ON LOCATION WITH LAUREL AND HARDY

Over the past week or two I’ve been posting the amazing ‘home movie’ footage shot by eccentric dancer and enthusiastic amateur photographer George Mann of various stars he worked with on Broadway (click here for the great W.C. Fields footage from 1928). Apparently Mr. Mann went to Hollywood in 1928 and spent a day on the set of the Laurel and Hardy comedy ‘Should Married Men Go Home?’. He doesn’t appear in the IMDB cast list so I’m not entirely sure what he was doing there, but being a respected member of the comedy/vaudeville/Broadway community he must have known somebody involved with the movie who invited him to set. Fortunately for us he brought his camera and shot this incredibly rare footage of Stan and Ollie–or ‘Babe’ as Ollie was known to friends–goofing around on a golf course in West Los Angeles (I believe its the Rancho Park course which is still in existence, across from 20th Century Fox). Though they’re clearly performing routines from the film they’re also loosening up and playing for the home movie camera. At one point two lovely flappers sit on Hardy’s shoulders, one on each. Edgar Kennedy, who’s in the film, is glimpsed and Mann himself drops into a few shots cavorting with a fetching ‘jazz baby’, presumably having handed the camera off to one of the crew. All in all a truly magical piece of old film–you’re on set with L&H in a very different Los Angeles, making a silent film on a sunny, long-forgotten day in March, 1928.

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