Monday, January 28, 2013

Laurel and Hardy "The Hat Facts" Part 2

By Tyler St. Mark 

To fully appreciate “the hat facts” of Laurel and Hardy, one must comprehend the era they derived from and why hats were so important back then. Understand the sensibilities of those times and you will know why Stan and Babe (Hardy) wore so many different hats both on and off the screen, and why they chose derbies for their characters and not, let’s say, top hats or fedoras.

By the start of the twentieth century in America, hats not only identified one’s livelihood or career, they defined one’s status in life. Most every type of employment, from the milkman and doorman to the nurse and undertaker, was associated with a particular type of hat. Even one’s social and economic standing was suggested by their head covering; an inference often exploited in the theatre and “the flickers.” In these early films, you could not only tell the good guys from the bad guys by the hats they were wearing, you could distinguish the rich from the poor, and trades people from the “nobility.”

The bowler hat was invented in 1849 by London hat makers Thomas and William Bowler to fulfill a custom order placed by Lock and Co hatters who had been commissioned by Edward Coke, a nephew to the Earl of Derby, to design a close-fitting, low-crowned hat to protect his gamekeepers from tree branches while on horseback since the top hats they usually wore were constantly being knocked off and damaged.

The derby was mostly associated with urban society. 

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Peaking in popularity by the late 1800’s, this new English bowler offered a respectable compromise to both the formal top hat associated with the upper classes and the soft felt hats worn by the lower classes. By the new century, the “derby” (American slang for the hat popularized when the 12th Earl of Derby wore one to the Derby races) was mostly worn with suits and overcoats and actually symbolized male power dressing. However, it eventually became a relic of the Victorian age, gleefully cast off by the Roaring 1920’s for trendier headwear like the straw boater and Italian fedora.

According to Stan Laurel, the motive behind their wearing derbies was simple. The Boys perceived their characters essentially as “rubes;” dumb working class stiffs trying to get ahead and dressed for success—but looking twenty years behind the times. By that tine, the derby was mostly associated with urban society; particularly with well-to-do people who had risen from the working class but had yet to elevate their fashion sense.

So, according to Stan, it was a natural choice for “Stan and; Ollie” to sport derbies which, along with their winged collars, were considered dignified but conspicuously out of fashion. Stan felt that these vestiges of a bygone era, combined with his simple gray tweed suit and Babe’s classic navy suit or grey salt-and-pepper sports jacket, afforded the half-assed dignity he desired for their stupid but stately film personas.

Even before their true screen characters emerge; cast as vagrants in one of their first films together, Duck Soup (1927), Stan sports a battered derby while Babe is wearing a shabby and worn out top hat—perhaps their first attempt at seeking the slightly out-of-fashion stateliness which would become the wardrobe hallmark of their future screen personas.

Like Stan, I also had a fascination with hats from a very early age and, like both Laurel and Hardy, I was born of a generation whose sensibilities mandated that men and women were not properly dressed in public without wearing one. In fact, up until the late 50’s, a proper lady or gentleman would never be seen in public without a hat. Even children were expected to wear hats to certain public events and functions.

Stan the schoolboy.

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 Indeed, in many of Stan’s childhood photographs, he is wearing a hat or head covering. According to Stan’s daughter, Lois Laurel-Hawes, her great-grandmother had impressed upon Stan early on the importance of wearing a head covering if, for no other reason, during cold Lancashire weather, “the heat will escape from the top of your head!” In Stan’s early music hall photographs, he is usually wearing a hat of one sort or another. While crossing to America with the Fred Karno troupe, Stan wore a common tweed flat cap, lightly indicative of both his youthful outlook and his working class status.

In Stan and Babe’s early candid photographs together, they are usually wearing hats and, in more film stills than not, Stan and Ollie are wearing hats. Throughout their lives and careers, hats seemingly played an essential part in both the public and private lives of The Boys.

Stan and his flatcap, 1920's. 

