LAUREL AND HARDY 2nd Edition

18 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0940410299
ISBN-10: 094041029X
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Skretvedt, coauthor of a biography of Steve Martin and host of a Los Angeles radio show, Forward into the Past, has uncovered a wealth of fascinating information about the lives and careers of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Setting out to tell how the pair "actually made their films," the author spent seven years researching and interviewing some 60 friends and associates of the comedy team, and discovered a collection of original scripts with many scenes that were never filmed. His narrative combines biography with filmography and presents memorable, amusing anecdotes, over 200 illustrations (many previously unpublished) and a meticulous analysis of the scripts, including comparisons of scripted scenes with the finished films. Besides providing a revealing look at Laurel and Hardy, this lengthy, illuminating study offers unusual insights into the complex art of creating comedy.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Drawing upon production records and new interviews with those who appeared with Laurel and Hardy, Skretvedt presents a chronological survey of the comedians' films. He argues that their screen career ended so dismally because the strict rules of big studio filmmakingimposed upon them when they were forced to make only feature-length filmsnecessarily stifled the improvisation that had made their two-reelers so successful. Curiously, Skretvedt supports his thesis by offering the most commentary about the worse films. Thus, despite fresh anecdotal material in this readable survey, John McCabe's Laurel & Hardy (1975) remains the more substantial guide. Movie Entertainment Book Club selection. Marshall Deutelbaum, English Dept., Purdue Univ., W. Lafayette, Ind.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Last Gasp; 2 edition (February 25, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094041029X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940410299
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,243,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Joe Libby on February 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Randy Skretvedt has written what is arguably the single best book on Laurel and Hardy and their movies. Carefully researched and just plain fun to read, this revised edition includes details on recent discoveries, such as a silent Charley Chase comedy in which the boys appear, and some of the Spanish language "remakes" that were made in the early 1930's for the foreign market. An absolutely indepensable book for comedy buffs and L&H fans, and a essential companion piece to LAUREL OR HARDY and FROM THE FORTIES FORWARD.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By bopcomic@hotmail.com on October 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
This truly is the best book about The Boys, although the wealth of behind the scenes and other hardcore info may be daunting to novices or casual fans. Especially fascinating to die hards like myself is the discussion of lost or cut scenes. If the idea of seeing the restored spanish version of "Chickens Come Home" (57 min!) give you goosebumps, this is the book for you.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lon Davis on December 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
This review is long overdue: I first bought the softcover version in 1994 and have read it and reread it many times since then. Having been weaned on the books of Prof. John McCabe (including his seminal work, "Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy"), I actually believed that everything that could be said about those two funny gentlemen had already been written. Simply put, I was wrong. Author Randy Skretvedt had personally interviewed dozens of Hal Roach employees and provided a much deeper insight into the working conditions of the legendary "Lot of Fun" (as the Roach Studio was affectionately known during the late-silent and early-sound eras). My favorite chapter in the book is "The Method of the Madness," which includes a highly evocative description of what it was like to work on a Laurel and Hardy movie. It is thrilling to read. Following that is a detailed examination of each of the team's films, from 1927 to 1950. The information was a revelation to me, and, remember, I had been a student of the Laurel and Hardy films for twenty-five years! Fifteen additional years have passed since this book made its first favorable impression on me, and it remains the definitive volume on Laurel and Hardy's creative process. I look forward to reading it again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Badgley on February 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Randy Skretvedt produced a highly entertaining and thought provoking work with the release of this work on two of the cinema's greatest comedy legends,Laurel and Hardy.
Most volumes up until this point had approached their careers in similar styles by focusing first on their backgrounds,early entries into showbusiness,their early careers,then into their most popular times and from there into their declining years.All filled with andecdotes either from friends,colleagues or the comedians themselves.
This book though giving a brief overview of the Boys careers examines each of their films starting with their silent shorts right through to their last film.What makes it different is that Randy examines each film from more of a production angle than any other book before has done.He explains in many cases how and why a particular film came into being and compares the original idea or storyline/script with the end product.It's a fascinating departure from the usual and gives a more detailed and informative look into the men behind the comedy,up front and behind the scenes.
I highly recommend this book to all students of film but especially to all fans of Laurel and Hardy.This is one book along with all of John McCabes' books,William K.Eversons' "Laurel and Hardy",Glenn Mitchells' "The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia" and Wes Gehrings' "Laurel and Hardy-A Bio-Bibliography" that should form the basis of your collection on the Boys.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1996
Format: Paperback
Exhaustive, comprehensive chronicle of Stan and Ollie's team career and movies. Indispensable to any L&H buff. The Sons of the Desert should consider this their bible
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin S.Butler on March 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
For years.Many film history books have tried to give some insight into the creation,development and the successful appeal of Laurel & Hardy's film work.With the exception of Leonard Maltin's"Movie Comedy Teams"and"The Great Movie Comedians!".No book seemed to show the readers how these classic comedies came about.Until now.Film historian,radio interviewer and musical entertainer:Randy Skrevedt's book"Laurel & Hardy:The Magic Behind The Movies!"finally gives us all a chance to see how these two great performers created and presented their cinematic clowning on screen and onstage.With the use of extensive research,interviews with the boys colleages,family members,friends and with staffers from The Hal Roach,MGM,Fox Studios and With Mr.Hal Roach Himself.The book shows us the creation of the team's films from their first effort:"Lucky Dog"to their earliest films at Roach to their glory days at:"The Lot Of Fun!".The book also tells us the true story of what finally lead to the duo's departure from Roach and the unsuccessful efforts to give the boys creative freedom at MGM & Fox.Where they made alot of forgetable films.And additionial info.L&H were slated to make ten features at Fox.Not six as many film history books have stated over the years.There is also some insight into the boys stage performances overseas in Music halls and cabrets during the late 1940's and into the early to mid 1950's.And a large collections of Photos from private collections.Plus in the updated second paperback edition.Info about the recently discovered spanish verison of"Chickens Come Home".Which features some never before seen footage(The newly found footage has little or bearing on the film's storyline.But it's interesting to read about it).These features plus some insight into the boys lives(Which does not get ugly)makes this a fun and informative manuscript and one that's long overdue.Bravo Randy! Kevin S.Butler.
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