Author Topic: Submit Your Lists For List of Crap #118: Top 50 Laurel and Hardy Films!  (Read 1277 times)

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Offline stethacantus

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Okay, so almost no one here ever saw a Laurel and Hardy movie? Unbelievable! Almost everyone on the planet knows who Laurel and Hardy were.  I don't think there are many members here who never heard of them, or didn't know they were a comedy team from old black and white films. Like Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne, they are long dead movie stars that are still household names and can still be identified by their picture. They are generally considered one of the greatest comedy teams of all time. You would think members here would have at the least some mild curiosity when they saw a L&H film for rent, or being broadcasted on AMC or TCM. March of the Wooden Soldiers is among the all time top ten holiday films, and has been in perpetual syndication since the 1970s. In NYC it is broadcast at least twice a year; once annually on Thanksgiving day, and again annually on Christmas day. It's hard to miss.

Or maybe this is some sort of generational thing? Perhaps they were bigger celebrities when I was growing up? They were both already deceased, and it had been a decade since their last film, when The Beatles chose them to be among the historical celebrities on their Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. A decade later, when Scooby Doo had that one weird season where they kept meeting famous people, among the famous contemporary celebrities to guest star were Laurel and Hardy. The Scooby gang completely ignoring that Laurel and Hardy famously died decades earlier, and upon meeting them should have immediately identified them as ghosts. They were still popular enough in the 80s for two different syndicated weekly series that showcased their films. One of those series featured their silent films, and this was a time when silent films were a hard sell for broadcast outside of PBS. They weren't even broadcasting Charlie Chaplin films on television any more.  During the 90s AMC and TCM were in a bidding war over the exclusive broadcast rights to their Roach sound films.

At what point were they suddenly out if fashion?  Did the Millennials, who grew up in a post Star Wars world where MTV always existed, not find their movies flashy enough? Or was it a failure on the part of their parents, who's duty was to introduce their children to the comedians they found funny when they were young, but instead allowed their kids to gorge on Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel? Or perhaps Nintendo and the rise of video games took away the time past generations wasted on old comedies? For whatever reason, a lot of people on this website completely missed out on the pleasure of watching the best of the Laurel and Hardy films. They heard of them. I dont recall any member on this site asking "Who is this Laurel and Hardy guy you keep talking about?" They knew enough that Laurel and Hardy were those two old time comedians in Bowler Hats. They just couldn't be bothered watching their films.

So. Good excuse not to participate in this LoC, right?  You never saw one of their films, so can't rank which ones were the best. Well, not so fast. Most of the Laurel and Hardy films were 20 minute shorts. Very easy to binge watch if you have the time. And considering how many major television series have ended, some without petitions to repeat their final season, there is more spare time than has been in decades to binge watch something that isn't from Netflix.   YouTube has most if the Laurel and Hardy films which means you could watch them for free. YouTube also has most of their feature films. If you got one of them smart TVs with a YouTube app then you could be watching right now. You could also be watching on your PC, laptop or smartphone. Most streaming services have Laurel and Hardy films, so if you already have a subscription then they are free to watch. Binging enough films to fill a list should not take that long, quicker if you were to stick with the shorts. One of the reasons for these LoCs is to promote the books, television shows and movies other members here had not yet seen. Usually this occurs  after a non participant reads an LoC and becomes inspired to sample something listed on it.  But it would be nice if you watched their films in time to participate in the LoC rather than be inspired to watch their films later, discover you like them a lot,  end up watching most of their films, then regret not having submitted your own list to this LoC. Like I said, the internet  today makes it a lot easier to find and watch their films than it was when I was growing up.

