Monday, January 14, 2013

On Location With Laurel and Hardy 1928

Some home movie footage of Laurel and Hardy turned up on youtube recently. Also in the film are some of the glamour girls who worked for Roach in the period, including Edna Marion, Viola Richard, and Dorothy Coburn.

The description from youtube:

Published on Jul 29, 2012
After posting "On Location with Laurel and Hardy -- March 1928," (during the making of "Should Married Men Go Home"), several people have requested the unedited version of the film also be posted. This is the unedited film. George Mann of the comedic dance act Barto and Mann shot the film or handed his camera to someone else to shoot. I've taken a first cut at identifying individuals in the film below. It's likely I've misidentified individuals in some of the shots. Corrections are welcome as well as the names of individuals I've identified as "Unknown."

Also included in the clip are:

John Aasen (Tall golfer) --

Edgar Kennedy (Golfer with toupee) --

Edna Marion (Blond golf partner) --

Viola Richard (Brunette golf partner) --

Charley Chase --

Roy Randolph. George was a pupil of Roy Randolph, who owned Randolph's La Monica Dance School in Santa Monica, California, probably around 1925. It's likely that it was Randolph who provided access for George to the making of "Should Married Men Go Home?"--

There's more about Barto and Mann here:

George Mann's photography here:

And later in life here:

0:00 - 0:09 Unknown female #1 with scarf; Roy Randolph; unknown female #2 in plaid dress.

0:10 - 0:23 Dorothy Coburn (?) (muddy combatant) in hat; Roy Randolph; unknown female #3 (muddy combatant) with golf club.

0:24 - 0:35 Oliver Hardy strikes Stan Laurel with golf club.

0:36 - 0:42 Stan Laurel.

0:43 - 0:50 Oliver Hardy (and Stan Laurel).

0:51 - 1:01 Viola Richard and George Mann.

1:02 - 1:35 Viola Richard, Edna Marian, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy. Laurel hits Oliver Hardy in chin with golf club.

1:36 - 1:59 Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy & George Mann.

2:00 - 2:12 Dorothy Coburn (?) (muddy combatant) and Viola Richard on Oliver Hardy's shoulders. Roy Randolph assisting.

2:13 - 2:32 Oliver Hardy, John Aasen (very tall golfer) & George Mann. Mann does high kick.

2:33 - 2:38 Stan Laurel and Edgar Kennedy (golfer).

2:39 - 2:45 Dorothy Coburn (?) (muddy combatant).

2:46 - 2:56 Dorothy Coburn (?) (muddy combatant) and Roy Randolph dancing.

2:57 - 3:18 Stan Laurel and Edgar Kennedy (golfer). Kennedy loses toupee.

3:19 - 3:35 Rochelle D'Alolio of the Deno and Rochelle dance team sitting in chair.

3:36 - 3:50 Deno D'Alolio of the Deno and Rochelle dance team in suit; Rochelle D'Alolio of the Deno and Rochelle dance team sitting in chair; unknown male #2 shirtless; Roy Randolph; Dorothy Coburn (?) (muddy combatant) standing; and unknown female #5 sitting.

3:51 - 4:03 Engine.

4:04 - 5:20 George Mann walking through movie set.

5:21 - 5:39 Roy Randolph on set of the S.S. Mirimar.

5:40 - 5:55 Charley Chase and George Mann dancing and hamming together.

5:56 - 6:09 Henry Conner with cat.

6:10 - 6:16 Hal Roach Studios.

6:17 - 6:20 Sign for Laurel-Hardy Comedies. 

                                                     *                   *                     *

The behind the scenes footage of the Roach backlot is interesting. You can see the exterior sets where scenes were shot outdoors. The "engine" represents a ship engine. The "S.S. Miramar" is an ocean liner set, the name has some significance that escapes me. The Hal Roach Studios offices can also be seen.

A number of the people who worked on SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME? can be seen in this footage. Charley Chase, briefly seen,  is actually the brother of director James Parrott. Charley Chase was known as Charles Parrot in some of his early movies.

 The Wikipedia item for the Laurel and Hardy movie SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME?:

Should Married Men Go Home?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Should Married Men Go Home?

Theatrical poster
Directed byLeo McCarey
James Parrott
Produced byHal Roach
Written byLeo McCarey
James Parrott
H.M. Walker
StarringStan Laurel
Oliver Hardy
CinematographyGeorge Stevens
Editing byRichard C. Currier
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s)
  • September 8, 1928 (1928-09-08)
Running time20 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageSilent film
English intertitles
Should Married Men Go Home? is a silent two-reel comedy produced by the Hal Roach Studios and starring Laurel and Hardy. It was filmed in March and May 1928, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on September 8 of that year. It was the first Roach film to bill Laurel and Hardy as a team — previously, their appearances together were under the Roach "All-Star Comedy" banner. Footage of the film featuring Laurel and Hardy on location in between shooting and some apparent out-takes has recently surfaced on YouTube[1].



Ollie and his wife are enjoying a quiet Sunday at home until Stan shows up, eager to play some golf. After Stan breaks the Hardys' Victrola and nearly sets fire to their house, Mrs. Hardy chases the boys out. At the golf course, they are partnered with a pair of comely young lasses to complete a foursome. The girls want to be treated to sodas, but the boys are short of money. Stan leaves his watch to settle the thirty-cent bill. On the course, they tangle with rude golfer Edgar Kennedy, and wind up in a mud-throwing battle with several other linksters.



