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The Essential Collection
LAUREL & HARDY
THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION

The Magic Behind The Movies
THE MAGIC BEHIND
THE MOVIES
by Randy Skredvedt

Stan and Ollie
STAN AND OLLIE
by SImon Louvish

Laurel & Hardy Vol. 1
LAUREL & HARDY
COLLECTION – VOL. 1

Laurel & Hardy Vol. 2
LAUREL & HARDY
COLLECTION – VOL. 2

From the Forties Forward
FROM THE FORTIES
FORWARD
by Scott MacGillivray

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    OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.5th.'63.
Dear Sam [Rubin]:
          Thanks yours,1st.inst.
Personally I think the Silent films were more effective for L&H, but the sound was of great value in enhancing the effects - dialog eliminated a lot of action & sight gags - I always feel that "action" speaks louder than words. Sight gags had to be planned, they required timing & mechanics. Occasionally spontaneity would arise in the shooting of the scenes.
          The pies were generally whipped cream, but in Battle of the Century film, we used 4,000 pies & they were actually real pies (filling et al.) & were supplied by the Los Angeles Pie Company. A fresh wagon load was delivered to the studio set each day of shooting that sequence.
          The later to be famous were - Jean Harlow, Paulette Goddard, Lupe Velez, Fay Wray - George Stevens was our cameraman on many of our films, Leo McCarey, directed & supervised several. We had friendly & pleasant relationships with all that worked in our films - many happy memories.
          Before teaming with Mr. Hardy, I appeared in a Hal Roach "All Star" comedy series. In this particular film, I was cast as a "Crying Butler" (always whimpering - no matter what he was doing). It was a very effective mannerism, so I adopted this when I teamed with Mr. Hardy. (Frankly, I never liked doing it, but it became a part of L&H and I was stuck with it.) My first movie was a two-reel silent titled NUTS IN MAY, made at the "Bernstein Studio," Boyle Heights, California, in 1917. My first official Team film with Mr. Hardy was "Putting Pants on Phillip."
          My only opinion on the L&H "home movie" situation - I regret we have no financial interest in them.
          Trust this will be adequate for your purpose, Sam - you no doubt know there is a book published by Doubleday Co. Inc. written by John McCabe, titled "Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy" which covers the career of L&H, listing of films, dates, photos, etc. Maybe this would prove useful to you (information-wise).
          Wish you good luck and success with your project.
          As always-
                    Very sincerely.
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.

In 1962, Samuel K. Rubin founded the "8mm Collector," the predecessor to CLASSIC IMAGES, the most widely respected publication in the vintage film hobby that celebrates the golden age of Hollywood. He was instrumental in beginning the "vintage film fan movement," founding The Society for Cinephiles, as well as organizing the Cinecon vintage film conventions. The answers Stan gave in this letter were used by Rubin to write a Q&A with Stan that appeared in the February 1964 issue of "8mm Collector" [See Sidebar to right]. —Editor

 

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.7th.'63.

Thanks Olive [Karno] your letter, 3rd.inst. Nice to hear from you again & to know alls well. Congratulations on your Grandaughter - wish you all lots of happiness. Yes, I knew that Kenneth & Fred were working at Desilu studio, I talked with their Mother some time ago, told me she was'nt too well, never mentioned it was a heart condition - I am keeping fairly well - but have my bad & good days of course. Not much new to tell you, so bye for now. Mrs L. joins in kindest & bestest to you and yours.
          Take care - God Bless.
                    As always:
Stan Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.

NOTE: Kenneth and Fred Karno Jr. were the children of Fred Karno Jr., who was the son of Fred Karno, whose comedy troupe gave Stan Laurel his start in show business as understudy to Charlie Chaplin in the early 1900s. —Editor

 

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.10th.'63.

Thanks Steve [Ward], yours 6th.inst. Pleased to know alls well - "Flying Deuces" was produced [by] Borros Morros at the General Service Studios, in Hollywood (1938- Or 39) the air plane sequences was made at a local independent air port & the laundry scenes at a location in the San Fernando Valley. We Co-Starred in "Rogue Song" with the late Lawrence Tibbets, (Opera Star). I have no particular favorite film among ours.
          Note you have recently become acquainted with Eddie Ocampo - please convey my best to him also yourself & family.
          Bye - Take care -
                    As always:
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.10th.'63. Profile
Dear Richard [Sloan]:
          Thanks yours, 7th.inst.
Re Chase & Reed situation - I gave Larry Harmon all the info you sent me, & I understand his attorney in N.Y. was making a check - to date I've nothing further, so I frankly doubt if there is anything to it. If you wish to investigate further its entirely up to you, but think its a waste of time. Note re the Marx Bros - very interesting. Note the charge for a copy from the negative I sent you (Placque) cost $4.50. that certainly is ridiculous, I can get all the copies you want for 75¢ a piece.!!
          In that picture with us is Mrs L & Mrs H - neither look anything like Mae Busch or Minna Gombel.
          I have'nt heard re the "Sandy Productions" & frankly - could'nt care less - these type of films (Old silent clips) is pretty well worn out now - the bottom of the barrel scrapings.!
          Weather here much cooler thank goodness, 72º today, very pleasant.
          All for now Richard.
          Take care -
                    As always
Stan Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT 10th.'63.
Dear George Cabot:
          Thanks your very nice letter 14th.ult. Sorry so long acknowledging but since the announcement of my illness (I do'nt know why this was mentioned, I've been ailing for several years now?) to date I've recd. over 1,600 cards & letters, which of course I am making effort to answer - if only a card, so please pardon my being brief. Appreciate very much your kind sentiments - happy to know the old L&H films are still affording you so much pleasure - note you plan starting a collection of L&H films, suggest you drop a card to Blackhawk Films, 1255, West 5th. St. Davenport, Iowa they will send you a catalogue listing on request, They carry 8mm & 16mm films, silent & sound versions.
          Thanks again for your kind expressions -
          My kindest & besets to yourself & Family.
                    Sincerely always:
Stan Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.11th.'63. Profile

