Laurel and Hardy

Vancouver Civic Theatres screens Laurel & Hardy Shorts (1927/28), November 27

Live music accompanies three slapstick-comedy gems to wrap up 2023’s Silent Movie Mondays

CREAM-PIE FIGHTS, BANANA-PEEL wipeouts, prison escapes, and wild chases: Laurel and Hardy still reign as slapstick comedy kings.

Vancouver Civic Theatres pays tribute to the comedians with its last Silent Movie Mondays screening of the year on November 27 at the historic Orpheum Theatre.

Screening are the jokesters’ shorts “Two Tars” (1928), “The Second Hundred Years” (1927), and “The Battle of the Century” (1927).

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy first joined forces in 1927 through Hal E. Roach Studios in Culver City, California. The three shorts were some of the first silent films the duo made before taking on talkies in the 1930s.

In “Two Tars (1928), Laurel and Hardy play a couple of sailors who bring two women with them on a car ride through the countryside. They wind up in the middle of a traffic jam when a fender-bender with an angry motorist sets off a series of offensive moves.

The two play a pair of criminals, Little Goofy and Big Goofy, who are thrown into jail for a century in “The Second Hundred Years” (1927). They pose as undercover painters to break free but end up back in jail after stealing the identities of French dignitaries.

“The Battle of the Century” (1927) holds the honour of having the largest pie fight in film history, one that takes over an entire city. Trainer-manager Hardy takes out an insurance policy on prizefighter Laurel then attempts to stage an accident to collect on it.

The films will be accompanied by Michael Dirk on the Wurlitzer organ, an instrument originally created to accompany silent films and the last in Canada still in its original home.

The Silent Movie Mondays experience also features a live jazz band performance in the lobby one hour before the show along with a thematic photobooth and popcorn and drink specials.

Following the show, Keith Blackmore of Vancouver Film School will host a discussion about the films’ history with special guests.

 Viewers of all ages are encouraged to dress up in their best flapper attire.

Granville Street in 1946. Photo courtesy The Orpheum

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