Having sold over two million units of Laurel & Hardy on VHS in the UK, Universal Pictures Video will release a groundbreaking twenty-volume definitive Laurel & Hardy Collection on DVD. All twenty parts will be available to buy separately or as one entire collection, with the majority of features and shorts restored and, with most of the sound films, offering alternative colour versions to complement those in black and white. All twenty volumes are set for a release on 3rd May 2004, a day before the seventy-fifth anniversary of Laurel & Hardy’s first talking film, Unaccustomed As We Are. Those who purchase the entire twenty-volume Laurel & Hardy Collection will also receive a special bonus disc unavailable separately. Most of the films, in particular the foreign-language versions with L&H speaking their own dialogue, have never been available on DVD before in the UK.

The cinema’s most famous comedy double act, Laurel & Hardy made a highly successful transition from silent movies to ‘talkies’ because their comedy was essentially visual, with words being used sparingly. When they did speak, their voices recorded well and were in keeping with their screen characters. Many other stars, such as Buster Keaton, did not experience the same level of success following the introduction of sound. Laurel & Hardy’s childlike qualities and innocence will appeal to audiences irrespective of age, creed or sex and this twenty-volume collection is the definitive edition to own on DVD. Such is the appeal of Laurel & Hardy that there are numerous branches of the Laurel & Hardy society – named the `Sons of the Desert’, after one of the team’s most famous films - throughout the UK and overseas. There is even a tribute country band called The Avalon Boys that has produced an album aptly entitled Songs of the Desert..

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy had their origins in music and vaudeville. The son of a British showman, Stan Laurel (1890 – 1965) started out in the music halls at a Glasgow venue in 1906. He made his first trip to America in 1910 as a member of the Fred Karno comedy troupe, as understudy to its star, Charlie Chaplin. After their next visit in 1912, Laurel, like Chaplin, remained in the US. Laurel worked variously on stage and for different film producers, among them Hal Roach. By 1925 he had settled permanently at the Roach studio, where he intended to train as a director.

Oliver Hardy (1892 – 1957) had early experience as a singer and by late 1913 had entered films at a studio in Jacksonville. After a prolific screen career with numerous companies, by 1925 he, too, was working as a comic for the Hal Roach studio, sometimes under Laurel’s direction. The two had worked together once before, some four or five years earlier, but it was at Roach that their potential as a team became evident. From late 1926 they began to appear together in Roach’s `All-Star’ series and within a year were being hailed as the new comedy team. Laurel and Hardy stayed with Roach until 1940 and their output during this time is regarded as the finest of their illustrious career. In 1932 they were awarded an Oscar ® for the critically acclaimed movie short The Music Box.

Material for each DVD in this Universal Pictures collection has been carefully selected to reflect a theme in their work by the UK’s leading Laurel & Hardy expert, Glenn Mitchell. A special introduction has also been devised for each volume that offers an invaluable insight into one of the world’s most famous comedy duos. This collection from Universal Pictures Video is an unrivalled compendium that can be discovered step-by-step or in its entirety. It will be cherished by comedy fans, cineastes, people with a passion for classic films and a whole new generation who can now finally discover one of cinema’s most influential comedy teams for the first time ever on DVD.


INDIVIDUAL Volume RRP = £15.99 (DVD Only)


