Laurel and Hardy Movies

Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel were one of the greatest screen duos of all-time.

Want to know the best Laurel and Hardy movies?  How about the worst Laurel and Hardy movies?  Curious about Laurel and Hardy box office grosses or which Laurel and Hardy movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Laurel and Hardy movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Recently Ultimate Movie Ranking page asked the question….”Which Screen Duo was the most successful of all-time when looking at box office grosses?”  The answer turned out to be the Screen Duo team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.   Lots of people suggested Laurel and Hardy….but at the time we did not have box office totals for many of their movies…so we could not include them.    Now that we have box office numbers for Stan and Ollie….you will see they finished in 2nd place when looking at the greatest Screen Duos of all-time….so everybody that answered Laurel and Hardy…..good job!

Laurel and Hardy made many short films in their career.  The following table only looks at their 27 full length movies.   The movies are ranked from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.  You can decide which is the best way to rank their movies……just pick the category and sort the results.

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in 1933’s Sons of the Desert

Laurel and Hardy Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Laurel and Hardy movies by co-stars of their movies.
  • Sort Laurel and Hardy movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost
  • Sort Laurel and Hardy movies by domestic box office rank by year
  • Sort Laurel and Hardy movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort Laurel and Hardy movies by how many Oscar® nominations and Oscar® wins their movies received.
  • Sort Laurel and Hardy movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
 

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Laurel and Hardy Table

  1. Seven Laurel and Hardy movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 25.92% of their movies listed.  Sons of the Desert (1933) was their biggest box office ht when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average Laurel and Hardy movie grosses $76.22 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  19 Laurel and Hardy’ movies are rated as good movies…or 73.07% of their movies. Sons of the Desert (1933) is their highest rated movie while Hollywood Party (1934) was their lowest rated movie.
  4. Three Laurel and Hardy movies received Oscar® nominations or 11.11% of their movies
  5. Zero Laurel and Hardy movies won an Oscar® or 0.00% of their movies
  6. An “good movie”  Ultimate Movie Ranking  (UMR) Score is 60.00 or higher.  17 Laurel and Hardy movies scored higher than that UMR score….or 62.96% of their movies. Sons of the Desert (1933) got the the highest UMR Score while Utopia (1951) got the lowest UMR Score.

Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston, Lancashire in north west England in 1890.  He joined Fred Karno’s troupe of actors in 1910 with the stage name of “Stan Jefferson”; the troupe also included a young Charlie Chaplin.  Chaplin and Laurel arrived in the United States on the same ship.  Both ended up in Hollywood making comic shorts.  Laurel began working with Oliver Hardy in 1927.  They quickly became friends and that friendship really showed up on movie screens. They would quickly become some of the biggest stars working in Hollywood.  Laurel was married 5 times and had two children.  Laurel was given a Honorary Oscar® in 1961.  He passed away on February 23rd, 1965.

Oliver Hardy was born in Harlem, Georgia in 1892.  In 1910, when a movie theater opened in Hardy’s hometown of Milledgeville, he became the projectionist, ticket taker, janitor, and manager. He soon became obsessed with the new motion picture industry and was convinced that he could do a better job than the actors he saw….turns out he was correct.   After appearing in a few shorts with Stan Laurel in 1927.  Leo McCarey, realizing the audience reaction to the two, began intentionally teaming them together. This led to the start of a Laurel and Hardy series later that year. Hardy was married three times and no children.  He passed away on August 7th, 1957.

Steve Lensman’s Laurel and Hardy You Tube Video

Check out the Laurel and Hardy movie career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time

Be aware.  Normally we have some great resources for classic box office grosses.  In this case we had to rely on the Harrison Reports for most of our estimated grosses.   We like the Harrison Reports, but they are not our favorite source.  Usually we feel pretty good in our calculations.  That is not the case on this page.   After years of looking, we have determined Laurel and Hardy grosses are nowhere to be found.  So going with the “something is better than nothing” approach, we decided to finally show our estimated Laurel and Hardy box office grosses.   But we freely admit…we are standing on cracked ice on this page.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.

