They are one of the most famous and renowned comedy duos in history and now a new movie promises to share Laurel and Hardy’s untold story, inspired by their farewell tour at the end of their glittering career.
Stan & Ollie is the latest film to revisit the legendary fame of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, with Steve Coogan, 52, and John C. Reilly, 53, playing the comedy giants. The stage stars first shot to fame during the late 1920s through to the mid-1940s during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema.
The new film follows them on their final tour in the UK in 1953 – and while they had been used to sell-out shows for more than 25 years, they’re now seen performing to half-empty halls.
“We were empty last night, I guess people just don’t want to see Laurel and Hardy anymore,” Stan can be heard saying.
The trailer gives a first glimpse at what fans can expect as the stars go through battles of professional rivalry and a declining audience, before bidding a final farewell to the stage – all with loyal partners behind them.
The movie then shows the close friends fighting after Hardy did some solo work, with Laurel shouting at him: “You’re just a lazy a** who got lucky because you met me.” Responding to the insult, Hardy then hits back: “Lucky? To spend my life with a man who hides behind his typewriter?”
It also touches on Hardy’s failing health, with Reilly’s character seen collapsing mid-way through the trailer leaving his closest loved ones concerned for him. He had been suffering from a heart condition at the time, and would sadly later die of a stroke in 1957.
His wife Lucille, played by Shirley Henderson, tells him in the footage: “I love you, but I won’t stand by and watch this nutty tour put you in a wooden box.”
Writer Jeff Pope is responsible for the new movie and previously admitted to the Telegraph that he felt immense pressure to get the movie right, following the comedians’ legendary career.
“I am aware of the huge responsibility of bringing their characters to life, but I have not treated the boys with kid gloves or looked at them through rose-coloured specs,” he told the news outlet.
“They are living and breathing characters, with flaws and shortcomings. The research into this story threw up so many details and facts that I had no idea about.”
He added: “But everything I have done has come from a place of love and more than anything else I hope this shines through.”
While the movie will be released in January 2019 across the world, its world premiere is scheduled for the 62nd BFI London Film Festival on October 21.