Friday, January 18, 2013

Laurel y Hardy

Back in May 2010, I mentioned that in the early days of talking pictures, studios would sometimes make two versions of a movie: one in English, and one in a foreign language for an overseas market. TCM is giving us an interesting example of that tonight with a series of Laurel and Hardy shorts.

What TCM will be doing is showing us the original English version of the shorts, followed in each case by the foreign-language version, with Laurel and Hardy presumably reading their lines phonetically off of cue cards. There are, I think two roughly half-hour shorts in English each followed by their Spanish-language equivalents; this will be followed by a pair of English-langauge shorts that were combined when the French-language version of them was made.

Unfortunately, figuring out the exact schedule is a bit of a pain right about now. It's tough enough figuring out what's going to be in between shorts when TCM is running a night of two-reelers, as we saw with the Mack Sennett month last year. But the bigger problem is that TCM's schedule page is currently suffering from some glitches. The programming doesn't seem to be in any logical order. It's out of whack for tomorrow as well, but on normal days that have mostly features, it's slightly less of a problem.

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