 

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39 thoughts on “Laurel and Hardy Movies

    1. Hey Tammy….no problem….it is hot off the presses….just finished it yesterday…after literally researching it for years.

  1. BRUCE/STEVE 1 We three had a series of exchanges when Steve produced his Laurel & Hardy video last year and I have taken the liberty of copying to this new page the main comments that we offered at the time.

    2 It’s hard to believe that the exchanges and the video were just before Xmas 2016 and we are now fast approaching Xmas 2017. In fact thinking that the video and our comments were more recent I got very frustrated when it took me so long to find the posts concerned and had begun to wonder if one of my jibes about WH’s Guru and Box Office Queen had for once found the mark and that ole Brucie had deleted the L & H posts to get revenge !

    4 However you will note if you follow the exchanges that I have copied that whilst the Work Horse and Steve were very pessimistic about Brucie’s ability to locate L & H stats I oozed confidence that Joel’s disciple would not let us down. To yet again paraphrase Baby Houseman’s father in Dirty Dancing “When I’m the one who gets it right I SAY I’m the one who got it right!”

    5 Anyway congratulations to the two of you for jointly providing us all with a pictorial and a statistical/historical profile of 2 guys who could well compete with the Marx Bros for the accolade the greatest comedy team of all time and who are certainly true Legends in the full sense of the word. A film buff could not ask for more than what the pair of you have produced

    FOR THE RECORD
    6 For artistic merit Steve and WH have the same Top 4 Laurel and Hardy movies AND astonishingly in identical order with Steve opting for Pack up Your Troubles as his No 5 as opposed to Bruce’s Chump at Oxford. Maybe my quotation of Matthew Arnold’s poem about the Scholar Gypsy deserting Oxford and his friends influenced the !Work Horse’s 5th choice !!

    1. BOB to STEVE
      December 11, 2016 at 5:38 am
      1 I think many comedy actors can become repetitive because their type of talent can limit them from varying their roles and as Laurel and Hardy made 79 short films it was inevitable that those movies would perhaps seem more repetitive than others in the genre.

      2 VIDEO COMMENTS (1) wisely you have stuck to their feature films and as there were 27 of those you have therefore covered the majority (2) when I saw that you had a top TWENTY I was half expecting to see a 21st and that being Ollie’s solo with the Duke, The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) (3) Our Relations is the only one of the 20 with which I am not familiar(4) searching my memory of your many videos that I have now watched I have come to the conclusion that only Bogie’s posters match those of the silent/early talkies comedy stars and among the many class act ones this time I marginally favoured Dancing Masters, Nothing but Trouble, Bonnie Scotland and most magnificent was Way Out West (5) I counted 6 super black and white stills and my favourite was the one with the piano (6) 9.3/10 and yet another scoop for you so tell me is this guy Cogerson a dry bread who by and large doesn’t find the very early comedians funny enough?

      3 I also remember L & H coming to Belfast in t 1953 and staying at the Grand Central Hotel and the City Centre became gridlocked for even the limited traffic of those days. They came out unto the balcony of the hotel and Ollie did that famous tie twirling routine of his which drove the crowd wild! Their movie career was of course over by then and they were on a live tour of the British Isles but the adoration of the crowds showed that in the for us over here still largely pre-TV age there was always some mileage left in Legends.

      1. December 11, 2016 at 8:54 am STEVE LENSMAN
        Thanks Bob, your review and observations always appreciated. Yeah I stuck to the movie comedies featuring both actors so The Fighting Kentuckian was out, sorry.

        There are fans who prefer their comedy shorts, The Music Box would have figured highly on that list, top 5 for sure, but it’s only 29mins long. I think the minimum running time for a ‘feature-length’ movie is around 50mins? Most of John Wayne’s B-westerns of the 1930s were less than an hour in length.