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In fact, you can just about gage Laurel and Hardy’s film success by the hats they display, from their snappy but thrifty straw skimmers or “boaters” before and during the early Roach years, to the more expensive Homburgs and Borsilonos they strut when their films are being widely celebrated across the continents. 

Laurel and Hardy appeared together in about 106 films. They wore their trademark derbies in about 75 of those films. However, they donned more than 95 other types of hats in over 84 of their films. Yes, it’s true; foot for celluloid foot, Stan and Ollie truly wore many more other kinds of hats than they did their celebrated bowlers.

Sammy Benson, who worked as a wardrobe assistant at Hal Roach Studios before going over to MGM and 20th Century Fox, had a special affinity with Stan and his passion for hats. According to his daughter, Marjorie, Sammy and Stan would huddle with delight over the possibilities with each new script; eagerly seeking every opportunity to put The Boys, individual or collectively, in something other than their usual derbies. According to Sammy, however, this was no lark. It seems that Stan was concerned that audiences might tire of seeing the same wardrobe on The Boys, film after film, and so he actively sought to strategically invigorate their appearance whenever possible with the use of hats.

In addition to top hats, boaters, sailor hats, tam o shams, police hats, military hats, fire helmets, feathered hats, night caps, knit caps, sombreros, and the occasional ladies cloche hat and sequined fascinator, Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy also donned head gear as exotic as Russian busbies, silk turbans and, of course, their illustrious Turkish fezzes.

Stan and Babe wore over 95 other hats in their films.

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Indeed, of all their supplementary film headwear, Stan and Babe are most celebrated for their simple hand-sewn, single chain-lock stitched, golden-rod thread embroidered fezzes imported from Istanbul. It is estimated that over eight dozen maroon colored fez blanks were obtained from several local fraternal order suppliers in the Fall of 1933, over-laid with a tissue paper tracing template bearing the somewhat crude image of a setting sun, and individually trace-stitched by several seamstresses working urgently on what were likely Cornely A industrial grade chain-stitch sewing machines. When even these efforts were proving too slow for the shooting schedule, the fezzes which were to be worn by scene extras in the distance were hastily imprinted with the design via a paint template.

A legend I cannot verify at this time was passed on to my Pop by a friend and colleague, William Lambert, who insisted the fez’s setting sun logo, now worn by members of the Sons of the Desert all over the world, was actually an unfinished sketch by costume designer, Irene Lenzt, known more simply in the fashion world as simply “Irene.”

According to Will, who also worked in the Hal Roach wardrobe department at the time, Irene was brought in to design some gowns for several films. Not yet famous herself, her late husband, F. Richard Jones, had once been Head of Production at Roach and revered by Stan who sought to keep her employed after his untimely death in 1930. Since Irene’s father had been a Shiner, she was asked to quickly whip up a logo for a fez to be worn by a fictitious fraternal order she misunderstood to be the “Sun of the Desert.”

The story goes that Irene began the logo sketch but was suddenly called onto the set of another film to address some wardrobe problems. The wardrobe supervisor, thinking the fez design was completed, immediately made a template from Irene’s sketch and had already stitched the design onto a dozen fezzes by the time Irene returned later that day. Will told my Pop that Irene only admitted many years later that the design rushed into production and now familiar worldwide to Laurel and Hardy fans, had never been finished. True or not, such production anomalies are not unusual during the hustle and bustle of meeting film schedules and, as Hal Roach would likely say, “It’s a better story!”

Produced as quickly (and cheaply) as possible for a few scenes of what would become one of Laurel and Hardy’s most celebrated films, Sons of the Desert (1933), nobody had any idea then that these hats would someday be among the most prized of Laurel and Hardy memorabilia. As I said before, back in those days, wardrobe was just wardrobe and, after production, nobody needed 100 fezzes bearing the same design along with the name of an only moderately successful Roach film short. So, those fezzes that were not retained as keepsakes by the cast, crew, and studio personnel were eventually sold off to local costume companies where they gathered dust, moth holes, and fell into obscurity. Some were altered or reconstructed for other projects while others were simply discarded. It has been estimated that there are less than a dozen original SOTD fezzes left today.

