Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stan too....

Felt like this was getting to be the ".... or Hardy" blog, so I give to you Stan Laurel in SOMEWHERE IN WRONG. Julie Leonard, Max Asher and "Tige" (before he changed his name to Pete the Pup) are also pictured. This still was offered up for sale on the internet (E-Bay?) as part of the Max Asher Collector and that is where this scan comes from... but I use the same shot in my book, see page 491. Makes you wonder sometimes why with the dozens of stills that must have existed at one time the same shot keeps cropping up.... maybe from the same source, who knows? Frankly can't rememeber where I got the shot for my book.

Anyhow, feel better now that Stan has made an appearance. SOMEWHERE IN WRONG is one of my favorites... maybe because he acts a lot like "Stanley" in this one, or maybe it was because during production of this film he finally dumped Mae.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Babe was a star!

One of my pet peeves is when people throw around terms like "never" and "always." For instance, it is often said that Babe Hardy was NEVER a star comedian before he teamed up with Stan Laurel. The above poster illustrates that Mr. Hardy certainly was a name above the title star comedian. Briefly, okay. Smaller company, yes I guess so. But none the less a star! ... so never say never and always use always sparingly.

THE BOYCOTTED BABY was released January 4, 1917 by Vim Comedies. One of the last Vim comedies produced before what had become known as the Babe Hardy Company filming unit would evolve into the King Bee Company. With the exception of Kate Price (who would go to work with Billy Ruge in the other half of the fractured Vim, Jaxon Comedies) most of those that regularly worked with Babe in the last days of Vim (Ethel Burton, Joe Cohen, Florence McLoughlin and Budd Ross) would also appear in the first of the Billy West comedies that King Bee would start producing in early 1917.

A WARM RECEPTION, the only one of these post-Plump & Runt Babe Hardy Vims that is known to exist is a delight to see. Babe, who apparently also directed the film, does a good bit of the full in drag. On my list of the Top 10 Best Laurel or Hardy Solo Films. So, if you have THE BOYCOTTED BABY hiding in your closet under your laundry let me know....

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Little Wildcat

In 1922 Babe Hardy was in the middle of his tenure as Larry Semon's main support. But in the latter part of 1922 Babe drifted over to the feature film department at Vitagraph Pictures making FORTUNE'S MASK with Earle Williams and THE LITTLE WILDCAT with Alice Calhoun. Both are lost films, the occasional still or postcard from the Williams film have appeared, but never anything from the Calhoun film until now. This photo which has the working title, GAMIN GIRL, stamped on the back show Alice Calhoun hiding behind Babe. If this isn't the sole surviving visual image from the film I would love to hear from anyone who has more material... but until then this one shot with Babe front-and-center really wets the appetite to see the film itself.... maybe someday.