Laurel & Hardy in Multiple Roles at March 15th Way Out West Meeting
Join us on Tuesday night, March 15th, to see Stan and Babe as their children, as each other's wives, and as their identical twins. All that in three films in one night, what more could a Laurel & Hardy fan ask for? How will we do it? As I'm sure some of you have guessed, with a film program of Brats, Twice Two, and Our Relations.
In Laurel & Hardy's short, Brats (1930), we join Stan and Ollie as they try their best to baby-sit their very mischievous young sons, Stan and Oliver (also played by Stan and Babe). To make them look like small children, Stan and Babe do their children scenes on sets where all the furniture and other props are giant size. Brats is always on every fan's list of their favorite L&H films.
It's the one year anniversary of when Stan and Ollie each married each other's sister, in L&H's short Twice Two (1933). Ollie's sister (played by Babe) and Stan's sister (played by Stan) are arguing about whether they should stay home for dinner and go out for dinner to celebrate their anniversary.
Our Relations (1936) is probably one of the most stylish and best looking Laurel & Hardy features that the "Boys" ever made. The plot is based (very loosely) on a short story, "The Money-Box," by W.W. Jacobs, (who also wrote "The Monkey's Paw"), the music for the film was scored by Le Roy Shield, and the cast includes character actors like Alan Hale, Sidney Toler (Charlie Chan), Iris Adrian (a Jack Benny nemesis), and Lona Andre. On top of a large cast of very experienced actors, every set in the film is very detailed and looks great on screen. In Our Relations, Stan and Ollie's long lost twin brothers Alf (played by Stan) and Bert (played by Babe) suddenly arrive unannounced in the same town where Stan and Ollie live. Soon, Stan and Ollie's wives (Betty Healy and Daphne Pollard) think Alf and Bert are their husbands and Alf's shipmate Finn (James Finlayson) thinks that Stan and Ollie are Alf and Bert. Throw in Arthur Housman as a friendly drunk and you have a very funny film.
The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. Doors open at 6:30 PM. Our meeting starts at 7:15 PM. Fisher Franks (100% beef hot dogs) and your choice of chips are sold at the Mayflower Kitchen. Refreshments will be served at the Mayflower Bar. Free cake will be served during our second break. See you Tuesday night on March 15th!
Don't Forget To Pay Your Dues
All West Out West membership dues expire in January. Any member who has not paid for 2011, please pay at our March meeting. Our charges for dues are listed on our membership page. Thank you for your continued support.
Notes From Our January Meeting
Our January meeting was well attended, had an enthusiastic audience, Babe's birthday cakes tasted good, and the films were well received. Our only disappointment was that Philip Hurlic couldn't join us, but we hope he can attend a future meeting.
After the song and the toasts, I gave a special toast to Ernie Weckbaugh, who passed away last year. For Babe's birthday meeting, we screened Busy Bodies, Me and My Pal, and Zenobia. We hadn't shown Zenobia for a long time, and I was a little unsure if our members would enjoy it as much as I hoped that they would. Our members laughed in all the right places and thoroughly enjoyed the film.
Thanks to Bob Duncan, Stan Taffel, Ken Runyan, Melanie Thompson, Jim Greenleaf, Bob Brauer, and Jayne Barnhart who helped me with the song and the toasts. Also a big thank you to Sharon Evans and Rick Rogers (Evans and Rogers) who, for Babes birthday, beautifully sang Lazy Moon from Laurel and Hardy's Pardon Us.
From the Grand Sheik
A couple of years ago I spoke at one of our meetings about getting Laurel & Hardy's Way Out West on the National Film Registry List. At the Son's International Convention in Sacramento last year, Stan Taffel give an eloquent speech about getting Way Out West on the List, but it still didn't make it.
If you haven't heard of the National Film Registry List before, it is a List governed by the Library of Congress whose Preservation Board has the power to select up to twenty five films each year for preservation in the Library of Congress. The films must be at least 10 years old and "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." I'm sure that you agree with me that Way Out West fits the criteria. The films with the most nominations each year, upon Board approval, make the list.
Over the last 22 years, 550 films have been selected for the National Film Registry List. The Marx Brothers have Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera. W.C. Fields has The Bank Dick and It's a Gift. Laurel & Hardy have two shorts, Big Business and The Music Box. If the Marx Brothers and W.C. Fields each have two features on the List, shouldn't Laurel & Hardy have at least one of their features on the List? Big Business and The Music Box are important films and should be there to represent all the shorts that Laurel & Hardy made. But short films are a different breed of film making and shouldn't be compared to features. That's why there's two different categories for Academy Awards!
Over the next couple of Way Out West meetings, we will start talking about coming up with an organized plan to get Way Out West on the List. In the meantime, if you have ideas for a plan tell me, Stan Taffel, or Bob Duncan. Thanks.
Laurel & Hardy in Spanish At UCLA Festival
On March 27th at 2:00 PM, the UCLA Festival of Preservation (March 3-27) will screen the Spanish versions of Chickens Come Home and Blotto--along with the trailer for The Rogue Song. The program will be at The Billy Wilder Theater, located at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard. For information about other festival films go to: http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/calendar/calendar.aspx
18th International Sons of the Desert Convention in New England July 2012
The 18th International Sons of the Desert Convention will take place in Manchester, New Hampshire, in July 2012. While that may seem like a long time in the future, it's not too early to start thinking about your 2012 summer vacation plans. As an added incentive, anyone paying for their registration by July 31, 2011 will receive a $50 discount. The proposed convention itinerary includes a live show at the Palace Theater, a dinner cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee, a New York theme banquet, dealer's room, trivia contest, and multiple Laurel & Hardy cinemas. In addition, there will be a pre-convention trip to Boston. For more information, including prices, hotel information, and a registration form, please visit the convention web site at: http://2012.looserthanloose.com
With great sadness we announce that Elizabeth Maren, wife of actor Jerry Maren, passed away on January 31st. Both Jerry and Elizabeth attended many Way Out West meetings and banquets as honorary members. The Marens were married for 35 years.