Watch The Best of Laurel and Hardy
- 1 hr 24 min
The Best of Laurel and Hardy is a compilation film that features some of the most hilarious moments from the iconic comedy duo's distinguished career. Released in 1968, the film celebrates the slapstick comedy and enduring chemistry between Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel, two of the most beloved figures in Hollywood history. The movie begins with a brief introduction that sets the stage for what's to come. The narrator explains that Laurel and Hardy were the most popular comedy team of their era, with a career that spanned several decades and included over a hundred films. The narrator also notes that the duo's influence can still be seen in modern comedy, as they inspired a generation of performers who followed in their footsteps.
The first segment of the film showcases some of Laurel and Hardy's most memorable scenes from their silent era movies. These include classic skits like "The Music Box," in which the duo famously attempt to deliver a piano to a house at the top of a steep hill, and "Big Business," which sees them wreaking havoc in a home goods store. Even without dialogue, Laurel and Hardy's performances are full of physical comedy and subtle expressions that make their characters instantly loveable.
As the film moves into the sound era, the comedy becomes even more sophisticated. Laurel and Hardy's verbal sparring becomes a highlight of many of their films, with Oliver Hardy's blustery but genial persona playing off of Stan Laurel's bumbling but endearing character. The classic sequence from "County Hospital," in which Hardy's character is repeatedly injured by a malfunctioning hospital bed, showcases the duo's impeccable timing and physical comedy.
Throughout the film, Laurel and Hardy's friendship is palpable. Their comedic chemistry is built upon a deep bond, and even when their characters are at odds they maintain a sense of camaraderie that is infectious. As the film moves into the later years of their careers, the duo's performances become more nuanced and self-aware, but always with a sense of fun and joy.
Along with Laurel and Hardy's classic bits, the film also features appearances from other iconic performers who collaborated with the comedy duo over the years. James Finlayson, who appeared in many of their films, is particularly effective as a foil to the pair's antics. Also featured are Edgar Kennedy, who appeared in the memorable "Towed in a Hole" short, and Mae Busch, who starred in "Sons of the Desert" alongside Laurel and Hardy.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of The Best of Laurel and Hardy is the way it highlights the duo's enduring appeal. Even decades after their heyday, their work remains as funny and relevant as ever. The film places their classic scenes alongside visual gags and physical comedy that continue to inspire modern audiences. The movie is a wonderful tribute to two of the greatest comedians of all time, and a perfect introduction for those looking to discover their work for the first time.
Overall, The Best of Laurel and Hardy is a delightful showcase of two of the most talented and beloved performers in Hollywood history. The movie captures the timeless quality of their humor, highlighting their unique talents and showcasing some of their most memorable moments. It is a joyous celebration of laughter and friendship, and a must-see for fans of classic comedy.
The Best of Laurel and Hardy is a 1931 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 24 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.