Stan & Ollie. Image shows from L to R: Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly), Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan)

Key details

Genre
Film
Released
2019
Stars
Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Nina Arianda, Shirley Henderson, Rufus Jones, Danny Huston, Ella Kenion, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Writer
Jeff Pope
Director
Jon S. Baird
Producers
Faye Ward, Christine Langan, Nichola Martin, Jeff Pope, Gabrielle Tana, Xavier Marchand, Kate Fasulo, Joe Oppenheimer and more
Companies

Stan And Ollie tells the story of Laurel & Hardy's 1953 UK tour.

Their shtick - Stan the wide-eyed ingénue, Ollie the pompous fool, their meticulously rehearsed physical routines and their charming musical numbers had made them superstars all over Europe, South America and beyond. However, a split from their controlling mentor, the vagaries of studio politics and a run of poorly received films had resulted in their star falling. A series of acrimonious divorces, alimony battles and Oliver Hardy's failing health didn't help.

The British tour was supposed to relieve some of the gloom and, despite numerous glitches, the public loved them. Audiences grew and grew as word spread that Laurel and Hardy were back and as funny as ever and, as audiences swelled, so did morale. But as their careers and friendship blossomed, disaster struck as Ollie suffered a heart attack. He tried to carry on performing on the tour, but it became clear that he was too ill. Replacement performers were found to fill in but, without Stan and Ollie's charm and warmth, the shows simply weren't the same.

Eventually, with it clear that Hardy's health problems were serious, Stan was offered the chance to perform alone, but refused. He realised that neither worked without the other, that they were so much more together than they were apart. Appreciating the sacrifice made by his friend, Ollie roused himself from his sickbed for a few last, triumphant performances, the very last of their extraordinary career.

Ollie died not long afterwards and Stan never performed again, but their films endure and are still popular all over the world half a century later.

Additional details

Tagline
The untold story of the world's greatest comedy act.
UK certificate
PG
Duration
97 minutes
UK release
Friday 11th January 2019
Produced
2018
UK premiere
Sunday 21st October 2018, BFI London Film Festival, Cineworld, Leicester Square
Distributors

Entertainment One

Production
Location
Camera set-up
Single camera
Picture
Colour

Website links

Broadcast details

All previous repeats
  • Friday 19th February 2021 at 8:25pm on BBC1

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