70th Anniversary of Way Out West and Other L&H Milestones in April
For Laurel and Hardy fans worldwide and Way Out West members in particular, 2007 is a big year for anniversaries. Join us on the evening of Tuesday, April 17th, as we pay tribute to these anniversaries. Laurel & Hardy were first teamed together by Hal Roach 80 years ago. They were honored with an Academy Award for their work in The Music Box, filmed 75 years ago. This month marks the 70th anniversary since the release of our tent’s namesake film, Way Out West. 40 years ago our tent held its very first meeting.
We will first screen the 80 year old silent short, Putting Pants on Philip. Although not playing the same characters as they do in later films, you can quickly see the film chemistry between Stan and Babe. In the film, Piedmont Mumblethunder (Ollie) tries to keep under control his newly arrived Scottish nephew Philip (Stan). Philip has an obsessive interest in girls. Then it’s the 75 year old classic short County Hospital, which starts off with Ollie hospitalized with a broken leg. After Stan arrives for a visit, things just start getting worse and worse for Ollie. For a change of pace, we’ll screen the 70 year old Our Gang one reeler, Framing Youth. In the film, Spanky must stop Alfalfa from entering the radio talent show or Spanky must answer to Butch. Framing Youth is a good example of some of the other films that the Roach Studio turned out in 1937, the year that Way Out West was made.
We save the best for last. Our feature presentation will be Way Out West, released exactly 70 years ago (plus one day). In the opinion of not only Way Out West members, but a lot of Laurel & Hardy fans the world over, Way Out West is the best Laurel & Hardy feature ever made. In the film, Stan and Ollie go to the western town of Brushwood Gulch to find Mary Roberts (Rosina Lawrence) to give her the deed to her dead father’s gold mine. Mickey Finn (James Finlayson) and Lola Marcel (Sharon Lynne) try their best to stop Stan and Ollie and to steal the deed for themselves.
Our meeting will take place at the Mayflower Club, located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. The doors will open at 6:30 PM, and our program will start promptly at 7:15 PM. “Fisher Franks” will be available from the kitchen and drinks will be available from the bar. Cake will be served at the second break. If you haven’t paid your 2007 dues, please do so at the meeting. Hope to see all of you all there!
Notes From Our January and February Meetings
On January 15th, we celebrated the 115th Birthday of Babe Hardy. Before the first film was screened, everyone in attendance was given a ballot listing all the actresses that ever played Ollie’s wife in a Laurel & Hardy film. To help refresh everyone’s memories, we screened: Unaccustomed As We Are, Come Clean, We Faw Down, Thicker Than Water, and Chickens Come Home. Each of these five shorts had a different actress playing Ollie’s wife. We asked each member to vote for their first, second, and third choices. Mae Bush was number one by far, Thelma Todd number two, and Daphne Pollard was very close to Thema Todd in third place.
On February 27th, our tent had a special all video meeting at the North Hollywood Library. We showed: Liberty, Them Thar Hills, Dirty Work, The Midnight Patrol, The Music Box, and our tent’s video on the history of the Music Box Steps. Except for The Music Box, all of the L&H shorts that we showed had restored original beginnings. Special thanks goes to Jack Zafran of the library for all of his hospitality.
Banquet and Tour Reminder From the Grand Sheik
I know it seems a long ways off, but if you are planning on going on our locations tours in July don’t wait much longer to send in your registration. We figure that about 150 people (three buses) is the maximum number that we can comfortably handle each day on tours. Keep in mind that we have or will soon reach all the tents in the United States and even some tents in Europe to let them know about our anniversary weekend. A two day tour that covers just about all of the still standing Laurel and Hardy locations is not going to be offered every year. The last time was ten years ago!
If you want to be entertained and also learn about our tent’s history, don’t miss this year’s banquet. You will be able to vote for your favorite Laurel and Hardy film moments in several categories and see the winning moments during the banquet. Chuck McCann and Jim MacGeorge have tentatively agreed to entertain at the banquet. We are working on a video that will feature our former Way Out West Grand Sheiks and their stories. We also plan to honor celebrity guests from our tent’s history. There will be a special door prize and a raffle. There will be additional entertainment added.
If you pay for both the banquet and the tours, by June 1st, you can save $20.00 off the regular price. Join us now and be assured that you won’t miss out on anything that happens on our 40th Anniversary Weekend!