpmates (1932) - Watch the boys clean house as only they can.
Jan 12 7:15 a.m. - Laughing Gravy (1931) - Laughing Gravy is the name of the dog, of course. And Charlie Hall is the landlord with the "no pets" policy. A few years later, Gravy appears in Roamin' Holiday (1937) with Our Gang.
Jan 12 10:00 a.m. - Hog Wild (1930) - Watch the boys install a radio antenna. It must have been an important task in 1930.
Jan 12 11:30 a.m. - Blotto (1930) - Anita Garvin (1906 - 1994) plays Stan's wife, but the boys steal her liquor to have a night out. Anita told me that the gun she used in the final scene was so heavy she could hardly lift it. #3 that should NOT be missed!
Jan 12 1:30 p.m. - Perfect Day (1929) - A perfect day for a picnic, if you can get Edgar Kennedy's (1890 - 1948) gout ridden foot in the car...and get the car started! "Goodbye!"
It's obvious that I like L&H. It is difficult to recommend some films and not others because they are all worthy of watching. Above are a dozen, with three that are simply not to be missed.
My only complaint is that the films are not shown in release order. These are mostly short, two-reelers, with a few features like The Bohemian Girl thrown in. Features like Sons of the Desert (1933) and Way Out West (1937) are also on the A-List of Laurel and Hardy movies, but I guess they will have to wait until the next marathon.
Enjoy these films. They led the way for comedians who are still inspired by the genius of Stan and Ollie.