LAUREL & HARDY-FEST DAY 3: ‘BIG BUSINESS’

Today’s tour of Culver City in the 1920s also includes the silent L&H classic ‘Big Business’. Shot in 1929, the classic short gives us charming views of the slow-to-be-built Cheviot Hills/Culver City adjacent area, with many empty lots and a few houses under construction that can be seen in the background of some shots. The film itself is one of their best silents and began the ever-evolving routine of mutual slowly delivered violent retaliation between L&H and James Finlayson, which culminated in ‘Tit For Tat’ (1935).

The story goes that producer Hal Roach bought a vacant house at 10281 Dunleer Drive, from a studio worker so he could destroy it in the film. According to Roach, a mistake was made regarding the address—and the cast and crew demolished the house next door instead. The owners of that home happened to be away on vacation and returned just as filming was being completed. Stan later said that Roach’s story was a fabrication though this did nothing to stop Roach from repeating the story when he appeared on David Letterman in 1982.

The little tour of the house in current days is courtesy of a man named Bob Satterfield who wears a Laurel and Hardy shirt–not a T-Shirt but an actual button down print shirt adorned with their images. I want one.

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