Stan vs Ollie

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks

><

S
8
62%
O
5
38%
 
Total votes: 13

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The Modernist
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby The Modernist » 02 Nov 2017, 20:57

Sneelock wrote:Ok, you tell me why you wouldn’t call him a straight man & I’ll tell you why I would.


I think there was more to him than just a foil for Stan. He produced a lot of the comedy himself. A straight man is, to me, someone who isn't funny in themselves but allows their partner to be funny. Someone like Ernie Wise (although you might not know him in The States) is a good example.

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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby never/ever » 02 Nov 2017, 21:18

It definitely works because of both parties and their traits-Stan's supposed dumb character (his eyes when he doesn't understand something, scratching the tuft of hair on top of his melon) would really get one sided if it weren't for Ollie's opposite traits (his quite malicious ways how he treats Stan and deals out physical punishment , his anger outbursts, countered with the almost foppish way he acts around women/people in power) . They enhance each others performances- Stan being put as the good , innocent but dim-witted guy works because of Hardy's malice and Ollie's heel-work works because he bullies a dimwitted character.
Then there is there slapstick-element and the underrated but great physical humour they did-the schlepping the piano-scene is absolutely brilliantly worked out.

I chose Ollie but I love Stan too. Really feel like watching a bunch of their short movies now.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Rayge » 02 Nov 2017, 21:24

The Modernist wrote:
Sneelock wrote:Ok, you tell me why you wouldn’t call him a straight man & I’ll tell you why I would.


I think there was more to him than just a foil for Stan. He produced a lot of the comedy himself. A straight man is, to me, someone who isn't funny in themselves but allows their partner to be funny. Someone like Ernie Wise (although you might not know him in The States) is a good example.


Yes, absolutely. Both Stan and Ollie insisted that wasn't the case, although Ollie always saw himself as a comic actor rather than a funny man per se, while Stan thought him every bit his equal, if not better as a performer and gave him his fair share of the funny lines. A lot of ollie's 'bits' - the tie twiddle, playing with the brim of his hat, the double takes, exasperated looks to the camera and slow burns, and so on - were his. An analogy that some Brits might get is that Stan was Spike Milligan to Ollie's Peter Sellers, with Stan doing the writing and creating (and effectively directing) and Ollie performing brilliantly.
Stan never did anything a quarter as good without Ollie, and vice versa. And they were friends, unlike many other double acts, spent a lot of their off-screen time together.

As you may gather, I've read a few biographies of them in my time, can't help but pontificate.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Canis lupus » 02 Nov 2017, 21:25


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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Canis lupus » 02 Nov 2017, 21:32

Spike Milligan wrote:From the moment I saw them on the screen I knew they were my friends.

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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby The Modernist » 02 Nov 2017, 21:39

Do you have a favourite short or film Ray?

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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Rayge » 02 Nov 2017, 22:15

The Modernist wrote:Do you have a favourite short or film Ray?

Yeah. Way Out West and Sons of the Desert are my favorite features. As for the shorts, I love so many, but I'm particularly fond of the escalating tit for tat ones, any where Stan gets drunk - ah, I like em all. Special mentions off the top of my head for Busy Bodies, Them Thar Hills, Tit for Tat, Perfect Day, Towed in the Hole, Laughing Gravy (especially the silent version), County Hospital, Brats, Twice Two, The Fixer-Uppers, Night Owls, Blotto...
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Sneelock » 02 Nov 2017, 22:18

I love "Brats" - one of my favorites too.

The Modernist wrote:
Sneelock wrote:Ok, you tell me why you wouldn’t call him a straight man & I’ll tell you why I would.


I think there was more to him than just a foil for Stan. He produced a lot of the comedy himself. A straight man is, to me, someone who isn't funny in themselves but allows their partner to be funny. Someone like Ernie Wise (although you might not know him in The States) is a good example.


well, I don't know Ernie Wise but, from your description, I get your point. I think you mean a guy like Bud Abbott who just feeds the lines and stands around while the "funny man" gets the laughs. I can see why you would rankle at this being applied to what Ollie did.