Vol. 1: A Chump at Oxford and Related Shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 15mins
Vol. 2: Someone’s Ailing - Classic Shorts Running time = 3 Hrs 14 mins
Vol. 3: Way Out West plus shorts featuring James Finlayson. Running Time = 3 Hrs 27 mins
Vol. 4: Ollie and Matrimony - Classic Shorts: Running Time = 3 Hrs 12 mins
Vol. 5: Our Relations and ‘dual roles’ shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 35 mins
Vol. 6: Murder in the Air - Classic Shorts: Running Time = 3 Hrs 17 mins
Vol. 7: Block-Heads and related Shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 13 mins
Vol. 8. Blackmail - Classic Shorts: Running Time = 3 Hrs 9 mins
Vol. 9: The Bohemian Girl and related shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 18 mins
Vol. 10: Snow! - Classic Shorts: Running Time = 3 Hrs 23 mins
Vol. 11: Saps at Sea and ‘music’ shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 17 mins
Vol. 12: L & H and the Law - Classic Shorts: Running Time = 3 Hrs 23 mins
Vol. 13: Sons of the Desert and related shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 6 mins
Vol. 14: A Job to do - Classic Shorts: Running Time = 3 Hrs 26 mins
Vol. 15: Pack up your Troubles and ‘Adopt-a-child’ shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 10 mins
Vol. 16: Maritime Adventures - Classic Shorts: Running Time = 3 Hrs 1 min
Vol.17: Swiss Miss and ‘Animal’ shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 22 mins
Vol. 18: Married Life – Anita Garvin 0- Classic Shorts: Running Time = 3 Hrs 22 mins
Vol.19: Pardon Us and related shorts. Running Time = 3 Hrs 3 mins
Vol. 20: More Brushes with the Law. Running Time = 3 Hrs 19 mins



LAUREL & HARDY VOL. 1: A Chump At Oxford Plus Related Stories
A CHUMP AT OXFORD – restored black-and-white version
A CHUMP AT OXFORD – computer-colour version
FROM SOUP TO NUTS – restored version
ANOTHER FINE MESS – restored black-and-white version
ANOTHER FINE MESS – computer-colour version

One of Laurel & Hardy’s best-loved feature films, A Chump at Oxford sees them travelling to England to obtain an education, only for Stan to be revealed as a long-lost British aristocrat! Also included is the classic silent comedy From Soup To Nuts, which the team remade as a section of A Chump at Oxford – only with Stan switching his character to that of ‘Agnes’, the maid! Also in this compilation is an earlier glimpse of ‘Agnes’ in one of their greatest talkie shorts, Another Fine Mess.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 2: Someone’s Ailing - Classic Shorts
COUNTY HOSPITAL – restored black-and-white version
COUNTY HOSPITAL – computer-colour version
THEM THAR HILLS – restored black-and-white version
THEM THAR HILLS – computer-colour version
TIT FOR TAT – restored black-and-white version
TIT FOR TAT – computer-colour version
PERFECT DAY – restored black-and-white version
PERFECT DAY – computer-colour version
THEY GO BOOM! – restored black-and-white version
LEAVE ‘EM LAUGHING – restored black-and-white silent comedy with music

A collection of classic Laurel & Hardy shorts on the theme of ailments, plus the only example of a direct sequel in L&H history. In County Hospital Ollie’s broken leg offers him a chance to rest, which he does until Stan pays him a visit. Them Thar Hills sees Ollie suffering from gout, prompting a trip into the mountains, while its sequel Tit For Tat shows what happened after their return. In Perfect Day it’s Edgar Kennedy’s turn to suffer gout, a condition aggravated by Stan and Ollie’s attempt to organise a family picnic. They Go Boom! is about Stan’s attempts to care for Ollie when he catches a cold, a position reversed when Ollie tries to cure Stan’s toothache in Leave ‘Em Laughing.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 3: Way Out West plus shorts featuring James Finlayson
WAY OUT WEST – restored black-and-white version
WAY OUT WEST – computer-colour version
ONE GOOD TURN – black-and-white version
ONE GOOD TURN – computer-colour version
THICKER THAN WATER – restored black-and-white version
THICKER THAN WATER – computer-colour version

Regarded as the most popular of Laurel & Hardy’s feature-length films – not least for the song The Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Way Out West sees Stan and Ollie visiting the town of Brushwood Gulch to deliver the deed of a gold mine, only to be deceived by James Finlayson, playing a villainous saloon-keeper. A great favourite among Laurel & Hardy admirers, Finlayson is featured elsewhere in this compilation through the classic L&H shorts One Good Turn and Thicker Than Water.

