Film Review – “Stan & Ollie”

Starring:  Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly and Danny Huston
Directed by:  Jon S. Baird
Rated: PG
Running time:  1 hr 38 mins
Sony Classics

They were one of the greatest comedy teams of all time.  The thin, quiet Englishman 
and the almost larger than life "Babe" from Georgia.  There job was to make us laugh and
this they did.  But when the laughter stopped, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy found themselves
on the outside of Hollywood looking in.

Featuring two award-worthy performances by Coogan (Laurel) and Reilly (Hardy), "Stan & Ollie" tells
the story of the duo as they mount what they hope is a comeback with a vaudeville tour of Great Britain.
Interspliced among the trip are scenes from the duo's past.  We join them on the set of 1937's "Way out West."
While working on the film they discuss their upcoming contract renewal and the hopes of more money
from studio head Hal Roach (Huston).  Laurel is released from his contract and Hardy is left to do a film with
Harry Langdon ("Zenobia"), which is heretofore referred to as "the Elephant movie."  Though the two have
reunited for the tour, there appears to be no love lost between them.  When Laurel states that he loves "Babe" (Hardy's
nickname), Hardy replies, "You loved "Laurel and Hardy," but you never loved me.

If I'm going to throw out kudos to this film, and I already have with the actors, I would be remiss if I didn't 
mention the amazing make-up work presented.  Like Hardy, Reilly has (and I mean this in a nice way) beady
eyes and you can see into Hardy's soul through Reilly's.  Coogan is equally brilliant as Laurel, who spends a majority
of the film writing scenes for  a comeback film he knows will never be made.  Thankfully this one was.

If you're not familiar with the work of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, I urge you to seek it out, either through home video
or YouTube.  If you are, and are a fan, I urge you to seek out "Stan & Ollie."

One Reply to “Film Review – “Stan & Ollie””

  1. I found this a really sad film in a way . The acting great and no doubt true to their memories . But shows how an unforgiving heart really messes up relationships . Sad that they didn’t earn the money they deserved and sad that they had a rubbish manager .
    I o my knew the men that made me laugh after memories of watching them as a child with my dad. The film in away tainted the memory as I felt they were quite sad lonely people with moments of brilliance together . When they said to each other “ Did you mean what you said last night “ and then they said no .. for me that was the saddest part because they absolutely had spoken truth that had festered for many years . What they
    didn’t mean to do was hurt each other by the comments but it was certainly how they felt and they meant every word . Yes, they did love each other but not without Laurel and Hardy would they gave probably been friends . So well done to the actors ,I was just a bit sad that their lives didn’t match my perception all these years. Glad to have seen Steve Coogan brilliance .. He’s just great

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