I'll agree that he was an inventive and talented comic actor. what fan wouldn't admit this immediately? the way he would fuss with his tie or his fingers - amazing, comedic stuff!

I do stand by my assertion that I find him a terrific straight man so I guess I'll explain why. I think this is rooted in the function of the straight man. the "funny man" is only part of what's funny. the reaction can heighten the funny to an entirely different level.

If Stan is doing something in a stupid and roundabout way - this is funny. Ollie becoming angry or resigned or exasperated lifts it all to a different level.

now, you factor in the whole "fourth wall" thing and I think this is where things really get amazing. Stan does something in a ridiculously drawn out and stupid way. Ollie looks at us!. we know what he's thinking.

it's true that "straight man" in a strictly vaudevillian sense of the word may seem a slight. I mean it as quite the opposite. I feel the very best straight men act to translate and heighten the humor to the audience.

Oliver Hardy was undoubtedly a gifted comedy performer. it is my opinion that he is also perhaps the silver screen's greatest straight man.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby sloopjohnc » 02 Nov 2017, 22:48

Ollie is the straight man, like Bud Abbott, Dick Smothers or Tina Fey in Fey/Poehler movies. You're not supposed to like him/her too much and Stan's job, like all other funny men, is to prick the bubble of his partner's seriousness and pretensions and bring him/her back down to earth.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Jimbo » 02 Nov 2017, 22:49

Hold on a minute Babalooie, but doesn't this thread belong on the Screenadelica board. Oh, Moderator!

Or might you see my point how nicely a movie thread can coexist with conspiracies and kiddy-fiddling movie stars.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Sneelock » 02 Nov 2017, 23:10

Jimbo wrote:...Or might you see my point how nicely a movie thread can coexist with conspiracies and kiddy-fiddling movie stars.


:lol: by George, I think you might have something there.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Rayge » 03 Nov 2017, 19:48

sloopjohnc wrote:You're not supposed to like him/her too much and Stan's job, like all other funny men, is to prick the bubble of his partner's seriousness and pretensions and bring him/her back down to earth.

This isn't how Stan and Ollie saw it.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby sloopjohnc » 03 Nov 2017, 20:02

Rayge wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:You're not supposed to like him/her too much and Stan's job, like all other funny men, is to prick the bubble of his partner's seriousness and pretensions and bring him/her back down to earth.

This isn't how Stan and Ollie saw it.


Do tell.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Nikki Gradual » 03 Nov 2017, 20:12

Stan by a country mile in all departments. All the subtlety and nuance, while Ollie was just gauche noise and very limited.
Their relationship must have been much like Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, but when you factor everything in Stan might just have been the greatest comic actor Britain ever produced.
My favourite is A Chump at Oxford solely because it is pretty much just a showcase for Stan to show his range a bit.
Last edited by Nikki Gradual on 03 Nov 2017, 20:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Rayge » 03 Nov 2017, 20:19

Nikki Gradual wrote:Ollie might just have been the greatest comic actor Britain ever produced.


Ollie was from Georgia. Stan was the Brit
Last edited by Rayge on 03 Nov 2017, 20:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Nikki Gradual » 03 Nov 2017, 20:21

Rayge wrote:
Nikki Gradual wrote:Ollie might just have been the greatest comic actor Britain ever produced.


Ollie was from Georgia. Stan was the Brit


Good spot and edited accordingly. Though I reckon it was probably pretty clear from my post that I meant Stan.
Last edited by Nikki Gradual on 03 Nov 2017, 20:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Rayge » 03 Nov 2017, 20:43

sloopjohnc wrote:
Rayge wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:You're not supposed to like him/her too much and Stan's job, like all other funny men, is to prick the bubble of his partner's seriousness and pretensions and bring him/her back down to earth.