Thanks Tom [Sefton] your note, 9th.inst. with pleasure I mailed an autographed picture (Post Card) to your friend Louis Hertz - trust alls well with you & Family- Please convey my best to Ben Chadwell & 'hiss's'
          Mrs L. joins in every good wish -
                    As ever:
Stan Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.11th.'63. Profile

Thanks Dean [Kaner], yours 4th.inst. No, I never played any instrument during my career - I took lessons as a kid - Piano - Violin, but I just was'nt the type for a musical career.!.
          L&H appeared in only one Color Film: "The Rogue Song" we co-starred with the late opera Star Lawrence Tibbets, a M.G.M. Feature Production.
          Nice to hear from you again & to know alls well. My kindest & best to you & yours,
                    Sincerely as always:
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

AUTOGRAPHED 'GAG' PHOTO

Stan holding a Budweiser

Here's looking at you, Lee!
Stan Signature

 

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.15th.'63.

Thanks yours,12th.inst. Will Rogers made a series of two-reel silent films at the Hal Roach Studio - I knew him quite well. No, I do'nt think the derby hat is characteristic of comedians.
          No Mr Hardy never appeared in "The Babe Ruth Story".
          Again my thanks & best -
                    Sincerely:
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.15th.'63. Profile
Dear Dean Kaner:
          A couple of weeks ago, a Chicago radio disc jockey made mention on his program that I was ill, suggested the L&H fans should send me cards (Get Well dept.) to date I have recd. over 1400 cards & letters - anyway, I have just started to open them & discovered your letter of Sept.2nd. - hence the long delay in acknowledging.
          So sorry to hear of your accident - must have been very painful - plus the missing of your vacation - note the cast was to be removed the day school commenced - hope the damage to [your] foot was back in good shape again & you are able to continue your studies.
          L&H made one film in color for M.G.M. we supported the Star - the late Lawrence Tibbets, he was a well known Opera Star at that time - the film was titled "The Rogue Song" - this was the only color film we ever appeared in.
          Yes, Charlie Chaplin lives in Switzerland, a town called VEVY, his estate I understand is on the edge of one of the famous Lakes, a beautiful spot.
          The only snapshot I have I am enclosing - am under the impression I sent you one like this some time ago - I think this was taken in '63 APRIL - if you do already have it you can use this to wrap fish up in.!!
          All for now Dean -
                    Take care - Good luck.
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.

Color footage without sound from "The Rogue Song" featuring Laurel & Hardy has recently been discovered, but the complete film is still lost. The comedy duo also appeared in another color film titled, "The Tree In A Test Tube," a public service short made for the U.S. government to promote the various uses of wood. —Editor

 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.19th.'63. Profile
My Dear Mike [Polacek]:
          Saw the films last night:
"Finishing Touch" & "Bacon Grabbers" also the one reel taken from "LIBERTY" - incidently this is a very poor print (out of focus) must have been reprinted many times - anyway it was interesting. Joe Increased the Gate as per your instructions - was the "Double Whoopee" damaged in any way? Some of the sprocket holes were broken when you sent it & Joe cut them off & respliced the film - think I told you before about that.
          The Tall woman in "Below Zero" who threw the organ into the street was Blanche Payson. she was years ago a San Francisco Police woman, a big beauty over Six Footer - she worked in the old silent movies a great deal (freelance) for Sennett, Christie, Vitagraph, Roach, etc. etc. The Sheriff in "Bacon Grabbers" was Eddie Baker in latter years he was a motor cycle Cop. I noticed the first part of "Finishing Touch" is missing originally, we opened with a contractor & his crew building the house, all busy hammering etc. The Hospital authorities complained, & the contractor walked off the job taking his crew with him - the owner then hired L&H to finish the job, Which we did without malice. Enjoyed talking with you again Mike.
          Kindest & besets from us both here to
you & yours -
                    As always
Stan Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.19th.'63.
Dear Ron Maher:
          Thanks yours recd. this AM.
Have no idea of where you could address Mr Hal Roach - as you must know the Studio is no longer there - it was demolished recently.
          Lake L&H I guess is no longer there - this was the Studio swimming pool & was used for water scenes in many of the films made there - it was indeed NOT a tourist attraction.
          Note you would like to acquire some L&H prints - suggest you drop a line to Blackhawk Films,1235,West 5th. St. Davenport,Iowa. they will send you a catalogue listing on request. I think you will find quite interesting.
          Regarding a record of the L&H theme song - I understand there is a 45' size recently released by the Golden Records Co. in New York, titled "One Together makes Two" (Childrens records) - sorry I don't have the address but you can probably find out at your local Record Store.
          Again my regards & best,
                    Sincerely:
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

