Friday, December 26, 2008
Laurel and Hardy were the popular American-based comedy team of thin, British-born Stan Laurel (1890-1965) and heavy, American-born Oliver Hardy (1892-1957). They became famous during the early half of the 20th century for their work in motion pictures and also appeared on stage.
The two comedians worked together briefly in 1920 on The Lucky Dog. After a period appearing separately in several short films for the Hal Roach studio during the 1920s, they began appearing in movie shorts together in 1926. Laurel and Hardy officially became a team the following year, and soon became Hal Roach's most famous and lucrative stars. Among their most popular and successful films were the features Sons of the Desert (1933), Way Out West (1937), and Block-Heads (1938) and the shorts Big Business (1929), Liberty (1929), and their Academy Award-winning short, The Music Box (1932).
The pair left the Roach studio in 1940, then appeared in eight "B" comedies for 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1941 to 1944. From 1945 to 1950 they did not appear on film and concentrated on their stage show. They made their last film, Atoll K, in France in 1950 and 1951 before retiring from the screen. In total they appeared together in 106 films. They starred in 40 short sound films, 32 short silent films, 23 full length feature films, and in the remaining 11 films made guest or cameo appearances.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a 1953 horror comedy film directed by Charles Lamont and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, and co-starring Boris Karloff.
Loosely based on the novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, the film follows the story of two American detectives visiting Edwardian London who become involved with the hunt for Dr. Jekyll, who is responsible for a series of murders.
Unlike in other screen versions of 'Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde', Jekyll is evil in his own right, instead of being a man split between good and evil personae. He has no qualms about transforming into Mr. Hyde to commit murder.
This film version of Mr. Hyde is an inarticulate, hirsute monster reminiscent of The Wolf Man (When Tubby, in monster form, transforms others into similar creatures by biting them, it is quite reminiscent of werewolf legend); since all of the attacks take place in and around Hyde park he is named "The Hyde Park Monster" by the press, so everyone (even Dr. Jekyll) refer to him as simply "Hyde"
Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. (May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993) was an American film actor, remembered for his distinctive voice, his tall 6-foot 4-inch stature and serio-comic attitude in a series of horror films done in the latter part of his career.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
London After Midnight (1927) is a silent mystery film with horror overtones. The film stars Lon Chaney, Marceline Day, Conrad Nagel, Henry B. Walthall, and Polly Moran and was directed by Tod Browning. It is also a lost film, quite possibly the most famous and eagerly-sought of all lost films. The last known copy was destroyed in a fire in an MGM film vault in 1965.