Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer Under the Stars: Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy

Movie Dearest continues our daily previews of Turner Classic Movies' month long "Summer Under the Stars" celebration:

Now Playing Star Profile for Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy - Stardates: Laurel: Born June 16, 1890, Ulverston, Cumbria, England; died 1965. Hardy: Born January 18, 1892, Harlem, Georgia; died 1957. Star Sign: Gemini / Capricorn. Star Qualities: The peerless comic rapport, the blend of visual and character-related comedy, the pure fun of their zany partnership. Star definition: "In 104 films they never ran out of comic ideas, insane invention, charming conceits." -- Garson Kanin. Galaxy of Characters: Stan and Ollie in The Music Box, Sons of the Desert, Way Out West, A Chump at Oxford.

Two men, one piano, one very steep hill: those are the simple ingredients for pure comic genius in The Music Box. At a brisk 29 minutes, the movie not only won the Academy Award (one of the first short subject Oscars, as a matter of fact), it packs in more laughs then most feature film comedies, well, ever since.

The Music Box, along with another Stan and Ollie classic, Sons of the Desert, airs tomorrow on TCM (at 8:00 PM EST) as part of their Essentials, Jr. program.

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