Based on the Neil Brand's critically acclaimed radio play of the same name, the drama follows Stan Laurel's last visit to his dying friend and comedy partner Oliver 'Babe' Hardy and Stan's ... See full summary »



(adapted from radio play by), (play) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Nik Howden ...
Martin Marquez ...
Charlotte Emmerson ...
Ashley Brooke ...
Young Lucille


Based on the Neil Brand's critically acclaimed radio play of the same name, the drama follows Stan Laurel's last visit to his dying friend and comedy partner Oliver 'Babe' Hardy and Stan's subsequent coming to terms with the ghosts of his past. Written by Garrett Fallah

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

6 June 2006 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Originally a radio play first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the UK in March 2004, starring Sir Tom Courtenay as Stan Laurel See more »


Stan Laurel tell Oliver Hardy about the Sputnik launch which actually took place 2 months after Hardy's death. See more »

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User Reviews

A brilliant, moving and poignant account of the final meeting between Laurel and Hardy, the great comedy duo.
2 June 2006 | by (Manchester, UK) – See all my reviews

I loved this film. It's exactly what's missing on British TV at the moment: drama of the highest quality. There was no ludicrous plot, smoke, mirrors, explosions or some ridiculous high concept. The drama simply relied on brilliant acting, a wonderful script and superb direction.

Oliver Hardy (the fat one, for those who get the two mixed up) lies ill in bed, hanging on to life after a major stroke. Stan Laurel (not the fat one) is a man suffering under the weight of his own demons. Reluctantly, he comes to visit his ailing best friend - knowing it to be the last time he will ever do so. Together they broach the highs and lows of their shared history and reveal the fascinating story of their friendship and career together.

Jim Norton, playing the older Stan, was a revelation - why is an actor of this quality not doing more leads in more films????? There was also a seamless movement between the two time periods that was not only visually effective but emotionally effective. Neil Brand fills the film with superb detail but it is his handle on the emotional journey that proves the most successful aspect of his writing. By the final scene, this isn't Laurel and Hardy saying farewell, this is simply two best friends saying goodbye. As their final moment together arrives, I even had a tear in my eye - and that's a rare thing for me and TV drama.

True - I could have done with more exteriors and it is odd that Hardy lives in the same house all his life - but I suspect this was a budget thing (I could be wrong, who knows but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt) - and their device of keeping all the memories 'in a studio' and was a brilliant way of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BBC4 have recently come up trumps with this kind of drama - the Kenneth William's biopic was the last thing I saw on this channel which was also good - and long may they continue to do so. Just why aren't the people who make this kind of film not making more for the terrestrial wing of the BBC whose dramas often lack the inventiveness and originality of this kind of work?

22 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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