Stan (2006)

This biopic had an unusual genesis, based as it was on a radio play. The sparse sets reflect the intimacy of its origins, creating a suitable stage for this depiction of one of cinema’s best-loved partnerships.

 

Not that it started out that way. While visiting his ailing friend of over 30 years, Stan Laurel recalls how he was initially against the idea of teaming with Oliver Hardy. Now, as he prepares to say goodbye, he is in turn scared and bitter at being left alone.

 

Whether recreating scenes from a career that spanned both silent and sound, or inventing others out of whole cloth (Laurel and Hardy in Space?!?) this biopic displays the affection shared between the two without really conveying its depth.

 

It is that same affection engendered by the comedy duo that at times makes it difficult to see them at this stage of their lives. Nevertheless, the final punchline shared between the two provides a fitting farewell for the team and viewer alike.

cast, stan laurel, oliver hardy, Jim Norton, trevor cooper
Jim Norton
Jim Norton

as Stan Laurel

Trevor Cooper
Trevor Cooper

as Oliver Hardy

Nik Howden
Nik Howden

as Stan Laurel

Mike Goodenough
Mike Goodenough

as Oliver Hardy

1/2
fact check, factcheck, fact vs fiction, inaccuracies, true story

Towards the end of his life, Oliver Hardy had lost a lot of weight and was not the rotund figure portrayed in the film.

Nik Howden, Mike Goodenough, Martin Marquez, Hal Roach, lucky dog

Biopic features a few scene recreations within its short running time, opening with a depiction of Laurel and Hardy's first film together, The Lucky Dog, before they became a team.

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