The Sons Of The Desert fez 

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However, as I also stated before, these precious relics seemingly have a mind of their own and there are enumerable stories of how present day owners found or acquired their original Sons of the Desert fezzes. My favorite account is from a film colleague who discovered one in the front window of a vintage clothing store in Los Angeles. Apparently, the fez was part of a local estate that had just arrived and the fez had not been sitting in the window for long. My friend rushed into the store, his heart beating fast, and purchased the hat for less than the price of a first run movie.

“I walked out of the store with my fez,” my friend says imitating a very satisfied Ollie, “and nobody was any the wiser!”

Another colleague reports a similar experience with not one but two original fezzes in a hat store in Burbank some years ago. The proprietor had no idea where they came from,” my friend explains emphatically, “and so we purchased both of them very cheaply.”

Other collectors, of course, have not been quite so fortunate, having paid as high as eight thousand dollars at auction for an authentic SOTD fez, with or without the original tassel.

Throughout his often turbulent film career of over fifty years, hats continued to play an affable if not comforting role in Stan Laurel’s life both on and off the silver screen. Stan wore hats everywhere; to the studio, to social engagements and sporting events, even while he was golfing, gardening or fishing. Stan prided himself on discovering some unique and interesting new head covering whenever and wherever he might venture. Once, returning from a brief excursion with friends to Mexico, Stan searched for and brought back the biggest sombrero he could find.

Stan’s daughter, Lois, recalls fondly that her father often performed hat tricks for her and her childhood friends. “He would roll his hat down his arm, catching it at the last second and, of course, he performed his famous hat trick against the back of the wall—just like in their films,” she remembers happily.

As I stated before, during their many tours and travels across the world, Stan and Babe spared no opportunity to display the indigenous headwear of the time--much to their public’s delight. According to Will Lambert, Stan personally preferred fedoras and, for a short time during the 40’s, took a particular fancy to a Stetson model known widely as The Stratoliner.

Stan and Babe wore fedoras later in life. 

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 By the early 50’s, however, social norms and standards were beginning to relax and public tastes were changing both in comedy and in fashion. More and more, people were adopting a much more casual attitude about headwear in public and hats seemed destined to go the way of the derby.

Not Laurel and Hardy however. The Boys continued to exhibit various head gear on and off the screen and, in their very last film, Atoll K (1951), Stan and Ollie wore several other hats in addition to their trademark derbies.

Even when they returned to Hal Roach Studios for the last time in 1954 to see their old boss and to help dedicate Lake Laurel and Hardy, they were wearing their best fedoras.

However, when Babe Hardy passed away in 1957, so apparently did Stan’s passion for collecting hats. Stan never again publicly donned the trademark bowler that had come to be so profoundly associated with Laurel and Hardy. Some say it was out of respect for his late comedy partner. I believe it was more than that. I believe that their derbies were such an intrinsic part of their comedy pairing that Stan simply felt uncomfortable wearing one any longer.

Lois Laurel with one of her dad's hats. 

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Indeed, during his final years, living modestly but comfortably with his dutiful wife, Ida, at the Oceana in Santa Monica, Stan Laurel rarely left his apartment, whether for his customary early dinner at a nearby restaurant or for his monthly haircut, without wearing one of his fedoras—even while the Beat Generation was sporting trilbies and sport caps or going totally hatless altogether. Although fedoras were already fading into obsolescence like the top hat, derby, and straw boater, the former Clown Prince of Comedy remained ever faithful to bygone social etiquette, refusing to submit to rash 60’s sensibilities.