LAUREL & HARDY VOL. 4: Ollie and Matrimony - Classic shorts
BEAU HUNKS – restored black-and-white version
BEAU HUNKS – computer-colour version
OUR WIFE – restored black-and-white version
OUR WIFE – computer-colour version
HELPMATES – restored black-and-white version
HELPMATES – computer-colour version
ME AND MY PAL – black-and-white version
ME AND MY PAL – computer-colour version

A collection of classic Laurel & Hardy shorts based on the misadventures of Oliver Hardy before, during, after or instead of getting married! In Beau Hunks a failed romance prompts Ollie to join the Foreign Legion, taking Stan with him. Our Wife centres around his attempts to elope with his beloved ‘Dulcy’, with assistance from Stan as the Best Man. Helpmates, one of the team’s best short comedies, sees Stan and Ollie trying to clean up the residue of a wild party before the return of Mrs. Hardy, while in Me and My Pal Ollie’s wedding day is disrupted when Stan arrives with a jigsaw puzzle.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 5: Our Relations and ‘dual roles’ shorts
OUR RELATIONS – restored black-and-white version
OUR RELATIONS – computer-colour version
BRATS – restored black-and-white version
BRATS – computer-colour version
TWICE TWO – restored black-and-white version
TWICE TWO – computer-colour version

Among the full-length Laurel & Hardy films, Our Relations is one of the most polished and perhaps the most ingenious. Clever editing and optical work create the illusion of two sets of Laurel & Hardy, with confusion arising between Stan and Ollie and their identical twins, Alf and Bert. Also included are two classic shorts employing a similar dual-identity motif, Brats – in which they play their own small sons – and Twice Two, introducing us to Stan and Ollie’s twin sisters!

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 6: Murder in the Air - Classic shorts
THE LAUREL-HARDY MURDER CASE – restored black-and-white version
THE LAUREL-HARDY MURDER CASE – computer-colour version
NOCHE DE DUENDES – The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case and Berth Marks combined into a special Spanish-language edition, with Laurel & Hardy speaking their own dialogue
BERTH MARKS – restored black-and-white version
BERTH MARKS – computer-colour version
OLIVER THE EIGHTH – restored black-and-white version
OLIVER THE EIGHTH – computer-colour version

A collection of classic Laurel & Hardy shorts with the overall theme of murder, including one of their few surviving foreign-language editions plus the English version of a film incorporated into it. The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case is a spoof of the kind of thriller prevalent at that time, complete with hysterical relatives, grim policemen and disappearing bodies. Noche de Duendes is the Spanish-language version of this film, extended in length by reworked material from an earlier short, Berth Marks, which is also included in this compilation. In Oliver the Eighth regular foil Mae Busch is at her best as a homicidal maniac!

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 7: Block-Heads and related shorts
BLOCK-HEADS - restored black-and-white version
BLOCK-HEADS - computer-colour version
UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE - restored black-and-white version
UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE - computer-colour version
WITH LOVE AND HISSES - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME? - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music

Block-Heads is one of the most popular Laurel & Hardy feature films. In World War One, Stan is left to guard a trench only to be discovered – still at his post – twenty years after the war! Ollie, now married, sees Stan’s picture in the newspaper and, visiting his friend at the Old Soldiers’ Home, invites him home for a meal … from which point Ollie’s peacetime existence seems more like another battlefield. Also included is L&H’s very first talkie, Unaccustomed As We Are, a 1929 two-reeler from which Block-Heads drew much of its inspiration. Another take on military life is presented in the early silent With Love and Hisses, while another classic silent, Should Married Men Go Home?, demonstrates once again how Mr. Laurel could disrupt the home life of Mr. and Mrs. Hardy!

