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Best of Laurel and Hardy

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NR
1968

Best of Laurel and Hardy is a 1968 classic film that does justice to its name. It features the cream of the crop, the very finest moments of the most beloved comedy duos in film history, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. This retrospective showcase provides an intimate journey through the life and career of the inimitable pair against the black-and-white pictorial setting that marked the golden age of cinema where simplicity met raw talent and scattered fits of giggles gradually crystallized into rolling laughter.

The central figures, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, need no introduction. Stan Laurel brings to life the character of the thin, clueless, and often clumsy man who seems persistently besotted by bad luck, while Oliver Hardy superbly plays the role of the fatter, bossier counterpart. Their on-screen chemistry is electric, with their comedic timing hitting the bull’s eye every single time.

The charismatic duo skillfully incorporates elements of slapstick, often exhibiting a tragicomic flavor, that is endearing and reminiscent of the innocence of silent film era comedies. Each scene unfolds with precision, with the duo delivering one rib-tickling gag after another. The comedy deriving from misunderstandings, silliness and pure slapstick, and their deep bond of friendship are the hallmarks of these iconic movies.

Alongside the main pair, James Finlayson's inclusion in this film is a cherry on top. He is a recurring face in Laurel and Hardy’s skits, often found as an officer, or sometimes as the villain causing trouble for the pair. Finlayson brings a unique intensity with his understated, dry, but nonetheless brilliant humor, and his double-take routine, with a silent "D'oh", wonderfully complements the main duo's comic ability, contributing immensely to the overall hilarity of the film.

The film does not follow a traditional narrative structure; it choses instead to string together a collection of their most famous skits. Instead of conforming to a linear progression, this anthology supplements each sequence with a sprinkle of originality interwoven with their characteristically hilarious gags, offering a diverse bouquet of humor.

Far beyond being a simple compilation of the best of Laurel and Hardy, this film serves as an insightful exploration into their unique brand of comedy. Each scene is carefully selected, examining the evolution of their performances from their early career to their peak fame. It provides audiences with an opportunity to appreciate the comedic genius of these legendary performers in context. The film encourages reflection on the simple joy of laughter and the embodiment of humor that the unforgettable duo Laurel and Hardy represented.

Moreover, the film leverages archival footage, behind-the-scenes tidbits, and rare peek into their great camaraderie off-screen. A piece of cinematic history is pieced together through scenes showing the intricacy of silent film comedy transition into sound movies, making Stan and Ollie’s performances all the more remarkable.

The Best of Laurel and Hardy is a testament to true talent and timeless humor. It showcases the pair's knack for physical comedy, their ability to extract laughs out of the most mundane settings, and their knack for visual gags and slapstick humor. From hilarious hat exchanges and bungled piano movements to classic chase scenes and farcical mishaps, the film recaptures the golden age of comedy with utmost irresistibility.

Without any spoilers, viewers can expect non-stop hilarity and a wealth of nostalgia throughout. Every sequence unveiled in this film is a treasured piece of comedy that transcends the screen to tug at your heartstrings through laughter, making the Best of Laurel and Hardy an absolute must-watch for fans old and new.

In conclusion, Best of Laurel and Hardy is more than just a film. It is a heartwarming homage to the legacy of the iconic comedic duo that transports viewers to the halcyon days of early 20th-century cinema. Despite being made in 1968, it still holds up wonderfully today, making it a timeless classic suitable for all ages and tastes. Its comedy is in its simplicity, its charm in its genuineness, and its appeal in its universality, making it a definite watch for anyone seeking a good laugh.

Best of Laurel and Hardy is a Comedy movie released in 1968. It has a runtime of 86 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.1..

7.1/10
Director
James L. Wolcott
Stars
James Finlayson, Mae West
Genres
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