English Character Night on Saturday, October 3 at The Mayflower Club
We tried, we really got close, but we just couldn't work out the details to include an English meal at our October 3rd meeting. Sorry if we've disappointed any of you. But the rest of our previously announced Saturday October 3rd meeting will go on as planned. We will see four classic Laurel & Hardy films, all featuring English actors in memorable roles. Some of their scenes are short, but nonetheless important to the film's story. Others have longer scenes that almost steal the film for themselves. These are the actors, along with Stan Laurel, that we will honor Saturday night. After our second break, we will have our special raffle to raise money for the UCLA Laurel & Hardy (Film) Preservation Fund. If you have any Laurel & Hardy collectables that you would like to donate to our raffle, please bring them to the meeting.
Our film program will start with Laurel & Hardy as police officers in The Midnight Patrol (1933). As new officers, they are assigned to night patrol in a shady part of town. At first, the Boys seem to be coping okay as police officers, in their own "Laurel & Hardy way." They even ticket a jewelry store burglar (Frank Terry), who in the middle of the night tries to convince the Boys that he is really the store's owner and is only trying to crack open the building's safe because he forgot the combination. Then things go really bad for Stan & Ollie, when they go to the wrong address to investigate a house break-in.
Next will be County Hospital (1932). The plot of this film is simple. Stan visits Ollie in the hospital, where Ollie is recovering from a broken leg. Soon, with Stan's help and advice, Ollie's stay in the hospital is cut short. Billy Gilbert is Ollie's doctor. Ollie's very English roommate is William Austin.
In Oliver the Eighth (1934), the Boys are partners in a barber shop. When they both see a personal ad from a wealthy widow who is seeking a young man to marry, both Stan and Ollie quickly decide to answer. The only problem is that Ollie doesn't mail Stan's letter. When Ollie gets an invitation to meet the widow and leaves for the widow's home, Stan finds out that Ollie didn't mail Stan's letter and Stan decides to join Ollie. The crazy widow is Mae Busch. Mae's (just a little less crazy) butler in the film is English actor, Jack Barty. Believe it or not, Jack Barty almost steals the film from Stan, Babe, and Mae.
Our feature film for the evening will be A Chump At Oxford (1940). The film opens with Stan & Ollie taking a job as servants for a fancy dinner party given by the Vandeveres (James Finlayson and Anita Garvin). To get the job as a maid, Stan must pose as a woman. Later in the film, while Stan and Ollie are working as street cleaners, they foil a bank robbery. The grateful bank manager rewards the Boys "with a proper education," giving them scholarships to Oxford. Soon after they arrive in England, Stan receives a blow to the head and suddenly remembers his past at Oxford, becoming a completely different character. You will be amazed by Stan Laurel's great acting skills! Also keep an eye out for English actors in the Oxford scenes. You'll easily recognize Charlie Hall, but can you recognize Peter Cushing?
The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Boulevard in North Hollywood. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Our meeting starts at 7:15 p.m. "Fisher Franks" (100% beef, quarter-pound hot dogs) with your choice of chips will be sold at The Mayflower Club Kitchen. Refreshments will be sold at The Mayflower Club Bar. Free cake will be served during our second break. Popcorn will be sold throughout the evening for 25 cents a bag. (Note: The supply of popcorn will be limited and the only way that I could convince the Board for us to sell popcorn at a meeting was for me to personally guarantee that I would cleanup any dropped popcorn. That means don't drop any popcorn on the floor.) Enjoy a break from Tuesday night traffic. Don't worry about having to get up early for work the next morning after a meeting. Join us on Saturday night October 3rd. You won't be sorry!
Notes From Our August Meeting
For our Kennedy the Cop Night, our film program was Leave 'em Laughing, Unaccustomed As We Are, When the Wind Blows (Our Gang), Night Owls, and Ladrones (Spanish version of Night Owls). In addition to our film program, we also had an Edgar Kennedy Slow Burn Contest. For those of you who didn't come to our August meeting and/or don't know what a Slow Burn Contest is, let me first put your minds at ease, no fire is involved in the Contest! The Slow Burn is Kennedy's trademark look at the camera, as he slowly moves his hand down his face when he is utterly frustrated about something. The contest is to see who can do the best imitation of Edgar. Our contestants for the Contest were Bobby Timony, Laura Reuther, and J.T. Tropper. Our judges for the Contest were none other than Edgar Kennedy's grandsons, Mark Kennedy and Glen Kennedy. All of the contestants did a great job, but Mark and Glen, of course, picked the prettiest contestant, Laura Reuther, as the winner. Special thanks to my friend Bill Cassara who donated an autographed copy of his book Edgar Kennedy Master of the Slow Burn as the prize for the winner of the Slow Burn Contest.
Thanks to Victor D'Agostino, Dave Greim, Jayne Barnhart, Bobby Timony, J.T. Tropper, and Bob Duncan for helping me with the toasts and singing "The Sons of the Desert Song." Thanks to Mark Kennedy and Glen Kennedy, for judging the Slow Burn Contest and joining us for the evening. Thanks to my son, Jimmy III, for the nicely printed program that he prepared for our August meeting.
L&H Film Festival At Old Town Music Hall
On the weekend of November 27th, 28th, and 29th, the Old Town Music Hall will once again do a special all Laurel & Hardy film program. The Old Town Music Hall is located at 140 Richmond Street, El Segundo (310-322-2592). Their evening programs will begin at 8:15 on Friday and Saturday. Their matinee programs will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission to the theater is $10.00 per person or $8.00 for people 62 or older. Each program begins with a Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ audience sing-along. For more information, go to: http://www.oldtownmusichall.org/films.html
Our Gang's Jean Darling & Dickie Moore
Two members of Our Gang have recently passed away. Jean Darling appeared in over 30 Our Gang films, mostly during the silent era. She was also Curly Locks in Laurel & Hardy's Babes in Toyland. Over the past decade, she has attended many Sons of the Desert functions, mostly in Europe where she has resided for many years. She was 93.
Dickie Moore was a prolific child actor, with a half dozen memorable appearances in Our Gang shorts. He was active in Our Gang talkies along with our own Dorothy DeBorba and a very young George "Spanky" McFarland. He was 89.