More Laurel & Hardy Footage Found!

Harry Hoppe from Germany came across some hitherto unknown Laurel & Hardy footage from a special trailer which M.G.M. sent out to cinema owners only! In this trailer M.G.M. presented their new releases for the l934 season with specially filmed Laurel and Hardy scenes:

laurel n hardy There is a scene with a huge telescope which was probably the beginning ("a look at the new stars on the M.G.M. sky") Scene two was at the end. Finlayson says:

"Go away and don't come back!" Hardy interrupts him: "One moment please" turns to the camera and says:"Dear friends, I hope you liked our little journey to the stars. See you again and goodbye..."

Those two rare scenes were on the French German culture tv-channel ARTE on Dec.'98. They were included in a compilation about comedians! Just Click REFRESH or RELOAD to run the animated Giff below again.

L&H giff Upon seeing this footage here at HQ. I think there must be more, if not the complete trailer somewhere. But, we have included some frame grabs to illustrate the footage for you. And thanks to Harry we have screened it at one of our events.Since then David Wyatt has found even more from this trailer.

 CLICK REFRESH to animate.


By Glenn Mitchell

        There has recently been much interest in the hitherto unknown Laurel & Hardy footage screened as part of a TV documentary in Europe. The programme was shown Franco German ARTE channel on satellite and cable.

The Laurel & Hardy footage is reported from a promotional film made by MGM to advertise its forthcoming releases for 1934. The presence of James Finlayson - who was in the UK during Late 1933/early 1934 - casts some doubt on this assumed date unless it was shot in the spring of 1933 to herald the 1933-4 release schedules.

Some of the larger studios made such films for trade-show purposes; one such is THE HOUSE THAT SHADOWS BUILT (1931), whereby Paramount trailed its upcoming releases by means of stills, extracts from films then in production (some of them representing scenes that were deleted from the finished versions and, in some instances, films that were abandoned altogether) and, in one noteworthy instance a sketch with the Marx Brothers that does not appear in any of their features but was instead resurrected from their earlier stage appearances.

The first extract shows Laurel and Hardy wearing denim jackets similar to those in THE HOOSE-GOW- cleaning a large telescope. Stan attempts to peer through the eyepiece but manages only to hurt his eye. Attempting to adjust the telescope, he swings it around, causing the opposite end of the instrument to bash into Ollie's head The documentary interrupts the scene at this point to insert footage of an interviewee. The next scene shows Finlayson descending via a lift. He admonishes the boys, who head towards the lift. Stan enters and is horrified to be sent aloft when Finlayson's elbow accidentally presses the lift button. Ollie pauses to address the camera, expressing the hope that the audience has enjoyed their look at the stars. Unaware that the lift has departed, he steps down the empty shaft as Finlayson watches his descent. The lengthy duration of Ollie's familiar 'Oooohhhhhh', followed by a mighty crash, suggests how far he has fallen.

Stan has no dialogue in the sketch. Babe and Finlayson have been dubbed into French, although the Hardy yelps and tittering are in his own voice German subtitles appear at the foot of the picture, presumably added by the TV company. The fact that Ollie delivers a curtain speech suggests this section to have concluded the original trailer (one wonders if they might also have appeared in the introductory scenes, though this seems unlikely). The entire Laurel and Hardy contribution runs less than a minute, although it is possible that additional moments were deleted at the cutaway to an interview.


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