After the recent success of the Sony Pictures biopic “Stan & Ollie,” the Cinema Arts Centre will pay tribute to one of the greatest comedy duos of all time.
The Huntington movie theatre will be showing four of Laurel and Hardy’s short comedies, including the Academy Award winning “Music Box,” at a family-friendly screening on Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m., a great way to introduce a new generation to the comedic magic of Laurel and Hardy.
Laurel & Hardy’s physical comedy is undeniable, and the comedic formula that they developed was simple but enduring: two friends who possessed a combination of utter brainlessness and eternal optimism or, as Laurel himself described it, “two minds without a single thought.”
They frequently managed to convert simple everyday situations into hysterically disastrous tangles by acts of incredible naïveté and incompetence. The team had attained enormous popularity by the end of the silent era, which carried over well into the talky-era where their genius and wide array of eccentricities could be fully revealed.
The following films will be shown in the screening:
“Helpmates” (1932): Oliver’s house is in a shambles after a wild party, and his wife is due home at noon. He calls Stanley to help him fix the place up, and the typical catastrophes ensue. Somehow, however, Stanley manages to complete the job by the time Oliver leaves to pick up his wife at the train station. As a finishing touch, Stan decides to start a nice fire in the fireplace, using a can of gasoline to hurry the process along. (USA, 1932, 21 mins., English | Dir. James Parrott)
“Their First Mistake” (1932): Mrs. Hardy is irate that her husband Oliver spends more time with his friend Stanley than with her. Oliver decides to adopt a baby, hoping that it will keep his wife occupied so that he and Stanley can continue to carouse. But upon returning home with the infant, they find Mrs. Hardy missing, a divorce summons waiting, and a sleepless night awaiting them caring for the squalling baby. (USA, 1932, 21 mins., English | Dir. George Marshall)
“County Hospital” (1932): Visiting Oliver in the hospital where he’s recovering from a broken leg, Stanley wreaks havoc on both his friend (getting Oliver strung up from the ceiling by his cast-encased leg), as well as the doctor, who winds up dangling out the window. After they’re ordered out, Stanley tries to drive Oliver home, unaware that he’s just accidentally injected himself with a powerful sedative. (USA, 1932, 19 mins., English | Dir. James Parrott)
“Music Box” (1932): “Music Box” is Laurel and Hardy comedic absurdity at its best, and one of Laurel’s personal favorites, winning an Oscar for Best Live-Action Short. The Laurel & Hardy Moving Co. have a challenging job on their hands (and backs) — hauling a player piano up a monumental flight of stairs to Prof. von Schwarzenhoffen’s house. Their task is complicated by a sassy nursemaid and, unbeknownst to them, the impatient von Schwarzenhoffen himself. But the biggest problem is the force of gravity, which repeatedly pulls the piano back down to the bottom of the stairs. (USA, 1932, 29 mins., English | Dir. James Parrott)
The program event fees are $11 for Cinema Arts members and $16 for the general public.
The Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave. in Huntington.
To learn more about the event, go to www.cinemaartscentre.org.