Laurel and Hardy : The Magic Behind the Movies

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9780940410770: Laurel and Hardy : The Magic Behind the Movies

The beloved comedy team comes to life in this behind-the-scenes look at their unique working methods. The most detailed and accurate account of the team's career, based on exclusive interviews with their friends and associates, original shooting scripts, studio publicity material and production logs, family scrapbooks and legal depositions. Includes a who's who of supporting players and technical crew members, details on newly rediscovered films, lost footage and a resource guide.

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From the Inside Flap:

This definitive study of Laurel and Hardy is a behind-the-scenes documentary on the beloved comedy team -- how they made their classic comedies, and what happened during the making of them. Film historian Randy Skretvedt uses original shooting scripts and unfilmed comedy routines, production logs, contracts, payroll ledgers, legal depositions, family scrapbooks and original studio publicity material -- plus exclusive interviews with dozens of the team's friends and co-workers -- to recreate, as never before, the unique environment in which the films were made.

Film by film, "Laurel and Hardy" truly evokes the magic behind the movies -- gag sessions, practical jokes, special effects, technical problems, musical scores, sneak previews, retakes, publicity campaigns and foreign language versions. Their unorthodox working methods are explored in meticulous detail. The book provides much previously unknown and unpublished information about Laurel's contract disputes with Hal Roach and the team's creative conflicts with 20th Century-Fox, as well as the marital problems that often disrupted the comedians' private lives.

Rare photographs -- most never-before-published -- depict Laurel and Hardy filming on location, working with directors and co-stars, entertaining visitors to the set, clowning on the studio lot and relaxing with their wives; they are also shown in a variety of scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor. Original poster art and advertising, unseen for decades, further delineates the past. The book is appended by a Who's Who of supporting players who peopled the films of Laurel and Hardy, and the technical crew responsible for so much of the magic behind the movies.

About the Author:

Randy Skretvedt is an entertainment historian who has been a Laurel and Hardy buff since the age of five. He is editor of "Past Times: The Nostalgia Entertainment Newsletter" and host of the popular radio program, "Forward Into the Past" (KSPC, Los Angeles). He is frequently called upon as a researcher, consultant and annotator for books, CDs and other projects on vintage entertainers.

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Randy Skretvedt, Jordan R. Young (Other Contributor), Steve Allen (Foreword)
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