Laurel & Hardy: Their Lives and Magic

2011 [GERMAN]


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Oliver Hardy Photo
Oliver Hardy as Self
Jerry Lewis Photo
Jerry Lewis as Self
Stan Laurel Photo
Stan Laurel as Self
Buster Keaton Photo
Buster Keaton as Self
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
852.38 MB
English 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S 2 / 29
1.54 GB
English 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S 10 / 36

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Prismark106 / 10

Another fine mess

I was lucky. As a kid growing up Laurel & Hardy shorts were always being repeated on the BBC. Rival ITV channel used to show the silent shorts as well. I grew up watching Laurel & Hardy. My kids hardly know who they are. The repeats have stopped and these silent era stars are slowly being consigned to history along with Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton.

German filmmaker Andreas Baum has made an exhaustive documentary on the duo including interviews with family, fans, friends and showbiz pals. We get to see newly recovered footage as well.

Stan Laurel was a Lancashire lad who along with Charlie Chaplin went to American vaudeville on the same boat and struck it big. Oliver Hardy also decide to strike his luck in the movies but fortune only smiled when Hal Roach paired both of them up. Until then Stan had gone on to writing and directing silent short comedies.

What made the pair stand out was that they made the transition to talkies and still sustained their success. However both had personal trauma as well. Stan was a womaniser who drank to hide away from his unhappy personal life.

Oliver's wife was an alcoholic and of course he had his vices which was food and gambling.

There were things here I knew about the duo but I also learned some new stuff. This was a German made documentary so you will get plenty of German contributors, some footage that have been taken from other sources sometimes makes the presentation look a bit clunky.

Reviewed by alexanderdavies-9938210 / 10

At last - a definitive documentary on Laurel and Hardy!

This documentary on Laurel and Hardy is a long time in coming. For years, the only programme on Stan and Ollie was the BBC 2 tribute from the series, "Living Famously." That one is OK for beginners. The man behind this documentary is to be congratulated on a job well done. He has put together the definitive tribute. The story of the funniest comedy team in film history has been well presented and the insight offered by those who were interviewed, is invaluable. Everything is covered, from how Laurel and Hardy got their start in showbusiness, their coming to the "Hal Roach" studios, their inital teamings in films and how they prospered as a comedy team. There are generous clips from quite a few of their movies. In spite of what Hal Roach thought, Laurel could create a story for the films, as well as devising all those classic gags. It is interesting how Stan and Ollie had evolved as actors besides comedians, thanks to the advent of the talkies. The comedy was made at a more leisurely pace and character was what Laurel focused on for the sound films. They were easily the best thing that ever happened to Hal Roach. Wisely, he allowed Laurel and Hardy films to be made Laurel's way. No other Hollywood studio would have permitted such creative freedom. No other documentary is necessary after this one. No other film comedy team can match Laurel and Hardy.

Reviewed by busterbuff619 / 10

Lovely documentary on Laurel & Hardy

Laurel and Hardy: Their Lives and Magic is a loving, often moving documentary on the famous comedy duo. Its title is obviously meant to evoke comparison with Randy Skretvedt's written history Laurel & Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies, and for the most part, it is quite worthy of comparison with that excellent book.

German filmmaker Andreas Baum has painstakingly brought L&H's personal and paired history to life. The movie features much rare footage from L&H's music-hall period, as well as the last known footage of Stan Laurel shortly before his death. Much of this footage seems almost predestined to move L&H buffs to tears. Also, scenes from many L&H/Hal Roach movies are used to "punctuate" much of the doc's facts, and while that could have been too cutesy a method for linking scenes, here it is done most tastefully.

Baum's interviews are beyond reproach. He gets great insights from contemporary L&H buffs such as Richard Bann, Tyler St. Mark, and Rene Riva, as well as a rare interview with Stan's daughter Lois. He also interviews an astonishing number of L&H's peers. When notables from L&H's period are not available, Baum nicely weaves in chats from previous film work (much of it from the British documentary Cuckoo, where film clips with Jerry Lewis and Babe Hardy's widow Lucille are intercut nicely).

My only quibble with the movie is that there are a few strange gaps here and there, factual and otherwise. (Editorial gripe: Why does every attempt at documenting L&H on film including so many factual bloopers? The otherwise wonderful Cuckoo suffers from the same defect. These documentaries always seem to have blunders that any average member of Sons of the Desert could detect and correct instantly.) L&H's war-related short The Tree in a Test Tube is discussed as though it was made before L&H's Fox films, where film history tells us it was actually shot on the Fox lot. (Strangely, too, clips from that film are presented silently, minus Pete Smith's narration.) Also, a few of the mentioned dates are off by about a year, as when the Sons of the Desert is referenced as having begun in 1964, when it could have easily been verified that the group began in 1965.

The strangest of all omissions occurs with footage of Stan Laurel's funeral. Throughout the documentary, interviewees are identified every time they appear on the screen. Yet with the footage of Stan's funeral, entertainment legends including Buster Keaton and Dick Van Dyke go unheralded. Listing their names would surely have been helpful to viewers who are just beginning on their "journey" with Laurel & Hardy.

However, these relatively minor defects are not enough to spoil any viewer's enjoyment of this fine documentary. In addition, a 70-minute bonus disc includes some lovely extras, such as rare footage of Stan in his later years. The documentary is a superb introduction to L&H for those unfamiliar with them, and a touching trip down Memory Lane for hard-core L&H buffs.

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