        I must have seen all the Laurel & Hardy comedies in my youth but can’t remember which gags belong to which film. Let’s see.. Swiss Miss was memorable with the rope bridge and gorilla sequence. The Music Box had arguably their most famous gag, pushing the piano up a long flight of stairs.

        And than of course there’s their famous song and dance in Way Out West “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine” which became a top 10 chart hit in Britain if you remember back in the day?

        December 11, 2016 at 9:02 am STEVE LENSMAN
        Yeah I wonder why Bruce hasn’t done a page on Laurel & Hardy yet, no box office stats maybe? They must be the greatest comedy team in film history surely? They are up there with Chaplin and Keaton. I prefer the Marxes but Bud and Lou have their fans too…

        1. CLOSING MEMO FROM BOB TO BRUCE TODAY 22 OCT 2017
          You will see that in my 5.38 am post to Steve on 11 Dec last year I mentioned the 27 full-length movies that L & H had made and I am delighted to see that you have turned up box office figures for ALL 27. No movie stats buff could indeed ask for more. Even if we could get figures for their short features you would not really be comparing apples with apples if you tried to judge those flicks along side feature films especially as many of the shorts would surely have been part of a larger bill. The following are copies of your own 2 main posts at the time. I am sure that Flora like me will be appreciative of your hidden tribute to Our Idol in your 6.31am post !

          December 11, 2016 at 6:31 pm COGERSON
          Hey Bob….I do in fact like challenges….but I am smart enough that when I am banging my head on a very hard surface….that eventually I need to stop….because that hard surface will never stop being hard. One day I might find some L&H box office ….but for the time being they will remain my Ahab Moby Dick…lol.

          December 11, 2016 at 6:29 pm COGERSON
          Hey Steve….you are correct in your guess…..a frustrating lack of box office is the main culprit as to why we do not have an UMR page on them. The search continues…..

          NOTE In further correspondence Bob assures Steve that he is confident Bruce will rise to the challenge of tracking down obscure box office figures and will greater relish the task the more obscure the figures are.

          1. Amazing how fast time flies. In the blink of an eye…we go from early December 2016 to almost November 2017.

    2. Hey Bob.
      1. Thanks for tracking down this conversation….which as you say….was almost a year ago.
      2. Good to see Steve and I almost have the same Top 5…..that does not happen too often.
      3. Good to know you kept the faith about me getting these numbers….but as I included in the page…..I do not feel as comfortable with these numbers like I normally do.
      4. WoC said……the are in the right neighborhood so….it was time to finally let them loose on the internet.
      5. It is funny you mentioned the Marx Brothers in your Laurel and Hardy comment….because this is exactly what Joel wrote about too….in his write up on this team……it will be posted by the time you wake up.
      6. I think you and Joel think the same things a lot more than you are willing to acknowledge….lol.

    3. Hi Bob, excelent work as usual scouring the UMR archives for our old comments and posting them on the relevant pages. Nice to see Bruce and I have a similar top 4.

      1. Hey Steve….I agree…..finding these comments can not be easy…..there are 1000s and 1000s of comments floating around UMR.com…..so kudos to Bob for tracking them down. It is interesting to read these comments months later and in some cases years later.

        1. HI BRUCE

          My rewards at the end of the search are usually (1) a fresh viewing of Steve’s video and (2) the fun of seeing how your ratings compare with Steve’s and (3) if possible mischievously taking sides though I freely admit I do not have the skills/resources of either of you for grading movies so that whichever one of you I disagree with will I am sure not loose too much sleep.

          1. Glad you’re enjoying the videos and Bruce’s moviestatsopedia Bob. Well, the ratings are only a guideline, if one of your favorites has a low rating on either of our charts does that mean you should like it less? Of course not. But some people take these things seriously, I received a nasty comment on one of my videos recently because they didn’t agree with the no.1 film.

