History In Ink®  Historical Autographs


1534601

Stan Laurel

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“Hal Roach sold out all rights to the L&H comedies,

but I believe M.G.M. retained the rights to this particular picture . . . ”

Stan Laurel, born Arthur Stanley Jefferson, 1890–1965.  English comic actor and star of American comedy films, most notably in the duo Laurel and Hardy.  Typed Letter Signed, Stan Laurel, one page, 8” x 10”, on personal stationery, March 30, 1959.

This is an excellent content letter in which Laurel writes of two different Laurel and Hardy films.  He speaks at length about obtaining a copy of The Devilʼs Brother (1933) and refers his correspondent to a French source for the last Laurel and Hardy film, Utopia (1951), which was released in France as Atoll K and in the United Kingdom as Robinson Crusoeland.

Laurel writes, in part:  “Regarding the ʻDevilʼs Brotherʼ film, Hal Roach sold out all rights to the L&H comedies, but I believe M.G.M. retained the rights to this particular picture & have full control of it—how this came about I frankly doʼnt [sic] know.  However, there is a possibility you can obtain a 16mm print from a Bob Chatterton . . . . [H]e is a film dealer & I think will be able to help you.  He visited me here one night several months ago & ran ʻDevilʼs Brotherʼ for me (16mm).  Am not sure if he owned this print or not or whether he borrowed it for the occasion, but am sure if you drop him a line, he will be happy to give you the necessary information—I understand, he does a lot of trading & has quite a supply of old films.  Incidentally, the print he ran for me was in very good condition even thoʼ its [sic] evidently a ʻBootlegʼ copy.  /  Re “Utopia” film (it was titled “Atoll K” in France).  I am giving you the address again to be sure you got it right, on the phone . . .  /  Shall look forward to the pleasure of meeting you during your next trip South.  /  My regards & best wishes.  /  Sincerely: . . . .”

The comedic synergy of the thin Laurel and the heavyset Oliver Hardy (1892–1957) was apparent from their start of their work together.  Both had established film careers before they separately signed contracts with the Hal Roach Studio in 1926.  They first appeared together as a comedy team in the silent film Putting Pants on Philip (1927).  They stayed with Roach until 1940 and then appeared in comedies for 20th Century Fox and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for five years before spending time on the stage in England, Scotland, and Ireland.  They finished their screen career with Utopia, or Atoll K.  Altogether, Laurel and Hardy appeared in 107 films as a comedy team, including 23 full-length feature films.

Laurel likely typed this letter himself on his home letterhead.  The typographical errors show that he was far more interested in communication than in appearances.  He has signed this letter with his classic signature, with the typical paraph and the period after his name, in black fountain pen.  The letter has been slightly trimmed and mounted on a backing board for previous framing.  A telephone number, possibly Laurelʼs home telephone number, is written in ink in another hand below the return address at the upper left, and there is a bit of soiling in the text at the right edge.  Overall the letter is in fine condition.

Unframed.  Click here for information about custom framing this piece.

 

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$475.00

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