Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The last night of Hal Roach

All this time blogging about Roach, and I should have included a photo of the guyTCM has been honoring the Hal Roach Studios every Tuesday this month. Tonight sees one more night, looking at the feature-length movies the Roach Studio started making in the early 1930s. Most of the "features" were really designed as B-movies, clocking in at around 70 minutes, but some of them came closer to 90 minutes. I've recommended Topper before; that's airing at 10:30 PM ET Tuesday. As I mentioned back in July, 2009, Topper spawned two sequels minus Cary Grant. Both of those show up on the TCM schedule: Topper Takes a Trip at 10:00 AM Wednesday, and Topper Returns at 2:45 PM Wednesday.

Hal Roach also produced features with the stars of his comedy shorts. Laurel and Hardy were probably the most prolific of these. Sons of the Desert (1933) is the first of their features, and it kicks the night off at 8:00 PM. It's really more of an extended two-reeler, with one big plot gag of Stan and Oliver lying to their wives to attend a convention of their fraternal organization, and then having to engage in ever bigger lies to keep up the first lie. In my opinion at least it isn't quite as funny as it's made out to be. Perhaps better are Way Out West (4:30 AM Wednesday) or even Bonnie Scotland (5:30 PM Wendesday).

The Our Gang folks also made one feature; that one, General Spanky, shows up at 9:15 PM Tuesday.

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