Laurel and Hardy - The Silent Films


Jack Massey

  • Thursday 8th July 2010, 6:45pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 2,965 posts

What are people's views of the silent 'Laurel & Hardy' films?

I've got the L and H DVD boxset (the Universal 21 disc boxset) and it is simply superb, yet there is a lot of silent films in the compilations. I don't know what to think of them, some of them are good, but a lot of them I watch and don't laugh at all and get quite bored with them. It's probably just silent film, a bit old fashioned even for me.


Frankie Mildly Perturbed

  • Thursday 8th July 2010, 6:51pm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 5,497 posts

I've seen some and liked them. I like all their early stuff. It was only when they got older that I felt they should have retired with dignity having done their whack. When they became of a "certain age" it stopped working as well, I felt.


john lucas 101

  • Friday 9th July 2010, 10:13am
  • England
  • 7,098 posts

Some very good films amongst the silent shorts.


Stephen Goodlad

  • Saturday 11th December 2010, 11:09am
  • Mirfield, England
  • 4,429 posts

They were pioneers of the early slapstick and visual gags. They have been copied so much that now most of the originals seem fake as you have seen it so many times by other comedians.

There's an irony eh.

My all time favourite silent though is 'Liberty' how brilliant for it's time both on visual stuff and the filming

In this clip they have managed to get to the top of a skyscraper that is just being built and are trying to get back down across the open girders.
Unfortunately Oliver has managed to get a crab in his pants but doesn't know he has.

IF you don't laugh at this I will give you a fiver :)


Alfred J Kipper

  • Saturday 11th December 2010, 11:39am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,632 posts

So did I, bugger. Filmed in the 1920s and yet there's not a glimmer of special effects in it. It looked totally real. Today that would cost millions and wouldn't even look real. I'd never seen that before, thanks for link, Stephen.



  • Sunday 12th December 2010, 3:07pm [Edited]
  • Near my beloved Black Country in Wolverhampton, England
  • 13,416 posts

There goes my fiver too!

Lovely ending !




  • Monday 13th December 2010, 4:29pm [Edited]
  • Ludlow, England
  • 5,442 posts

They were one of the few silent acts that flourished/improved when sound came along.
For me, that's when they really got going.



  • Thursday 16th December 2010, 1:06am [Edited]
  • England
  • 15,786 posts

Much as I loved the "slow slapstick" of L&H, I do prefer their talkies. They were probably the only silent comedy stars who got better (or, at any rate, were able to continue to successfully work) when sound came in. Saying that, some of the funniest things they did - such as Olly's reactions to camera - didn't need words. When I was a kid BBC2 used to show their films every day in the school holiday. Very fond memories, probably the first comedy I remember laughing to. :)

EDIT: Apologies, Lazzard, for posting almost identical thoughts straight after yours.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Monday 12th July 2021, 10:39am
  • England
  • 19,395 posts

Watched "Double Whoopee" from the current TPTV run, and really enjoyed all the sight gags. Apparently it was one of their last silents, made in 1929 with an 18 year old Jean Harlow.

Very funny

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  • Monday 12th July 2021, 9:35pm
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,814 posts

The sequence in one of their talkies when Ollie goes to look for Stan in a home for war veterans and thinks he's lost his leg is the funniest thing I've ever seen.


Billy Bunter

  • Monday 12th July 2021, 10:35pm [Edited]
  • The Sussex Coast, England
  • 1,683 posts
Quote: beaky @ 12th July 2021, 9:35 PM

The sequence in one of their talkies when Ollie goes to look for Stan in a home for war veterans and thinks he's lost his leg is the funniest thing I've ever seen.

Block-Heads. Coming up on TPTV Saturday 31 July 4:25pm. (Although why this is on a thread for their silent movies I'm not sure!)


Michael Monkhouse

  • Wednesday 14th July 2021, 7:39pm
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 6,057 posts

The golden period was in the middle, with those timeless talkie shorts. I've been watching for as long as I can remember, and laughing like a twot. Silents are hard to watch these days, and the full lengthers got steadily worse.
Charlie Chaplin said, 'A day without laughter is a wasted day.' And he was right. That's why I never watch Charlie f**king Chaplin.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Friday 16th July 2021, 9:37am [Edited]
  • England
  • 19,395 posts

Love the sequence where they fall out of the passenger's door when Ollie is trying to get Stan into the car.........................


..........AND, here is that very car, for sale!!


No, not really, but it would be nice wouldn't it, and certainly worth more than the $39,000 being asked for this model.

As some of you will know, I do like to research these old cars seen in films (mostly British), and managed to trace this model as a Ford Convertible, or Soft Top, or Rag Top if you will, OR as the Americans call them, trying to give them a bit of cachet, a Cabriolet.
So, Ford Cabriolet, with V8 engine and 3 speed manual box. God knows what the shipping would be, but I'd LOVE to turn up at a car rally in it and display photos of Stan and Ollie with the car, and lie through my teeth about it being the one in the film.