    1. Hey Flora….thanks for checking out our Laurel and Hardy page. My tally is a ONE…..as I have seen Babes In Toyland. I want to Sons of the Desert….as it is one of Danny Peary’s Cult Movie Book movies. Greatly appreciate the feedback.

  2. I can’t stand Abbott and Costello, but I have always enjoyed the antics of Laurel and Hardy- or “Dick und Doof/Thick and Thin” as they are known in Germany. Through the years, I must have seen all of their movies, but they were often not shown in their entirety on telly. Also, I have seen tons of their shorts, friday late afternoon was a must see for me and my friends when I was around 6 🙂
    Probably the only Laurel and Hardy movie I’m not familiar with is their swansong Utopia, but judging from its final place on the critics chart, I didn’t miss much…apart from female leading lady Suzy Delair, whom I usually like a lot in her french movies. Good to see the Duo making an appearance here, even if the box office stats are a bit shaky for a change.

    1. Hey Lupino….thanks for checking out our latest UMR page. As a kid I liked Abbott and Costello more than Laurel and Hardy. A&C played on tv on a regular basis….while L&H rarely played. I saw a lot of L&H shorts a pizza place that showed them. It was a pretty big place that had a mini-theater that showed lots of shorts by the Three Stooges and L&H. Loved going there. Today the place still stands….but it is now a pool supply store.

      I think many people are not too familiar with Utopia….made overseas in 1951….it played in North America 3 years later…..they definitely did not go out on a high note. I think say these box office stats being “a bit shaky” is a great way to describe them. I will say with pretty good confidence they did not have many million dollar rental movies at all. Their Music Box short seems to be their most famous work….and it was only 20 minutes long. Thanks for the L&H feedback.

      1. Hey Bruce,

        interesting story about that Pizza place! As I already wrote in my answer to Bob, the fact that L&H are part of my childhood certainly makes me appreciate them more than other comedians like A&C or the Stooges, who entered my life when I was an adult. About Utopia- it is actually sitting on my DVD shelf…but it’s been sitting there for years…and I’m afraid it will become as famous a dust collector as Kate’s Long Day’s Journey…

    2. HI LUPINO

      1 A & C are to me like the Curate’s Egg – good in parts I liked Bud and his at times dry humour but I found Lou totally unfunny. Similarly today I can always watch Dino but would avoid a Lewis flick like the plague. Nevertheless both teams were massive household names in their day and whilst the AFI legends lists obviously can’t include every great star of yesteryear there did seem to be an element of “snobbery” in those lists that was reluctant to recognise, with a few exceptions, the stars who specialised in lighter entertainment.

      2 My mind still finds it difficult to get round the fact that Hope/Crosby were excluded and their exclusion to my mind is akin to not recognising The Duke or Cary Grant as being among the VERY GREATEST of Legends.

      3 It is possible that if you did actually see the actual grosses for L & H full-length movies the outcome would in the round not be too far off Bruce’s “educated guesses” because applying statistical precedents and norms in the way that Bruce has done usually does thr trick reasonable well.

      4 For example when Bruce saw that he had initially used the wrong base figures for calculating classic era grosses he immediately proceeded to adjust those figures upward in general. That took some time and being impatient to see how the new methods of calculation would ultimately affect the stats of some of my own favourites I made “educated guesses” and when Bruce finally delivered the definitive figure I found that whilst I naturally was out most of the time the differences were minor and there were swings and roundabouts so that on for example an upwardly revised $4 billion gross I might overall stray by about just a few hundred thousand dollars.

      5 Anyway Bruce’s L & H stats do I think give us a good broad idea of the box office popularity of the duo and certainly to quote the title of the Jack Nicholson movie Bruce’s figures will probably always be “As good as it gets.” One thing we can be thankful for though is that when it comes to stats he is his own man and is free from the influence of Joel Hirschhorn’s Committee or goodness knows how far “uneducated guesses” might have influenced the figures in the excellent table above!”

