Slapstick Saturday

NSFF 2021
9 January 2021
Slapstick Saturday: Laurel and/or Hardy

4:00 PM (local time): presentation NL
8:30 PM (local time): presentation ENG

Films: ENG with NL subtitles
Only via livestream (both showings!)

There will be not one, but two Slapstick Saturdays this year. One in the afternoon (4:00 PM, local time) and one in the evening (8:30 PM). Slapstick Saturday can exclusively be enjoyed via our special livestream (both showings) which is included in our passe partout.

The subtitle of Slapstick Saturday is ‘Laurel and/or Hardy’. This is not for naught. Because, in addition to the very first film by Laurel & Hardy (THE LUCKY DOG, 1921), also DUCK SOUP (1927), THE FINISHING TOUCH (1928) and BATTLE OF THE CENTURY (1927) will be shown. And we’ll see Stan Laurel, by himself, in DETAINED (1924). The scene in which Laurel’s neck is extended to unreal proportions was long considered lost. Until 2017, when the scene was found in the Fries Film Archief!

All films have been restored and archived by Lobster Films Paris.

Both Slapstick Saturdays are presented by festival director Daan van den Hurk. The films are musically accompanied live by the NSFF Trio:
Daan van den Hurk (piano)
Bart Soeters (bas)
Frank van der Star (drums)



USA, 1921
Director: Jess Robbins
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Florence Gilbert

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy already had long careers in silent film comedy before forming a legendary duo. Originally British, Laurel came to America in 1910 as part of the Fred Karno company, also known as Fred Karno’s Army, where he also was the understudy of Charlie Chaplin. Laurel played his first film role in 1917 and left the theater for good a few years later to focus on a career as a film actor. In THE LUCKY DOG, actually a Stan Laurel solo film, Oliver Hardy was accidentally cast in the role of the villain. While it doesn’t quite ‘feel’ like a true Laurel & Hardy film, there are some glimpses of the typical genius dynamic between the two.

In THE LUCKY DOG, Laurel is evicted from his home, because he cannot pay the rent. He finds a dog on the street that he decides to keep. He bumps into a robber (Hardy), but manages to escape. To impress a girl, Laurel signs up his dog for a dog show, however her boyfriend is not pleased and decides to work with the robber to take care of Laurel…


USA, 1927
Director: Fred Guiol
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, William Austin, Madeline Hurlock, James Marcus

DUCK SOUP is the first ‘official’ Laurel & Hardy film. As an experiment, producer Hal Roach put them together in the two lead roles and the rest is history. The firehouse wants to put Laurel and Hardy to work, but they escape on a rickety bicycle and end up at a luxurious abandoned house. They pretend to be the owners (with Laurel as a charming maid) to sell the house to an unsuspecting young couple. But then the real owner returns…

DUCK SOUP was considered lost for decades and was initially thought to be a Stan Laurel solo film with just a small role for Oliver Hardy. It couldn’t be further from the truth: the two formed a full-fledged duo and it has always remained that way.


USA, 1924
Director: Percy Pembroke
Cast: Stan Laurel, Julie Leonard, Agnès Ayres

DETAINED is one of the twelve solo films Stan Laurel made for producer Joe Rock. A much-described scene (with Laurel on the gallows stretching his neck) was found in the Fries Film Archief in 2017. The scene was cut from the original and has not been seen on any copy of the film. The NSFF already showed the film in 2018, but only for a small audience. This is your second chance to watch the complete film!


USA, 1928
Director: Clyde Bruckman
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Edger Kennedy, Dorothy Coburn, Sam Lufkin

THE FINISHING TOUCH is a classic Laurel & Hardy and their first ‘working men’ film, in which they renovate an entire house in one day. However, the nun of the adjacent retirement home reminds them to be silent. At the end of the day, the house is done, but is it as stable as it looks?


USA, 1927
Director: Clyde Bruckman
Cast: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Noah Young, Eugene Pallette

In no other film in film history this many pies are thrown across the screen as in BATTLE OF THE CENTURY, a Laurel & Hardy classic. Yet the famous pie scene was lost for a long time. Lobster Films in Paris rediscovered the scene and placed it back into the original.