This isn't how Stan and Ollie saw it.


Do tell.

The two of them were both essentially playing children, applying child-like logic to (more or less) adult situations. They are both innocents, and neither is very bright. They generally start out well-meaning, but are overcome by incompetence, and both have an instinct for destruction. Yes Ollie is slightly more inclined to pomposity and to give himself airs in front of Stan, and to be shy and gauche with ladies, etc and Stan to be more innocent and vacuous – they play to their strengths – but they are essentially two halves of the same character. Although they often fight and squabble, often splendidly, we are not meant to take sides, or see one as more likeable or funny than the other, while they are always together, more or less inseparable in terms of screen time - we see them in the same bed in Laughing Gravy, married to each other in Twice Two, wearing the same pair of outsize trousers in Pack up Your Trouble, and so on, they are often literally yoked together. Ollie's catchphrases - That's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into, Now Look What You Made Me Do, Why Don't You Do Something to HELP Me - define this relationship, along with Stan's I Didn't Mean to Do It.
Anyway, time's getting on and I could pseud for Jupiter on this subject, so I'll shut up now.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Rayge » 03 Nov 2017, 20:45

Nikki Gradual wrote:
Rayge wrote:
Nikki Gradual wrote:Ollie might just have been the greatest comic actor Britain ever produced.


Ollie was from Georgia. Stan was the Brit


Good spot and edited accordingly. Though I reckon it was probably pretty clear from my post that I meant Stan.


In which case, 'was by a distance' should replace 'might just have been' ;)
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 03 Nov 2017, 21:20

Rayge wrote:
The Modernist wrote:Do you have a favourite short or film Ray?

Yeah. Way Out West and Sons of the Desert are my favorite features. As for the shorts, I love so many, but I'm particularly fond of the escalating tit for tat ones, any where Stan gets drunk - ah, I like em all. Special mentions off the top of my head for Busy Bodies, Them Thar Hills, Tit for Tat, Perfect Day, Towed in the Hole, Laughing Gravy (especially the silent version), County Hospital, Brats, Twice Two, The Fixer-Uppers, Night Owls, Blotto...


Couldn't agree more, Rayge. I'd just want to add the laughing scene with L&H in Fra Diavolo, IMHO that's just after Stan got totally plastered whilst filling bottles of wine from a casket - he used the time slot between changing bottles to insert the tube into his mouth, to avoid any spilling.

But as per usual, at the end of this laughing session, Stan unwillingly uttered something that had to be kept secret at all costs.

So, great danger was again on the horizon.
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Re: Stan vs Ollie

Postby Moleskin » 03 Nov 2017, 22:06

Rayge wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:
Rayge wrote:This isn't how Stan and Ollie saw it.


Do tell.

The two of them were both essentially playing children, applying child-like logic to (more or less) adult situations. They are both innocents, and neither is very bright. They generally start out well-meaning, but are overcome by incompetence, and both have an instinct for destruction. Yes Ollie is slightly more inclined to pomposity and to give himself airs in front of Stan, and to be shy and gauche with ladies, etc and Stan to be more innocent and vacuous – they play to their strengths – but they are essentially two halves of the same character. Although they often fight and squabble, often splendidly, we are not meant to take sides, or see one as more likeable or funny than the other, while they are always together, more or less inseparable in terms of screen time - we see them in the same bed in Laughing Gravy, married to each other in Twice Two, wearing the same pair of outsize trousers in Pack up Your Trouble, and so on, they are often literally yoked together. Ollie's catchphrases - That's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Me Into, Now Look What You Made Me Do, Why Don't You Do Something to HELP Me - define this relationship, along with Stan's I Didn't Mean to Do It.
Anyway, time's getting on and I could pseud for Jupiter on this subject, so I'll shut up now.


Beautifully put. You can bore on about them as much as you like so far as I'm concerned.
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