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 8: Blackmail - Classic shorts
CHICKENS COME HOME - restored black-and-white version
CHICKENS COME HOME - computer-colour version
POLITIQUERIAS – Chickens Come Home in an extended Spanish-language edition, with Laurel & Hardy speaking their own dialogue
COME CLEAN - restored black-and-white version
LOVE ‘EM AND WEEP - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
SUGAR DADDIES - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
EARLY TO BED - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music

A collection of classic Laurel & Hardy shorts based around the theme of blackmail – actual or implied! In one of the team’s best shorts, Chickens Come Home, Ollie is a candidate for Mayor whose campaign is endangered by the reappearance of a girl from his past. Alongside the familiar version of this film is its feature-length Spanish equivalent, Politiquerias, with L&H speaking their own foreign dialogue, plus the early silent short, Love ‘Em and Weep, on which it was based. Another early silent, Sugar Daddies, provides a variant on the idea (plus the same climactic gag!), while in the sound short Come Clean, regular foil Mae Busch – the blackmailer in Love ‘Em and Weep and its remake – is once again demanding money from Stan and Ollie. In the classic silent Early to Bed, Ollie has money to spare – and this time it’s Stan who learns the power of blackmail!

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 9: The Bohemian Girl and related shorts
THE BOHEMIAN GIRL - restored black-and-white version
THE BOHEMIAN GIRL - computer-colour version
ON THE LOOSE – restored black-and-white version of a Laurel & Hardy guest appearance
THAT’S MY WIFE - restored black-and-white silent comedy, with music and sound effects from its original release
ALONG CAME AUNTIE - black-and-white silent comedy with music

A classic full-length Laurel & Hardy film, The Bohemian Girl is based on the opera by Michael W. Balfe. Stan and Ollie play gypsies in Europe as it was centuries ago, earning their living by an ingenious means of picking pockets. When Mrs. Hardy disappears with her lover, they become guardians to a small girl who is really the daughter of an aristocrat. The Bohemian Girl was the last L&H film to feature Thelma Todd, who had worked with the team since their first talkie in 1929. This compilation includes one of her starring short comedies with ZaSu Pitts, On the Loose, to which Laurel & Hardy contribute a guest appearance. Also included is That’s My Wife, a classic silent L&H film that at one stage was going to be reworked as part of The Bohemian Girl, plus the earlier Hardy solo film that inspired its plot, Along Came Auntie.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 10: Snow! - Classic shorts
LAUGHING GRAVY – restored original 2-reel black-and-white version
LAUGHING GRAVY – restored 3-reel black-and-white version
LAUGHING GRAVY – 3-reel computer-colour version
LES CAROTTIERS – Be Big and the 3-reel Laughing Gravy combined into a special French-language edition, with Laurel & Hardy speaking their own dialogue
THE FIXER-UPPERS – restored black-and-white version
THE FIXER-UPPERS – computer-colour version
SLIPPING WIVES - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music

A collection of classic Laurel & Hardy shorts – and a foreign-language feature – set amid the snow! The Fixer-Uppers takes us to a French-influenced artists’ neighbourhood, where greeting-card salesmen Stan and Ollie agree to help a woman whose husband has been neglecting her. To arouse the husband’s jealousy, Ollie poses as her lover – and is challenged to a duel! For comparison, this compilation also includes Slipping Wives, an early, pre-teaming appearance of L&H on which the plot of The Fixer-Uppers was based. In Laughing Gravy, Stan and Ollie defy their landlord by keeping a small dog in their lodgings, and have to brave the elements when their pet is thrown out. This compilation includes the original two-reel version, as released in 1931, alongside extended material incorporating a rediscovered third reel that was never released at the time. This longer version, introducing an entirely new twist to the plot, is also featured in Les Carottiers, a French-language edition – with Laurel & Hardy speaking their own dialogue – that combines Laughing Gravy with another L&H film of the period, Be Big.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 11: Saps at Sea and ‘music’ shorts
SAPS AT SEA - restored black-and-white version
SAPS AT SEA - computer-colour version
YOU’RE DARN TOOTIN’ - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
BELOW ZERO – restored black-and-white version
BELOW ZERO – computer-colour version
TIEMBLA Y TITUBEA - Below Zero in an extended Spanish-language edition, with Laurel & Hardy speaking their own dialogue

