A week of Landis bringing you 3 classic comedies starts now.
On Monday, August 1, join John Landis for the trailer to A Chump at Oxford.
Like Saps at Sea, this Hal Roach Laurel & Hardy vehicle was originally conceived as a four-reeler, but was bumped up to 63 minutes to compete in the feature market. These were arguably their last substantial theatrical releases before a contract with 20th Century Fox reduced them to formula B-pictures. It’s a cultural crime that today’s kids know nothing of Stan and Ollie, but that’s their loss. John McCabe’s 1961 biography “Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy” remains the definitive word on the duo.
On Wednesday, August 3, join John Landis for the trailer to Have Rocket Will Travel.
This cheap but popular sci fi spoof was the first Columbia feature for the Stooges, who had contemplated retirement until the galvanic response to the release of the Stooges shorts on nationwide tv in 1958 brought them back into the limelight. The boys accidentally travel to Venus and encounter a giant spider and a mad robot. This was the first Stooge appearance by Curly Joe DeRita (replacing Joe Besser, who replaced Shemp, who replaced Curly) as the third Stooge.
And on Friday, August 5, join John Landis for the trailer to The Ladies Man.
The spirit of Frank Tashlin hovers over Jerry Lewis’s first auteurist triumph which came at the height of his power at Paramount, allowing him to construct a huge set, add video tape (which he’d been using since The Bellboy) and fill the stage with a large number of microphones a decade before Altman did the same. Mel Brooks contributed a number of gags, but his original script wasn’t used.