So, lets say you were to decide to watch a few L&H films, to see what the fuss is all about, and perhaps have seen enough for a partial list.  which of their films should you watch?  There are about 30 films true L&H fans agree are their best. But if I mentioned those here, then they would be the only films on everyone's list, and I couldn't do a top 50. Besides, your favorite L&H film could be something outside of their 30 best.  All I can say that their fans generally HATE their 40s feature films made at 20th Century Fox and MGM, and find their final feature film made in the 50s hard to watch due to how old and sickly Laurel looked. Their sweet spot is between 1927 and 1938, but that doesn't mean you won't find films you like outside of those years, or that they didn't release any duds during those years. Just pick out their films at random and you are sure to land on a lot of realy good ones.

These are their films on YouTube. Hopefully all the links still work. The movies without links are the ones YouTube caught.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

For the one or two true Laurel and Hardy fans participating in this LoC who has seen all but their lost films, you know you could easily come up with 25 films. You probably have about 75 of their films you think deserve to be in the top 50 and narrowing your list down to 25 will be a bitch. For you guys, I may have a treat. More on that later.

THE RULES
As with any LoC, you are submitting a list of no more than 25.  In this case, the best 25 Laurel and Hardy films you have ever seen.  I am also accepting short lists for those of you still participating but  havn't seen 25  and dont think you have the time to see any more. What films can you submit on your list? Easy. Any motion picture with both the comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in it. Full length feature films count. Their shorts definitely count.  Early films that both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy acted in but we're not yet officially a team still count. Films where they were only guest stars or only had brief cameos count. Compilation films with clips of Laurel and Hardy count. Documentaries of L&H count. Newsreels featuring L&H count. Their only television appearance on This Is Your Life counts. What doesn't count? Animated cartoons of L&H or any film with actors playing L&H ( Sorry, that also means Stan and Ollie ). Solo films do not count. Both Laurel and Hardy must be in the cast.

Submit a list to my PM of your top 25 favorite L&H films, with #1 on your list being your favorite, #2 being your second favorite, and so on. Partial lists will be accepted with no point penalty. As usual the lists will be tallied up to create the master LoC list. So for example, the #1 film on your list will get 25 points, the #25 on your list will get 1 point.

Okay true Laurel and Hardy fans, I promised a treat, and here it is:

BRAND NEW B LIST RULE

One thing true Laurel and Hardy fans can agree on, and that is what their best 30 films are. And that can be a biiiiiiiiiiig problem. Because if everyone cuts their list down to the same 25 then we won't have enough movies for a full 50 list. And Lord knows Laurel and Hardy have more than enough films for a best 50 list. Hopefully the newer Laurel and Hardy fans participating and haven't seen all their best yet will submit films outside of their 30 best. But there is a danger here that less than 50 films will be submitted, even if we get a dozen lists submitted.

Fortunately, there is a workaround. That would be a B list. Let me explain how it works:

Okay, how many times have you worked on a LoC list and felt terrible about having to cut your favorites from that list to get it down to 25? For those of you who could easily come up with far more than 25 L&H films that deserve a spot in the top 50, I introduce the B LIST. Basically, these would be the films that you would have ranked from #26 to #50 on your original list if it had been allowed. So, how does the B list work? Well, lets say that I do get less than 50 films to rank in the LoC. I would then go to the B lists, figure out their ranking, and use those films to fill in the rest of the 50. The only way the B list will effect the top 25 lists is in cases of tie breaking. If a tie can't be broken in any other way, then if it made someone's B list will be considered.

Okay, some of you are saying " Forget it! I can barely come up with 25 films!" No worries. Just as I will accept partial 25 lists, I will also accept partial B lists. I have seen all but two of their films, so I will definitely be submitting  my own B list if needed, so at the least 50 films will be submitted. I just dont want to be the only one picking the back 50.  As for those of you who can barely come up with 25, don't threat. Your list is probably more valuable to the LoC than from longtime L&H fans, because as newbies to L&H, you are probably submitting films no one else would. If I could convince five or six newbies to submit partial lists, then there is a good possibility the B list would never be needed.