After all, Stan was born of a generation celebrated for wearing hats and was part of an era that defined its society by their headwear. He worked and reveled in an industry that used and abused hats to no end; and in the process, he made two of them, placed together, an international comedy hallmark.

Most importantly, he believed a gentleman should never be seen in public without his hat. And as their personal and professional histories show, and these hat facts clearly demonstrate, Laurel and Hardy were, above all else, forever and always, gentle men.

© 2010 For Website Syndication/All Other Rights Reserved 

*Tyler St. Mark is a writer/producer/actor in Los Angeles and presently in preproduction on the reprise of his 1974 landmark production now titled “Stan Laurel Backstage.” (http://www.stanlaurel.com)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Laurel and Hardy "The Hat Facts" Part 1

by Tyler St. Mark 

Exploring the numerous Laurel and Hardy websites worldwide, it appears that the subject of the legendary team’s film wardrobe comes up frequently. Most often discussed, of course, is their derbies. Perhaps it’s ironic that their most notable lost film is titled “Hat’s Off” (1927) because also missing from public record are the simple facts pertaining to Stan and Ollie’s iconic head-wear.

When I began seriously researching Stan Laurel not long after his passing in 1965, I was eleven years old and, along with my best friend, already celebrated in our community for our impersonation of Laurel and Hardy. We were often excused from class to give special performances, appear in local talent shows, or participate in charity events and, by the time we entered high school, we had our own professional touring company and were being interviewed in newspapers nationwide as an exceptional novelty act.

The author and his derby, age 15, as Stan Laurel in 1969

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No doubt this greatly influenced certain producers in 1975 to cast me in the very first theatre production based on the life of the 74 year old comedian aptly titled, “An Evening With Mr. Laurel,” even though I was greatly younger than the comedy legend and would have to undergo several hours of ageing make-up created and applied by Don Post Studios.

Additionally, with relatives and mentors firmly entrenched in the entertainment industry, I was fortunate to have extraordinary access to those who had known and/or had collaborated with Stan and Babe during their illustrious career. However, if youth is wasted on the young, then so is opportunity since I shamefully took for granted the information I obtained from these gracious and insightful people who worked and played with Stan and Ollie; failing to make any permanent record of their insights. So, I've forgotten far more about Laurel and Hardy than I can recall now.

Nonetheless, one of the subjects I have managed to retain the facts about is Stan Laurel’s film wardrobe. The original motive for procuring this information was merely to achieve an accurate costume of my own. Many years later now, it appears the information I gleaned back then is unknown to many in the Laurel and Hardy Fancy today; so I hope to resolve a few uncertainties regarding Dick und Doof’s Derbies.

Among the past resources for this obscure information were people behind the scenes like costume designer Sam Benson and wardrobe assistant Carlyle Hughes who were among those responsible for providing Stan and Babe’s wardrobe at Hal Roach Studios and later at 20th Century Fox and M-G-M. “Sammy” Benson was not only a great wardrobe supervisor, he was a close friend of my Pop and so was his daughter, Marjorie. When she heard in 1974 that we were involved with a play based on the life of Stan Laurel, she was of particular assistance. Marjorie helped us track down many rare items for our theatre production and patiently answered even my silliest questions regarding her late father’s history with Stan going back to the early days of the Hal Roach Studios.

Carlyle was also a long time family friend and had worked as a wardrobe assistant at various studios during the 30s and 40s, mostly serving when and where needed. “Lyle” knew just about everything there was to know about period costumes from seams to buckles. He worked at MGM while Stan and Babe were there and his specialty was making a man look plausible in a dress—whenever necessary. Lyle knew every star’s wardrobe foibles as well as all of the studio gossip. Pop used to say that “Lyle knows which star needs padding and which needs paddling.” Lyle himself often mused archly that he “never met a mannequin I didn’t like.”

Another resource was Ruth Burch, a veteran casting director who had known The Boys well and worked with them in at least one film. She, like the Bensons and Hughes, was very helpful to us during those years we were researching Stan and gathering obscure facts about the team.

