The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.
In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
The true story of Hollywood's greatest comedy double act, Laurel and Hardy, is brought to the big screen for the first time. Starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as the inimitable movie icons, Stan and Ollie is the heart-warming story of what would become the pair's triumphant farewell tour. With their golden era long behind them, the pair embark on a variety hall tour of Britain and Ireland. Despite the pressures of a hectic schedule, and with the support of their wives Lucille (Shirley Henderson) and Ida (Nina Arianda) - a formidable double act in their own right - the pair's love of performing, as well as for each other, endures as they secure their place in the hearts of their adoring public.
A Laurel & Hardy museum, which contains many artifacts of Stan Laurel's career, is located in his birthplace, Ulverston, Cumbria. Laurel occasionally dropped by to visit his parents. When he and Oliver Hardy visited the town as part of their 1953 UK tour, a huge crowd welcomed them. A bronze statue of Laurel & Hardy is outside the town hall. See more »
When Stan Laurel discusses the idea of working with a new partner with their theatrical promoter while Oliver Hardy convalesces, the promoter mentions Laurel's solo film career while he only mentions that Hardy worked in "that elephant movie." (Zenobia) In reality, Hardy had an extensive solo film career years before he was teamed up with Stan Laurel. See more »
[Stan and Oliver have reached the top of the station staircase. Stan has one large trunk in one hand]
Here, hold this.
[Stan takes a suitcase with the hand he was holding the trunk with. The trunk slides all the way to the bottom of the staircase. Oliver gives Stan his famous exasperated glare]
Did we really need that trunk?
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The end credits include a montage of photographs of the real Laurel and Hardy at events depicted in the movie. See more »
If you like Laurel & Hardy, you really should see "Stan and Ollie"
I am an officer of the international Laurel & Hardy society Sons of the Desert, and I just attended a pre-release screening of the upcoming "Stan and Ollie."
Before the picture started I was thinking about older celebrity biographies that didn't work out ("The Buster Keaton Story," "The Eddie Cantor Story") and others that succeeded despite taking massive liberties with historical facts ("The Jolson Story," "The Buddy Holly Story"). Well, I thought, I'll keep an open mind and look at "Stan and Ollie" as a fictional, larger-than-life show.
Two words of advice, Laurel & Hardy fans: SEE IT.
The producers have taken extreme pains to set the scenes just so, with the decor, the props, the wardrobe, and the general atmosphere ringing true. The re-enactments of actual events are substantially accurate, but the screenwriter has juggled the chronology around for dramatic effect, so things don't happen in their actual order. The early scenes, for example, show the older Laurel & Hardy playing to small audiences in tiny theaters, and the final scenes show full houses in massive theaters -- in fact, the reverse was true, with the venues getting humbler as the years passed. At least one character is a composite of different people: Stan's self-effacing wife Ida is portrayed like one of his former wives, the strident Countess Illeana. The biggest dramatic liberty, seen in the "Stan and Ollie" trailers, has Stan and Babe arguing and battling. These scenes are well played and staged, but have no basis in fact. These scenes are more like the Martin & Lewis story, where the easygoing partner withstands the driven partner's moodiness and finally sounds off. The 97-minute feature should not be judged by these few inaccurate minutes.
We've all seen celebrity impersonations that are good, bad, or indifferent. I'm happy to report that Steve Coogan is outstanding as Stan Laurel, and John C. Reilly is astonishing as Oliver Hardy. The voices, the body language, the small gestures, the exaggerated "stage" personalities -- both actors are right on the money. This is no shallow, variety-show imitation. It's a surprisingly deep, heartfelt, and sincere portrayal of Laurel & Hardy, on stage and off.
"Stan and Ollie" opens in late December, and if you like Laurel & Hardy at all, have no fear -- you'll enjoy it. Will you recognize certain events in the story? Probably. Will you grin at the re-creations of the team's sketches? Almost certainly. But will you laugh your head off? No. This is an intimate story with only a few principals, and you might find yourself choked up more than once. Critics have called the relationship between the "Stan" and "Ollie" screen characters as the greatest love story of the movies. This new movie demonstrates it.
I hope Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are both nominated for Academy Awards as "Best Actor" -- and I hope they both win.
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