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The Battle of the Century (1927)

Fight manager (Hardy) takes out an insurance policy on his puny pugilist (Laurel) and then proceeds to try to arrange for an accident so that he can collect. When a pie delivery man (Hall) ... See full summary »

Director:

Clyde Bruckman

Writer:

H.M. Walker (titles)
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Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Leo McCarey
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Hall
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stan Laurel ... Prize fighter
Oliver Hardy ... Manager
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Storyline

Fight manager (Hardy) takes out an insurance policy on his puny pugilist (Laurel) and then proceeds to try to arrange for an accident so that he can collect. When a pie delivery man (Hall) slips on a banana peel, meant for the fighter, a classic pie throwing scene results. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

pie fight | two reeler | See All (2) »

Genres:

Short | Comedy

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 December 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alles in Schlagsahne See more »

Filming Locations:

Culver City, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored) | (original)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In part of a letter written by Stan to Sam Rubin dated 5th October 1963 Stan says 'The pies were generally whipped cream but in Battle of the Century film we used 4,000 pies and they were actually real pies (filing et al) and were supplied by the Los Angeles Pie Company. A fresh wagon load was delivered to the studio set each day of shooting that sequence'. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene, a woman slips and does a pratfall onto a pie on the sidewalk, but when she gets up to leave, the sidewalk is free of pie debris. See more »

Connections

Edited into Dance of the Cookoos (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Battle of the Century is my first attempt to connect Laurel & Hardy with Abbott & Costello
24 September 2009 | by tavmSee all my reviews

This is the first comment of a series of films where I'm attempting to connect two legendary comedy teams: Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello. For this initial one-The Battle of the Century-we're at a time when Hal Roach's duo of a thin Englishman and a heavyset Georgia man were just starting their creative chemistry to an adoring public while a young and thin man (at the time) in his twenties from Patterson, New Jersey, was just attempting to break out in Hollywood any way he can which includes stunt work and occasional extra parts. It's here that Lou Costello makes an appearance in the audience of a boxing match between Stan and Noah Young with Ollie being Stan's manager. Half the time watching I was a little distracted looking for Costello but I still managed to laugh at Stan's antics in the boxing ring. I especially loved his dance at the beginning. I half wondered if Lou thought of this sequence when he did his own comic fights in later A & C vehicles. It certainly was amusing enough for the first reel which for years afterward was considered lost until 1979 when Richard Feiner managed to find it. It's the second part with the legendary pie fight that this film's reputation rests. Good thing when compilation producer Robert Youngston was looking for clips to include in his first project on classic silent comedy-The Golden Age of Comedy-he found what was a decomposing second reel and managed to preserve the last 5 or so minutes of it. Among the classic supporting actors long associated with L & H that appeared in this sequence was Charlie Hall and, in perhaps the most iconic moment at the end, Anita Garvin. The Nostalgia Archive video tape that I watched this one on actually had two versions on it. The first presented the first reel intact before going to the pie sequence. The second had the first reel again before going to a surviving script that details another sequence with Eugene Palette in which he sells Ollie an insurance on Stan. From there, Ollie then tries to get Stan to slip on a banana peel to collect the money before a cop gets mixed up in it. With the script, some stills, and then the Youngston-edited sequence, we get an as complete as possible version of this long truncated short. In summary, The Battle of the Century is well worth viewing for L & H fans as well as Lou Costello completists. Update-9/24/11: I just watched this again at an outdoor screening at the Baton Rouge Gallery with musical accompaniment by The Incense Merchants, whose contemporary stylings add to the fun immensely, but with the stills and script pages representing the missing scenes deleted. At least one female member of the audience behind me laughed as loud as I did. She must have been as much of an L & H fan as me!


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