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) ...
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Members of a municipal band, Stanley and Oliver seem to be always following someone else's lead, rather than that of the temperamental conductor. Soon they're out of a job, as well as their... See full summary »
Two convicts (Laurel & Hardy), in an escape attempt, tunnel into the warden's office, instead. They then disguise themselves as painters and walk out the front gate. Needing new clothes, ... See full summary »
Among the horses stable hands Stanley and Oliver are tending is a thoroughbred named "Blue Boy." But when they overhear two men talking about a $5000 reward for the return of the stolen "... See full summary »
Stanley and Oliver protest that they were only bystanders to the raid, but are hauled off to a prison labor camp anyway. They procede with their usual mayhem, Stanley getting his pick stuck... See full summary »
Oliver stands to inherit a large fortune from his rich Uncle Bernal, with the condition that he be happily married. But when Mrs. Hardy walks out just before Uncle Bernal is due for a visit... See full summary »
Leaving the dentist's office, where Hardy's teeth have been extracted by mistake, the boys, still under the influence of laughing gas, meet up with a traffic cop (Kennedy) and cause a huge ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
The Battle of the Century is my first attempt to connect Laurel & Hardy with Abbott & Costello
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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