BTW, while a B list is something that will probably only be used on this LoC, there is a chance topics will be picked in the future that will need it. For example, if we ever do a Top 50 N64 list, which only had 290 games released in North America, I am sure most of us would submit the same 30 games. A B list would come in handy. It's not something you would need on wide topics like "Top 50 Science Fiction Films", but would be something needed on narrower topics like "Top 50 Space Opera Films". 


Offline Johnny Unusual

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It's short, but I sent in mine.


Offline George-2.0

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I have my 25, but I'll wait before sending it in, just in case I watch a few more

Not sure I'll have time though, as I'm getting back to my miniseries project for my movie blog. And it goes without saying, there are no 20-minute minis. ;) (Heimat for example, runs 59 and a half hours in total. One day I will tackle that cinematic Everest)

But I digress, I enjoyed what I saw from L&H and am looking forward to the list and reading the write-ups.



Offline stethacantus

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The curse is alive and well.

The text you see at the top of this topic is both in text files on my home PC, and backed up in draft form on my old Yahoo Mail account. Should some jerk looking for a bitcoin ransom re-encrypt my files again, I got the backups and won't need to start from scratch. And I can work on this LoC from my device at work.

Except, that just this week Yahoo did something to my email account blocking me from cutting and pasting text on an android smartphone.

The Curse.

I was able to fix it by upgrading my Yahoo account, which I didn't really want to do, but apparently the old account is in the process of being dismantled to prompt us into their "upgraded" account.  So once that was fixed I began to cut and paste the text, which included reformatting the paragraphs. And when that was finished I hit send..... and found out I was timed out of the Rifftrax site.

The Curse

So I signed in again, cut and pasted the text again, reformatted the paragraphs again, hit post...

and the phone's alarm went off. It was a flood alert for parts of Pennsylvania. Which I was getting in New York. Which instantly sapped whatever  electricity my battery had left, which shut the whole phone down with no way to reboot until it was plugged in, which I couldn't do because I was already in the subway.

The Curse!

And there was some sort of accident that held up all the trains. Well, actually just my train as the ones behind me happily bypassed  us on the local track. So the commute home took for ever.

No curse there. The subway always sucks.



So only this hour I could confirm this thread was posted. Only now did I notice I didn't add a deadline for submissions. Usually that is about ten days and then extended. Some of you may want it to go a little longer so you can watch some films. But I am open to having the deadline on August 1st - 5th.


Offline Darth Geek

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When are lists due?



Offline stethacantus

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When are lists due?

Usually the due date is about ten days after the topic is posted, but then the due date is always postponed to allow for procrastinators. So there are really never solid due dates on the LoC. Well except for one. The Best Santa Movies topic needed to be in by a certain date in order to be completed by Christmas Day, and as you remember, Tinkles threatened to kill us all if we didn't get the lists in on time.

So the tentative due date would be about August 5th, but as always, that's just a suggestion. I have asked members here to binge watch enough films for a list, and I can't just pull the rug out from under them by finalizing the list before they have submitted their list. Also, while most hosts aim for getting the most possible lists submitted, my goal is for at least 50 different films to be submitted. Which is not as easy as it sounds because there is going to be a lot of films that make everyone's list. Currently two lists, including my own, are submitted. And the tally so far is 28 films contending for the top 50.

So basically, the deadline is up to you guys. I'm ready to go once I hit 50 films, but I will wait for whoever needs me to wait. I can always make up time posting the completed LoC. I am enough of an amateur expert on L&H to write and post the entire LoC within five days if needed.


Offline George-2.0

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Sent mine in

I came to realize that I had too much on my plate and wouldn't be able to watch more at this time, so off it went. It's a full 25, culled from around 45 I watched over the years (so no one can say I didn't put in the effort)  ;)
« Last Edit: July 28, 2019, 12:18:53 PM by George-2.0 »


Offline stethacantus

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Sent mine in

I came to realize that I had too much on my plate and wouldn't be able to watch more at this time, so off it went. It's a full 25, culled from around 45 I watched over the years (so no one can say I didn't put in the effort)  ;)

For the purposes of this LoC, it is probably better off that you didn't attempt to watch the other 60 films because you probably would have ended up selecting most of the same 30 films that most L&H fans put on their lists as the best. Not that anything outside their 30 best are not as good. We are talking about the 30 being gold standard, and the next 60 being a silver standard or gold/silver mix standard. I much prefer this LoC doing what LoCs do when they are best, and have a bunch of unconventional films on the list rather than it turning out the same as the best of lists on the L&H fan sites.