So here you are; straight from these and other notable industry colleagues who knew or worked with The Boys: the “hat facts” as best I can recall them…

Stan’s normal hat size was in fact 7 1/8 (His daughter, Lois Laurel-Hawes, has confirmed this; she has several of her father’s street hats). However, he deliberately wore his character derby (he rarely called it a bowler) a size or two smaller so that it sat higher on his head. So, his derbies were usually 6 7/8 or an English size 7. Babe’s hat size was, of course, larger; 7 ½ - 7 ¾ but here’s an inside secret; in those films where they mix up their hats, Babe’s derby was usually substituted with an even larger one—so that it would look so humorously oversized on Stan and, likewise, Stan’s derby was substituted for an even smaller one when placed on Babe’s head.

Stan with trademark high crowned flat-brim derby.

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Contrary to popular belief (and the Roach publicity department), Stan and Ollie did not wear one particular brand of derby—they wore whatever the wardrobe department could obtain at the time which included numerous brands and several variations over the years. The reason for this was purely economical. The Boys went through a shipload of derbies; both as wardrobe and as props. Although, for the sake of continuity, they attempted to retain the same derby in each film; Laurel and Hardy could go through as many as a dozen derbies in a month of film-making. This doesn't include the derbies they gave away to friends, visitors, and colleagues visiting the lot. Nor does it include derbies worn by their stand-ins or stunt doubles. Our Gang’s “Stymie” Beard was the recipient of one of Stan’s derbies which he wore proudly during his brief film career and afterwards. Stan even took to keeping spare derbies on hand as he didn't have the heart to refuse anyone brazen enough to ask for one as a keepsake.

Although he wore a traditional derby in their initial films, Stan soon adopted a flat-brimmed derby (1 to 1.5 inches) with a high crown (4.5 to 5 inches). Some devotees have described it as an Irish or school boy derby; others refer to it as an equestrian or riding derby. Some aficionados insist that Stan chose this style to look more impish and childlike, lending additional innocence to his character. Others maintain the riding derby was associated with the “rich and snooty” back then and this, along with his standup collar and bat-wing bow-tie gave his bohemian character a kind of half-assed dignity. My recollection regarding Stan’s reason in choosing this style is simple; he thought the short brim and higher crown made him look thinner and funnier.

In any case, whenever derbies with a “stingy“ brim could not be found for Stan, the studio hatter would simply cut the brim down by another half inch or so and replace the grosgrain edge trim. If in a hurry, the trim was glued rather than sewn and, if you look closely in several film stills where Stan’s derby has been drenched, the brim edge-trim appears to have come loose in places.

Eventually, the studio hired a local hatter who made custom hat moulds for The Boys so that their derbies would look consistent from film to film. Of course, Stan’s derby was often customized for films like The Bohemian Girl. I was told that the eight inch crown was achieved simply (and cheaply) by cutting the brim off one of Stan’s derbies and stacking it on top of another, then hiding the seam with an extra wide cloth hat band.

Stan and Ollie might go through a dozen derbies in a month of filming.

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Although Stan always wore a firm or “stiffed felt” derby in his Roach films, when Laurel and Hardy worked for 20th Century Fox and MGM, he was remanded to wearing a soft felt derby—again for budgetary reasons. Sammy (Benson) told my Pop that one of the many outrages suffered by Stan while at Fox was the studio’s insistence upon exercising total authority over their wardrobe and make-up  When Stan baulked  the studio issued an ultimatum; either Laurel and Hardy wore what they were told or they would pay for their own wardrobe! Stan, who always had creative control over their films at Roach Studios, never forgot or forgave Fox for this and other grave offences. Forever afterwards, he bitterly referred to them as “those Fox people.”