A collection of classic Laurel & Hardy, including the feature-length comedy Saps at Sea - Laurel & Hardy’s last film for Hal Roach – in which Stan’s trombone-playing aggravates Ollie’s newly-acquired allergy to the sound of horns! Continuing the musical connection are two short comedies in which our heroes struggle to earn a living as musicians: Below Zero – presented in both its original version and in its rare Spanish-language edition, with L&H speaking their own dialogue – and one of their best silents, You’re Darn Tootin’.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 12: L&H and the Law - Classic shorts
SCRAM! - restored black-and-white version
SCRAM! - computer-colour version
NIGHT OWLS - restored black-and-white version
NIGHT OWLS - computer-colour version
LADRONES – Night Owls in an extended Spanish-language edition, with Laurel & Hardy speaking their own dialogue
THE SECOND HUNDRED YEARS - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
CALL OF THE CUCKOO - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
DUCK SOUP - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
FORTY-FIVE MINUTES FROM HOLLYWOOD - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
BIG BUSINESS - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music

A collection of classic shorts, with Stan and Ollie finding themselves – mostly – on the wrong side of the law. In Scram! a judge orders them to leave town after finding them guilty of vagrancy. Night Owls sees Stan and Ollie in the same condition, but the local cop is willing to let them go if they are willing to pose as burglars. Ladrones is an extended Spanish-language version of Night Owls, with L&H speaking their own dialogue. Stan and Ollie are shaven-headed convicts in The Second Hundred Years, a silent classic in which they escape from jail disguised as painters. The shaven heads are still visible in a guest appearance made at the same time, in the Max Davidson comedy Call of the Cuckoo. In Duck Soup they elude the sheriff by taking refuge in an empty mansion, posing as owner and maid for the benefit of prospective tenants. Forty-Five Minutes From Hollywood, the first Hal Roach film in which both Laurel and Hardy appeared, casts Oliver Hardy as a hotel detective. The all-time classic Big Business – sometimes hailed as the greatest of all the L&H films – involves them in battle with irascible James Finlayson, following their attempts to sell him a Christmas tree.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 13: Sons of the Desert and related shorts
SONS OF THE DESERT - restored black-and-white version
SONS OF THE DESERT - computer-colour version
WE FAW DOWN - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
THEIR PURPLE MOMENT - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
ON THE WRONG TREK - restored black-and-white version

A classic feature film – regarded by many critics as Laurel & Hardy’s best – plus the silent short that inspired it, another attempt by Stan and Ollie to escape their wives, plus L&H returning a guest appearance with Charley Chase. In Sons of the Desert Stan and Ollie attend the Chicago convention of their lodge but tell their wives they are going on an ocean voyage for the sake of Ollie’s health – then discover that the ship has sunk! The silent short We Faw Down anticipates this story, with Stan and Ollie claiming to have attended a stage show – unaware that the theatre has burned down. In Their Purple Moment Stan and Ollie go out for an evening without their wives, only to discover that their money has been replaced with useless coupons. Sons of the Desert includes a guest contribution from fellow-Roach comedian Charley Chase; On the Wrong Trek sees L&H returning the compliment in one of Chase’s own films.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 14: A Job to Do- Classic shorts
BUSY BODIES - restored black-and-white version
BUSY BODIES - computer-colour version
DOUBLE WHOOPEE - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
HOG WILD - black-and-white version
HOG WILD - computer-colour version
DIRTY WORK - restored black-and-white version
DIRTY WORK - computer-colour version
THE FINISHING TOUCH - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
THE MUSIC BOX - restored black-and-white version
THE MUSIC BOX - computer-colour version
HATS OFF – stills gallery

A collection of classic shorts, all of which present Stan and Ollie with a task to perform. Busy Bodies is the famous film where Stan and Ollie work in a sawmill. In Double Whoopee they start work at a plush Broadway hotel – and close a taxi door on Jean Harlow’s dress! Hog Wild concerns their efforts to fit a rooftop aerial. In Dirty Work they are back on the roof, this time as chimney sweeps at the home of an eccentric scientist. Stan and Ollie are in the building trade for The Finishing Touch, while in The Music Box – perhaps their most famous film – they have to deliver a piano up a huge flight of steps. The Music Box was inspired by one of their earliest comedies as a team, Hats Off. Sadly, no copy of the film is known to survive, but this DVD includes a selection of stills from this long-lost classic.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 15: Pack Up Your Troubles - and related ‘Adopt-a-Child’ shorts
PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES - restored black-and-white version
PACK UP YOUR TROUBLES - computer-colour version
THEIR FIRST MISTAKE - restored black-and-white version
THEIR FIRST MISTAKE - computer-colour version
PUTTING PANTS ON PHILIP - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music

