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Stan and Ollie Film Review

Updated on September 24, 2019

The Cast

Actor
Character
John C. Riley
Oliver Hardy
Steve Coogan
Stanley Laurel
Nina Arianda
Ida Kitaeva Laurel
Shirley Henderson
Lucille Hardey
Rufus Jones
Bernard Delfont

About the film

Released: 2018

Producer: Faye Ward

Director: Jon S. Baird

Running Time: 1 hr 38 mins

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Biography

Distributed By: Sony Pictures Classics (USA), Entertainment One Films (UK/Canda)

Budget: $10,000,000


The Film

Stan & Ollie is a biographical account of Laurel and Hardy's career based on the latter part of their professional lives. The year is 1953 and the pair begin a gruelling tour of England and Ireland in music halls and theatres. The film begins with them doing a short dance scene. They do this tour whilst struggling to get another film made. The beginning of the tour sees theatres only half full, which leaves the pair feeling a little despondent. But they carry on with the show regardless. The couple are soon joined by their wives, Ida Laurel and Lucille Hardy. As the weeks pass though, we soon see the theatres being packed out with people and the tour going successfully. But, as you will see in the film, it also takes a toll on Oliver Hardy's health. This film is made in the twilight of their careers and, at the end of the day, these are not young men anymore in the prime of their lives. With their careers beginning to swain, they want to try and revitalise their careers.

There's not so much comedy in this film, if that's what you're expecting. Although there are parts in the film which will make you laugh. It's more of a biopic tale of their latter career and the struggles they had, both personally and financially. Stan is a clever man, despite the character he plays on TV. And he is well aware they are not getting paid as much as some of their counterparts like Charlie Chaplain and Buster Keaton. And he makes this point very clear.

It is also interesting to see the relationship their wives, Ida and Lucille, have with each other. They don't always see eye to eye, and we see this during the film. Saying that though, they are very supportive of their husbands and it is clear they worry about them while they are on stage.

My Thoughts

When I first heard about the release of this film, I really wanted to see this. Now it is available to watch on Amazon Prime. When I first saw this listed, I instantly pressed the play button. I'm glad I watched it. I have seen many of their films and know they are a highly comical and respected double act. But there was also a lot I didn't know. I found this a heartwarming, and somewhat sad and melancholy film about the pair. This movie really does highlight the beauty of these 2 men and the special bond they had between them.

There are some really heartwarming scenes in the film, especially when Ollie is taken ill and Stan goes to visit him. Personally, these scenes touched my heart and made me realise how well these two really got on. I think Steve Coogan (Stanley Laurel) and John C. Riley (Oliver Hardy) play an excellent part as the double act, and seem to have a good connection onscreen. I also found the film quite sad. At the end of the day, these men aren't in the prime of their lives anymore, yet they still want to try and make a go of things. I found this movie to be very touching and moving, and thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

© 2019 Louise Powles

Comments

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    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      8 months ago from UK

      This is an interesting review. I have heard a lot about this film, but I have yet to see it.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      8 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Jacqueline - thankyou for the lovely comment. Yes, they did indeed have great talent. I certainly enjoyed watching this film.

    • profile image

      Jacqueline G Rozell 

      8 months ago

      Nice to see so many here responding to the article and saying they will watch the film. Shows great respect to the duo and appreciation for their talent. Thanks again for the review.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      8 months ago from Roanoke

      These guys were so funny

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      8 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Oh yes, thanks Pat, I shall correct that.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      8 months ago

      I always loved watching the old movies featuring these two great artists who made comedy look so easy and were just so good together. Based on your wonderful review, Louise, I feel that I would really enjoy this movie. A movie that explores the more serious side to their lives and the depth of their relationship with each other sounds like it would be well worth watching. Thanks for sharing!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Though I've heard a lot about Laurel and Hardy, I haven't watched their performances very often. I'd love to watch one of their comedy films and then follow that up by watching the film about their lives that you've described.

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      8 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      I agree that this is a good biopic of a beloved comic duo, I think you meant to write Charlie Chaplin, though, instead of Charlie Chapman.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      8 months ago

      My parents loved Stan and Ollie and when I watched this movie it brought back memories of fun and laughter. It was particularly poignant for me as when my Dad was diagnosed with dementia watching movies of Stan and Ollie always made him smile. Great article Louise and I was also touched by the obvious respect and bond between the two.

    • profile image

      Jacqueline G Rozell 

      8 months ago

      I have always enjoyed being able to catch occasional showings of these comedy icons. It's nice to know they were indeed friends in real life. It's depressing to hear the "real story" of favorite stars and find out what you've always cherished about them was studio pap. Thank you for the review.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      8 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I love Laurel and Hardy and have a lot of their movies on dvd. For me, this is a must-see. Good review. Thanks.

    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      8 months ago from Roanoke

      I love them.

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