As a result of this clash over costuming, Sammy had to deftly manoeuvre between what Fox execs demanded and what Stan insisted their characters would wear. Not surprisingly, Stan’s wardrobe in these final films looks a bit awkward; his character seems almost uncomfortable wearing the winter-weight tweed double-breasted suits that Fox insisted upon. In many film stills and publicity photos, his wardrobe appears somewhat stiff and ill-fitting. Stan may not have been amused with his wardrobe at Fox but he did, in his own way, have the last laugh!

Regardless, Stan actually grew to appreciate the durability and comfort of the soft felt derby, according to Sammy’s daughter, Marjorie, and wore them for the remainder of his film career. Indeed, according to Lois (his daughter) by the late 40's, Stan was obtaining them from a Los Angeles hattery which kept a supply of “schoolboy” derbies for a nearby parochial school.

Upon the passing of his beloved film partner in 1957, Stan stated simply, “That is the end of Laurel and Hardy.” As if to underscore this, Stan never publicly donned another derby after that. At least no photograph appears to exist in which he is wearing one. Indeed, according to his daughter, by the time he settled in at the Oceana in Santa Monica during the late 50's, he no longer owned a derby. According to a close friend of his at the time, when asked if he desired to have one on hand, he replied dismissively, “What for?”

For the collector, of course, having one of Stan or Babe’s original derbies is the “holy grail” of Laurel and Hardy memorabilia and, although I have inspected perhaps a half dozen of them in forty-five years, only a few of them were likely the genuine article. This is because, during their countless public appearances, The Boys often donned random derbies handed to them for a quick photo or to oblige an eager fan or official. An example would be the derbies momentarily modelled by Stan and Babe during their appearance on This Is Your Life (1954). Stan’s derby is clearly larger than usual with a wide curved brim. These “ad hoc” hats would eventually become identified as authentic Laurel and Hardy wardrobe. One such derby, neither Stan’s style nor his size, sold online a few years ago for $5,500. However one of Stan’s later soft-felt derbies, (likely the last he ever wore) sold at Christie’s recently for over $26,000 underscoring its rarity.

Stan grew to appreciate the flexible soft-felt derby.

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However, uncovering an authentic derby worn by Stan or Babe is not as impossible as you might think. Film and theatrical wardrobe has a short career and a very long storage life. Roach, like most film studios at the time, wasted little and recycled everything. Worn or damaged wardrobe was recycled for shabbier film characters. With a patch here or re-stitch there, the item would easily suit a hobo, factory worker, or perhaps a field hand in the next two-reeler!

So then it goes to reason that not every hat and/or derby thrashed by The Boys during film production would have been discarded. Some most certainly found their way back to the Roach Studios Wardrobe Department and, subsequently, out into the world. Remember, studios didn't view this stuff the way they do today. Back then, wardrobe was considered, well, wardrobe and sat for years unused before being sold to another studio or a costume company or a wardrobe warehouse. Few items were catalogued or labelled in those days so it is like searching for diamonds in a coal mine to locate an authentic wardrobe relic but, every so often, a precious gem will suddenly reveal itself as if to say, “At last you found me—what took so long?!” 

This is the perfect opportunity to tender my firm belief that such memorabilia has a mind of its own. We do not find these wonderful artefacts so much as they find us and we never really own them, we are merely their caretakers and, therefore, have a supreme obligation to share them with the world, particularly younger generations of film fans. Respectfully, those who collect these wonderful relics merely to hoard, posture, or impress others do no real service to the memory of Laurel and Hardy and waste valuable opportunities to inspire new enthusiasts.

That being said, Stan and Babe went through literally hundreds of hats during their career—like Buster Keaton. In fact, a math wiz once calculated for me the odds of coming across one of Laurel and Hardy’s derbies—and the statistical possibility might amaze you! However, you need patience, diligence and, of course, to know where to look. These wardrobe relics are rarely marked but may often bear indubitable evidence which points to their authenticity. For example, Stan often wrote or printed his name on the inward facing (hidden) sweatband. Stan labelled most personal items—a habit from his music hall days to distinguish his property. He even had some of his derbies imprinted on the outward facing sweatband with his name but few are known to have survived intact—the custom lettering simply wore off with use over time.