Very Tall Golfer and how. John Aasen may have been as tall as 8'9" though "just" 8-feet might have been more accurate. Marion and Richard are at left. 1928 Lobby card.

 Supporting cast

John Aasen was (un)credited as "Very Tall Golfer" and it was indeed typecasting: Aasen was 8-foot-9.
Golf course girlfriends Edna Marion and Viola Richard had both been notified that Should Married Men Go Home? would be their last outing for the Hal Roach Studios — that their contracts would not be renewed. Marion had appeared in nearly fifty films, most for Roach, yet would go on to appear in only a half-dozen Poverty Row productions; she would be completely out of pictures by 1932. Viola Richard had enlivened several Charley Chase and Laurel and Hardy silent comedies before Married Men, yet would see service only twice more — both in 1935, both for Roach, both only as an extra; perhaps it was her considerable resemblance to "It Girl" Clara Bow that held her back in casting offices.

Routines for the future

The soda fountain routine — funny here in silent guise — would be reworked with sound and become even better a year later in the L&H talkie Men O' War. Jimmy Finlayson would take over dispensing duties from Charlie Hall in the talkie.
The gag of Stan slipping a note under the door, only to see it get pulled further in from the inside where the Hardys are hiding from him, would find new life and a return engagement in the 1931 talkie Come Clean when the Hardys again pretend not to be home when the Laurels come calling.

Out on the links

Oil derricks are visible just off some of the fairways on the golf course.
Should Married Men Go Home? slots right in with the L&H shorts of its era as far as the pattern of action at the finale: a widening circle of anarchy and mayhem envelops The Boys, the bystanders and everyone in between. Mud is the aggressive instrument of choice in Married Men, while in You're Darn Tootin' it's ripped pants, pies in The Battle of the Century and auto parts in Two Tars.

 Title and industry excitement

As was typical, the project had a working title: this one's was Follow Through. Also typically, it was H. M. "Beanie" Walker who wordsmithed the final release title.[1]
The time lag between the primary filming in March and the September release of Should Married Men Go Home? was unusually long — some six months — and included some summer vacation "away time." When the company reconvened in Los Angeles in Autumn 1928, the fame and popularity of the Laurel and Hardy team had charged up the town. L&H historian Randy Skretvedt notes that:
"By the time the film was released on September 8, L&H had become tremendously popular. MGM's publicity department began issuing billboard-sized posters to publicize the team. If this was an uncommon practice for a series of short subjects, MGM felt the team deserved the extra fanfare."[1]

Critical reputation

Laurel and Hardy authors and critics are strangely silent on Should Married Men Go Home? Despite its inclusion in 1967's feature-length compilation The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy, it is today either overlooked or underappreciated;[2] the best that prolific commentator Leslie Halliwell can muster for it is a lukewarm "Goodish star slapstick, but the preliminary domestic scene is the funniest."[3]
The lone exception to this is early L&H analyst William K. Everson who wrote (perhaps not coincidentally) in 1967: "One of the best of the "forgotten" Laurel and Hardy films, Should Married Men Go Home? admittedly overlaps with several other of their films but is no less funny because of it."[4] He cites Ollie's collapsing of the front fence, the soda fountain routine and Edgar Kennedy's toupee woes as high spots.


  1. ^ a b Skretvedt, Randy (1996). Laurel and Hardy: The Magic Behind the Movies. Beverly Hills: Past Times Publishing. ISBN 0-940410-29-X
  2. ^ Mitchell, Glenn (1995). The Laurel and Hardy Encyclopedia. London: B. T. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-7711-3, p. 239.
  3. ^ Walker, John, ed. (1994). Halliwell's Film Guide. New York: HarperPerennial. ISBN 0-06-273241-2, p.1077
  4. ^ Everson, William K. (1967). The Films of Laurel and Hardy. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0146-4, p.65.

 External links

It's been a while since I read any of the Laurel and Hardy books, so I don't recall what they might have said about this film. Wikipedia says William K. Everson liked this one: I liked it myself, but Everson also said something to the effect that Viola Richard's career may have suffered because she resembled Clara Bow, and I'd be inclined to doubt that. You never know why some people didn't do better in the movies and it can't necessarily be explained today. In Viola Richard's case, as well as Edna Marian's, Roach seems to have let them go as some sort of economy measure. Viola Richard would return to the Roach studio for some small parts in the mid 1930's. I think Edna Marion might also have come back in the 1930's.

James Parrott had tried acting early on, but later moved behind the scenes to write and direct. His story was a sad one, but not one that I need go into now.

                                                                  So, who to focus on?

Who else?
The girls have it. Even if Viola isn't really Clara Bow.
Laurel and Hardy again?
They insist that it's their story.
Oh, well. Let them tag along if they want.

Laurel and Hardy in the mud puddle again.

                                      See what happens when you pal around with those two?

                                                             Lobby Card From Wikipedia

            At least this picture is clean. The boys hadn't found their way into the mud puddle yet.

Finally, here is SHOULD MARRIED MEN GO HOME?, also on youtube:

Dorothy Coburn:

Edna Marion:

Viola Richard:

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