A classic feature film, plus two great shorts continuing the ‘adopt-a-child’ theme. In Pack Up Your Troubles, Stan and Ollie join up for World War One and, with the return of peacetime, become unofficial guardians to the small daughter of a fallen army buddy. Their First Mistake turns out to be adopting a baby in order to keep Mrs. Hardy occupied, only for them to discover that she has left. In the early silent comedy Putting Pants On Philip it is Oliver Hardy who plays guardian to a young Scotsman, Philip (Stan Laurel), who makes an embarrassing spectacle with his traditional garb and fondness for chasing girls!

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 16: Maritime Adventures - Classic shorts
THE LIVE GHOST - restored black-and-white version
SAILORS, BEWARE! - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
TWO TARS - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
MEN O’WAR - restored black-and-white version
MEN O’WAR - computer-colour version
ANY OLD PORT! - restored black-and-white version
WHY GIRLS LOVE SAILORS - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
TOWED IN A HOLE - restored black-and-white version
TOWED IN A HOLE - computer-colour version

A collection of classic shorts, based around the maritime adventures of Stan and Ollie. In The Live Ghost they help round up a reluctant crew for a ‘ghost ship’ – and are shanghaied themselves! Taxi driver Stan is similarly aboard ship against his will in Sailors, Beware! The classic Two Tars is the famous film in which Stan and Ollie, as sailors on shore leave, become involved in a massive traffic jam. They are again sailors on leave in Men O’War, with hostilities taking place this time on a boating lake. Any Old Port! sees Stan and Ollie arriving in port from a whaling voyage, to find their assistance required by a damsel in distress. Another imperilled damsel is Stan’s girlfriend in the early, pre-teaming L&H comedy Why Girls Love Sailors. One of the best-loved L&H shorts, Towed in a Hole, is that in which they buy a boat – and fill it with water to detect the leaks!

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 17: Swiss Miss - and ‘Animal’ shorts
SWISS MISS - restored black-and-white version
SWISS MISS - computer-colour version
THE CHIMP - black-and-white version
THE CHIMP - computer-colour version
FLYING ELEPHANTS - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music

A classic feature film – complete with an ape! - plus two shorts continuing the ‘animal’ theme. In Swiss Miss Stan and Ollie visit Switzerland in the hope of selling mousetraps, only to find themselves having to work in a hotel to pay off their bill. One of the most memorable scenes is that in which they are required to transport a piano across a flimsy rope bridge, where they meet an escaped gorilla! Another large ape is ‘Ethel’, the title character of The Chimp; while large creatures of a quite different kind appear in the Stone-Age comedy Flying Elephants.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 18: Married Life – and Anita Garvin
BLOTTO – restored black-and-white version
BLOTTO – computer-colour version
LA VIDA NOCTURNA - Blotto in an extended Spanish-language edition, with Laurel & Hardy speaking their own dialogue
BE BIG – restored black-and-white version
BE BIG – computer-colour version
LOS CALAVERAS – Be Big and Laughing Gravy combined into a feature-length Spanish-language edition, with Laurel & Hardy speaking their own dialogue