Currently with three lists in we have 38 films submitted. Your list was good for 10 not yet submitted. Hopefully the trend will continue and the goal of 50 films will be reached without having to call for a B list submission, but there is probably going to be a lot of duplicates to come.


Offline CJones

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I'm in Alabama now, to deal with my dad's house and safe deposit box. That was not a fun 11 hour drive. Turns out the key to the box isn't where he said it was so it will have to be drilled. AND I just found out there's a lien on the house he didn't tell anyone about that has to be settled before I can sell it. Fuck.

I swear I will try to get around to watching these movies, if not while I'm here then when I get back to Norfolk. But that will be Friday at the earliest.


Offline stethacantus

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I swear I will try to get around to watching these movies, if not while I'm here then when I get back to Norfolk. But that will be Friday at the earliest.

HEY! The deadline is the 5th! And you know what that means? That's right! The deadline is somewhere around the 20th! And then my computer will explode,  or I will be attacked by a lion, or some other bad luck thingy will force me to postpone posting the LoC for another week. That's how the LoC is run around here! Like a tight ship! Just like the Titanic! So you better have that list ready by some undetermined time in the future, OR ELSE!

Seriously, what is the record here for gaps between deadlines and postponing the deadline for late lists? ( Not counting delaying the list for host misfortunes. ) This is an unusual situation where participants are only just getting around to watching the films, and then figure out a list.

I probably could use more time. I am doing the write-ups in advance, and on one short alone I decided to do a mini bio on bit player Frank Terry and it took hours because the guy had an amazing life, and was also a wanted outlaw in at least three countries before going to Hollywood. So if this keeps up then it may take a little longer than expected to write the entries.



Offline stethacantus

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Re: Submit Your Lists For List of Crap #118: Top 50 Laurel and Hardy Films!
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2019, 11:23:39 AM »
So, technically the list deadline was yesterday, but in keeping with tradition, the deadline is usually expanded by a couple of weeks. But it is also part of tradition for those submitting late lists to either pm or tell the host their list is coming. So basically I am looking for status reports so I can figure when to begin tabulating. So far still two lists, one a partial list.


Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Submit Your Lists For List of Crap #118: Top 50 Laurel and Hardy Films!
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2019, 12:27:40 PM »
I am definitely going to submit a list but I am still watching them for the next few days.



Offline CJones

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Re: Submit Your Lists For List of Crap #118: Top 50 Laurel and Hardy Films!
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2019, 03:43:56 PM »
I am finally, FINALLY (mostly) done with dealing with my father's house in Huntsville, AL. We drilled the safe deposit box. $30K in bonds, as expected, and a gold Rolex. Couldn't get into the safe so we brought the whole thing home.

So yeah, I'm back home in Portsmouth, VA. It's not great, but at least it's not Alabama. That took way WAY longer than we expected.

So now, FINALLY, I have time to sit down and watch Laurel and Hardy. When is the deadline? Yesterday! HAHAHAHAhaha


Offline stethacantus

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Re: Submit Your Lists For List of Crap #118: Top 50 Laurel and Hardy Films!
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2019, 07:10:59 PM »
When is the deadline? Yesterday! HAHAHAHAhaha



Offline Darth Geek

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Re: Submit Your Lists For List of Crap #118: Top 50 Laurel and Hardy Films!
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2019, 12:51:21 PM »



That guy is becoming one of my favorite recurring actors in the Laurel and Hardy shorts.