Review: Stan & Ollie

By John King Tarpinian: Loved the movie. Within ten minutes I stopped seeing the actors playing Stan & Ollie and just saw Stan & Ollie. Their last performances were in Ireland, taking place in 1953. That is when Ray Bradbury saw them perform on the stage.

For me, the only distraction was that the actress who played Oliver Hardy’s wife also played Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter.  She could have altered her voice in some way because it stuck out like a sore thumb.

According to the Bradbury scholar, Phil Nichols, who received his PhD on Ray’s films, “…some scenes were shot just a couple of miles from where I live. Remember the inn they arrive at (the first hotel they check into)? That’s part of the ‘Black Country Living Museum’, just down the road from here. There was also a montage sequence showing an old trolleybus, a fish & chip shop, and some rows of shops – all of these are in the Museum. I think they filmed there for a couple of days.”

By no coincidence, my favorite Ray Bradbury short story is “The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair”. (Found in the Toynbee Convector anthology) Ray has written other stories involving the boys, as ghosts and also in outer space.

4 thoughts on “Review: Stan & Ollie

  1. Quite right, Kip, but apparently we live in a post-factual age and therefore any old rot can be thrown onto the screen without any comeback. The pity is, a far more interesting film could have been made about the duo’s first British tour.

  2. @Kip Williams — that’s not the impression I got from various articles on the BBC, although current search isn’t turning up much in print. (I don’t usually web-listen — too slow.) It seems to be not 100% accurate, but that’s a long way from “utterly fictional”; where is that report coming from?

  3. Chip Hitchcock
    It comes from fans and movie historians. Mark Evanier’s blog, “NEWS FROM ME” is a good example and should furnish other names. The conflicts and whatever are, according to people who have immersed themselves in the duo for their adult lives, blown up in true Hollywood fashion, or made up in even truer Hollywood fashion.

    BBC is a good news source. They also have made docufiction about the duo. I have heard “Stan,” and watched it on streaming TV, and that seems a bit distorted as well.

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