The collector’s grand prize: one of Stan’s early flat-brim derbies.

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Derbies which were handled in their films (not just worn) by The Boys were usually stamped inside with the Hal Roach Studios brand as they were considered props rather than wardrobe. Bernie Hogya (LettersFromStan.com) has one such derby in his collection. These are the type most often found today as they were numerous and often acquired by crew or studio personnel. To add to the confusion, derbies worn by Laurel and Hardy’s stand-ins or stunt doubles were often identically marked so it’s not always easy to determine the exact provenance of every studio hat.

Although they are forever identified with their trademark derbies, Laurel and Hardy actually wore more other hats in their 106 films together. Yes, film for film, Stan and Ollie wore bowlers less often than you may think. Part of the reason for this was simply that Stan loved wearing different hats (figuratively and literally) and spared no opportunity to crown their characters with different headgear whenever and wherever possible in their scripts. Even between films, when they went off on their European tours, The Boys eagerly donned a variety of hats; berets in Paris, balmorals in Scotland, tamoshanters in Ireland. And more often than not, in the countless photos which chronicle their theatrical treks across the continents, Stan is wearing one of several fedoras he favored and, upon occasion, he would flip the wide brim up in front for humorous affect. 

Most importantly, Mr. Laurel understood what was necessary to project the correct balance between their characters’ idiocies and the “half-assed dignity” (as Stan called it) they desperately strived to maintain in their films which only makes their lunacies funnier. Their film wardrobe, particularly their derbies, was always a vital part of this conspiracy between dumb and dapper.

READ Laurel & Hardy: The Hat Facts Part 2 here

*Tyler St. Mark is a writer/producer/actor in Los Angeles and presently in preproduction on the reprise of his 1974 landmark production now titled “Stan Laurel Backstage.” (http://www.stanlaurel.com)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Exclusive and Rare (High Quality) Colour Footage Of Stan Laurel At Home

Stan Laurel, Mr. Clean and The Puppets.

Stan Laurel at home with his academy award (mr clean). Taken from the Bonus-Disc of "Laurel and Hardy: Their Lives And Magic". Purchase the DVD here  www.laurelandhardyshop.com 



The international documentary presents - besides a lot of funny clips from the best Laurel and Hardy movies - a look behind the scenes and never before published colour footage of Stan and Babe and a lot of private photographs, recently discovered archive footage of Laurel and Hardy, rare or unpublished film stills, posters etc. The documentary was shot on location in the USA, Great Britain, France, Italy, Austria, Netherlands and Germany. The film includes interviews with Laurel and Hardy experts like Hal Roach, Lucille Hardy-Price, Richard W. Bann, Tyler St. Mark, Bart Williams, Chuck McCann and Jim MacGeorge, Phillis Coates, Mark Greenhow or Jean Darling and friends of Stan and Babe like Booth Colman, Jerry Lewis or Marcel Marceau. Even Stan Laurels daughter Lois Laurel Hawes has given the author an exclusive interview. The documentary tells the story of the worldwide most beloved comedy team: the story of THEIR LIVES AND MAGIC. This documentary was broadcast on TV in Germany and France at the beginning of the year at prime time with a running time of 90 minutes and got a very positive feedback. Now the author is presenting his 15 minutes longer Director´s Cut as well as 70 minutes of unpublished bonus features.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Stan Laurel's daughter Lois on ITV's THIS MORNING

Setting the record straight!

Interview with Stan Laurel's daughter Lois on ITV's THIS MORNING presented by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan. Include's rare behind the scenes footage.

 

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Stan Laurel Interview 1959

In January 1959, writer/actor Tony Thomas recorded this rare interview with Stan Laurel of 'Laurel and Hardy' fame at Stans' home.