      1. HI AGAIN LUPINO
        1 I should perhaps explain that when I talked in my last post to you about making “educated guesses” I of course meant that those guesses were based on information previously provided by Bruce and my examination of pages he had already updated using the new information that he had tracked down.

        2 I would not attempt even “guesstimates” on my own and information in the wider public domain about box office earnings in the classic era is generally sparse, conflicting and so un-comprehensive that you would at times think the figures had been plucked out of a hat. The Cogerson site is in my personal view the “only show in town” for a sound oversight of the popularity of films and stars in the classic era.

        3 As long as I stuck to the Work Horse’s previous examples I found that I didn’t get far wrong in estimating updated grosses for stars he had not got round to covering – unless he later moved the goalposts!

        4 For example I correctly predicted that Julius Caesar would be updated to just under $120 million but after he had published that figure he got fresh information which induced him to reduce it to $86 million [now increased again to about $89 million under the very latest updates] and thus the grosses of one of my own idols were hit. Say maybe I was wrong and Joel DID have an influence on the updates !!

        1. Hello BOB,

          sorry for taking such a long time to reply to you….work is dragging me down currently, and I hardly do anything when I’m home in the evenings, least of all writing posts in a foreign language 😉
          As for A&C- the reason for my preference towards Laurel and Hardy has certainly to do with the fact that they were around me in my childhood, constantly shown on telly in time slots enabling young kids to watch them. My first A&C movie was A&C meet Frankenstein, and I was well in my 30’s by then, much too “adult” to appreciate their sort of humor. Same goes, by the way, for the Three Stooges, whose antics are beyond me. I am absolutely with you on Martin and Lewis- I can still watch a film like My Friend Irma or Scared Stiff, but don’t give me any of Jerry’s solo efforts, please! Not the biggest Bob Hope fan either, nor Danny Kaye or other american comedians I first saw as an adult…BUT I do love some of the brits, like Margaret Rutherford or Alistair Sims…
          I wasn’t criticizing the Boss for his box-office information, by the way, just referring to his own remark about how this page came to be. I do think, though, that you overestimate Joel’s influence on updates, otherwise “my” Maggie should have gotten lots of 100 million plus $ movies…which sadly isn’t so lol!

          1. HI LUPINO

            1 Thanks for your feedback. I’m with you part of the way in that I liked Brit comedians like Sim and also Donald Sinden, Kenneth More and Terry-Thomas. But I must confess that I also was fond of Hope and Kaye when they were at their best though I think Hope hung around far too long after his heyday. Certainly for me personally the 3 Stooges were the least unfunny act that I have ever seen.

            2 Funny true story about Sim. He was very friendly with Brit actor George Cole who starred with him in a number of British films including the 1954 perceived comedy classic The Belles of St Trinians which had Sim in drag playing the headmistress of the school and in real life George legally adopted Sim as his father probably without Sim’s knowledge or permission. Anyway when Sim died he left a lot of money behind but didn’t name George in his will and Cole came onto television one night and ranted and raved about how Sim had betrayed him after Cole taking Sim “under his wing”. .

            3 Hope you are soon able to balance your schedule so that you can do your serious work and still have time for fun on this site. Between ourselves I don’t think the site can contend for too long with TWO Work Horses !!

          2. Good evening, BOB, and thank you very much for making me laugh after another day otherwise best to be forgotten 😉
            (By the way, I have seen Belles of St. Trinians… and I like Kenneth Moore a lot!)

  3. Nice, Bruce.
    I Know that most of the grosses are from The Harrison Reports but these guys absolutely deserves an UMR-page.
    Brilliant!!

    1. Hey Søren. I kept seeing their movies popping up on the Harrison Reports…..so about a year ago I started plugging in the numbers…..it took that look to finally put out a page on these comic legends. Greatly appreciate the kind words.

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