LITTLE GOLDEN RECORDS & BLACKHAWK FILMS

Little Golden Records & Blackhawk Films

Released in 1963 on Little Golden Records, "One Together Is Two" featured a recording of the Laurel & Hardy Theme song. Blackhawk Films began publishing monthly catalogs in 1949 and sold more than 2,500,000 films by mail order before the business was discontinued in 1981. —Editor

 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.21st.'63.
Dear Earl [Shank] Jr.
          Thanks yours, 17th.inst.
Nice to hear from you again & to know alls well with Jean, yourself & family, except little Kathy with the uncommon kid's ailment - Tonsil trouble, should have attended to as soon as possible am sure you realise the urgency to get rid of those things - very necessary for her future good health - We here are about the same healthwise - little change if any with me.
          Congratulations of your new cars - those 'Volkswagen's' are very popular out here, so economical to maintain.
          Yes, I watch Danny Kaye, a great talent. Guess you heard about the heat wave we had recently - 112º in Los Angeles - 95º in the beach areas, the hottest its been in many years -
          Nothing else new to tell you Earl -
          Eda joins in kindest & bestest to you all at 119.
          God Bless.-
                    As always:
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

WESTERN UNION TELEGRAM

                    OCT 21 63
MRS BOB [MARIE] HATFIELD
          MANY HAPPY RETURNS MARIE. OUR KIND THOUGHTS ALWAYS TO BOB AND SELF
                    EDA AND STAN LAUREL
 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.24th.'63.
Dear Irene [Heffernan]:
          Just a few more stamps -
Hope you're feeling much better - Love & bestest to Jim & yourself - from us both here -
                    As always:
Stan Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.26th.'63. Profile
Dear Bob Stowell:
          Thanks yours, 24th.inst.
Have no idea what happened to the L&H animated cartoon series - the last I heard these were to be syndicated (independent Stations around the Country) the producer had hope to release these through N.B.C. but evidently were not accepted. We are only interested in this project on a Royalty basis have nothing other to do with them, hence my not knowing much about them.
          Thanks for the kind invitation to visit with you sometime for Dinner - unfortunately am unable, due to a stroke I suffered in '55. I do'nt get outdoor too often - only on occasion to see my Dr. for check-up - appreciate the kind thought anyway.
          You mention an Academy 'Oscar' Award - I did receive one in 1961. It was accepted by Danny Kaye who later delivered it to me in person.
          Yes I have a wonderful view of the Ocean from my Apt. my window directly faces the Blue Pacific - very very pleasant.
          Re your idea of adding dialogue & sound effects to the L&H silent movies - am afraid you wo'nt have much success - its pretty difficult - especially not being adequately equipped or being a technical expert & then I doubt if it would prove satisfactory - frankly why spend the money on this instead get yourself a 16mm Sound projector & regular Sound film.
          Nice to hear from you again -
          My regards & bestest to you & yours,
                    Sincerely as always:
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.28th.'63. Profile

Thanks [Bob Stowell] your card 25th.inst. Pleased to know you taped George Arthur's kind tribute to L&H - would very much like to have a copy of it at your convenience - how did you know he was going to devote his segment on the news program to L&H.?? is your recorder always connected to your TV set? in case there is something you want to cover?.
          Again my thanks -
                    As always:
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    OCT.31st.'63.
Dear Frank Wright,
          Thanks yours, recd, this AM. Pleased to know the old L&H films are still affording you so much pleasure - appreciate very much your kind sentiments.
          Yes there is a book published by Doubleday Co. titled "Mr Laurel & Mr Hardy" by John McCabe - check your local book dealer or direct with Doubleday Co in N.Y. (375 Madison Ave, N.Y.C.)
          Sorry I have no stills of the movies - suggest you contact Blackhawk Films, 1235. West 5th. St. Davenport, Iowa. request a catalogue listing. also you can try Movie Star News, 213. East 34th. ST. N.Y.C.
          My best wishes & thanks for the enquiry -
                    Sincerely as always:
Stan Laurel Signature

 

 

 
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