Two classic Laurel & Hardy shorts, accompanied by rare extended-length versions in Spanish – with Stan and Ollie speaking their own dialogue! The theme of this compilation is married life, with supporting actress Anita Garvin playing Mrs. Laurel in Blotto, Be Big and in the latter’s Spanish-language equivalent, Los Calaveras. In Blotto, Stan needs to contrive an excuse to spend a night out with Ollie. Mrs. Laurel overhears their plans but decides to go along with them, but not before replacing their bottle of genuine booze – this being the Prohibition era – with an entirely different mixture! Be Big starts with Stan and Ollie ready to go away for the weekend with their wives, only to learn that their hunting lodge is holding a testimonial dinner for them that evening. Ollie feigns illness and the wives go away without them, but there remains the problem of getting into the hunting regalia and riding boots. Los Calaveras is a feature-length Spanish edition combining a version of Be Big (incorporating some comedy material unseen in English) with another short of this period, Laughing Gravy.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 19: Pardon Us and related shorts
PARDON US – restored, extended length black-and-white version
PARDON US – extended length computer-colour version
THE HOOSE-GOW – restored black-and-white version
THE HOOSE-GOW – computer-colour version
THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY - black-and-white silent comedy with music

A collection of classic Laurel & Hardy, including their first starring feature film, Pardon Us, in which they are sent to prison for breaking the Prohibition laws, an earlier short, The Hoose-Gow, where they join a prison road gang and start – of all things - a rice-pudding fight, plus the famous silent short on which that climactic scene was based, The Battle of the Century.

LAUREL & HARDY DVD VOL. 20: More Brushes with the Law - Classic shorts
GOING BYE-BYE! - restored black-and-white version
GOING BYE-BYE! - computer-colour version
DO DETECTIVES THINK? - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
HABEAS CORPUS - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
ANGORA LOVE - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
BACON GRABBERS - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
THE MIDNIGHT PATROL - restored black-and-white version
THE MIDNIGHT PATROL - computer-colour version
LIBERTY - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music
WRONG AGAIN - restored black-and-white silent comedy with music

A collection of classic Laurel and Hardy shorts, presenting Stan and Ollie on both sides – but, for a change, more usually the right side! – of the law. In Going Bye-Bye! their evidence has led to a criminal being brought to justice – but, thanks to Stan, he decides to break out and take his revenge. In Do Detectives Think? it’s L&H’s turn to guard someone against a vengeful criminal. Another detective follows Stan and Ollie after they are engaged as grave-robbers (!) in Habeas Corpus. The police take an interest in an escaped goat in Angora Love, while Stan and Ollie are sheriff’s men trying to serve a summons in Bacon Grabbers. They actually join the police in The Midnight Patrol but in Liberty are back in more typical mode, as escaped convicts who find themselves trapped on a partly-built skyscraper. Wrong Again – in which Stan and Ollie manage to put a horse on a piano! - concludes with perennial cop Harry Bernard in one of the best-remembered sight gags from the L&H repertoire.

Laurel & Hardy DVD VOL. 21: Special Bonus Disc (available only in the box set)

BRATS (1930)

This Special Bonus Disc contains two Laurel & Hardy rarities: the original 1930 version of Brats with the original music score, art-deco style opening titles plus the long-missing introductory gag card (a later, reissue version of this short appears in vol. 5), and a short reel of clips from Hinter Schloss und Riegel, the German version of Pardon Us (which appears in vol. 19), remade by Laurel & Hardy with the aide of language coaches and prompt boards.

Also included are three related films – two of them featuring Oliver Hardy - which form a ‘sampler’ of other Hal Roach comedies. In Thundering Fleas, Oliver Hardy appears alongside ‘Our Gang’ regulars as a cop whose uniform is suddenly occupied by the energetic refugees from the flea circus – and who has to improvise a semblance of decency after the disappearance of his trousers! Also present are Laurel & Hardy’s future foil James Finlayson and, beneath a large prop moustache, star comic Charley Chase. Fluttering Hearts is a Charley Chase two-reeler with a pre-Laurel & Hardy appearance of Oliver Hardy, and Prudence is a Max Davidson comedy, reportedly written by Stan Laurel (although the official story credit belongs to Hal Roach). To round off this bonus disc is a documentary tribute to Laurel & Hardy, hosted by Dom Deluise with comments from – among others – Johnny Carson, Walter Matthau, Chuck McCann, Steve Allen, Rich Little, Dick Martin, the Smothers Brothers and Henny Youngman.













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