$9.99


From 20th Century Fox Studios, This is an ORIGINAL 8-1/2" x 14" Tri-fold PRESSBOOK. It has a lot of wear and corner edges and wrinkles.

It has great photos, biographies, synopsis ad slicks for newspapers and promotional tie-ins featuring the famed HAL ROACH STUDIOS Comedy Duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, BUSTER KEATON and CHARLEY CHASE for the 1970 comedy documentary,

4 Clowns

The "four clowns" of this Robert Youngson anthology are: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase and Buster Keaton. There are examples of Laurel and Hardy's individual work prior to their teaming; samples of Chase's work, including his 1928 short, "Limousine Love"; and an abridged version of Keaton's 1925 feature, "Seven Chances."

Writer and Director: Robert Youngson

Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase

Cast

Stan Laurel ... (archive footage)
Oliver Hardy ... (archive footage)
Charley Chase ... (archive footage)
Buster Keaton ... James Shannon, from Seven Chances (archive footage)
: Jay Jackson ... Narration (voice)

It's a nice keepsake if you enjoyed these classic stars!

Shop with confidence! This is part of our in-store inventory from our shop which is has been located in the heart of Hollywood where we have been in business for OVER 40 years!

MORE INFO ON HAL ROACH: Hal Roach was born in Elmira, New York in 1892. After working as, among other things, mule skinner, wrangler and gold prospector, he wound up in Hollywood and began picking up jobs as an extra in comedies, where he met comedian Harold Lloyd in 1913 in San Diego. Roach came into a small inheritance and began producing, directing and writing a series of short film comedies under the banner, Phun Philms, starring Lloyd around 1915. Initially these were abysmal, but with effort, the quality improved enough to be nominally financed and distributed by Pathe and the Roach/Lloyd team proved quite successful after the creation of Lloyd's now-famous 'Glasses Character,' enabling Roach to start his own production company and eventually bought his own studio. Hal Roach Productions became a unique entity in Hollywood; it operated as a sort of paternalistic boutique studio, releasing a surprising number of wildly popular shorts series and a handful of features. Quality was seldom compromised and his employees were treated as his most valuable asset. Roach's relationship with his biggest earner, Harold Lloyd, was increasingly acrimonious after 1920. After achieving enormous success with features, Lloyd had achieved superstar status by the standards of Roaring Twenties and wanted his independence. The two men severed ties with Roach maintaining re-issue rights for Lloyd's shorts for the remainder of the decade. Despite facing the prospect of losing his biggest earner, Roach was already preoccupied by the cultivating his new kiddie series, Our Gang, which was an immediate hit with the public. By the time he was 25, Roach was wealthy and increasingly away from his studio, traveling extensively across Europe. By the early 1920s he had eclipsed Mack Sennett as the King of Comedy and created many of the most memorable comic series of all time, even by today's standards. These include the team of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase, ''Snub' Pollard' and especially the long running Our Gang (AKA "The Little Rascals" in TV distribution) series. After his studio's distributor, Pathe, disintegrated in the U.S. after it's domestic representative Paul Brunet returned to France in 1927, Roach was able to secure an even better deal with MGM (his key competitor, Mack Sennett, was also distributed by Pathe, but was unable to land a deal, ultimately declaring bankruptcy in 1933). For the next eleven years Roach shored up MGM's bottom line, although the deal was probably more beneficial to Roach. In the mid-1930's Roach became inexplicably enamored with Benito Mussolini, and sought to secure a business alliance with the fascist government's recently completed film complex, Cinecitta. After Roach asked for (and received) assurances from Mussolini that Italy wasn't about to seek sanction against the Jews, the two men formed RAM ("Roach And Mussolini") Productions--- a move that appalled the powers at MGM parent Leow's Inc. These events coincided with Roach selling off Our Gang to MGM and committing himself solely to feature film production. In September 1937, Il Duce's son, Vittorio Mussolini visited Hollywood and his studio threw a lavish party celebrating his 21st birthday. Soon afterward, the Italian government took on an increasingly anti-Semitic stance and in retribution, Leow's chairman, Nicholas Schenck canceled his distribution deal. He signed an adequate deal with United Artists in May 1938 and redeemed his previous record of feature misfires with a string of big hits: Topper (1937) (and it's lesser sequels), the prestigious Of Mice and Men (1939) and, most significantly, One Million B.C. (1940), which became the most profitable movie of the year. Despite the near-unanimous condemnation by his industry peers, Roach stubbornly refused to re-examine his attitudes over his dealings with Mussolini, even in the aftermath of WW2 (he proudly displayed an autographed portrait of the dictator in his home up until his death). His tried and true formula for success was tested by audience demands for longer feature-length productions, and by the early 1940's he was forced to try his hand at making low budget full-length screwball comedies, musicals and dramas, although he still kept turning out two-reel comedies, he tagged as "streamliners," they failed to catch on with post-war audiences. By the 1950s he was producing mainly for television. He made a stab at retirement but his son, Hal Jr., proved an inept businessman and drove the studio to the brink of bankruptcy by 1959. Roach returned and focused on facilities leasing and managing the TV rights of his film catalog. In 1983 his company developed the first successful digital colorization process. Roach then became a producer for many TV series on the Disney Channel, and his company still produces most of their films and videos.

More info on Oliver Hardy: His Scottish-English parents were never in show business. As a young boy he was a gifted singer and, by age eight, was performing with minstrel shows. In 1910 he ran a movie theatre, which he preferred to studying law. In 1913 he became a comedy actor with the Lubin Company in Florida and began appearing in a long series of shorts; his debut film was "Outwitting Dad" (1913). 1914-5 was the "Pokes and Jabbs" series; 1916-8 saw the "Plump and Runt" series, 1919-21 the "Jimmy Aubrey" series, and from 1921-5 he worked as an actor and codirector of comedy shorts for Larry Semon. In 1917 he had played a bit part in A Lucky Dog (1921), starring Stan Laurel. His first two-reeler with Laurel was _Forty-five Minutes from Hollywood (1926)_ . Their first release through MGM was Sugar Daddies (1927) and the first with star billing was From Soup to Nuts (1928). Their first feature-length starring roles were in Pardon Us (1931). Their work became more production-line and less popular during the war years, mostly working for Twentieth Century-Fox. Their last movie together was The Bullfighters (1945) except for a French failure (Atoll K (1951)). He appeared without Laurel in The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) and Riding High (1950) and died seven years later.

MORE INFO ON STAN LAUREL: His father was an actor and theatre manager. He made his stage debut at the age of 16 at Pickard's Museum, Glasgow. He traveled with Fred Karno's vaudeville company to the United States in 1910 and again in 1913. While with that company he was Charles Chaplin's understudy, and he performed imitations of Chaplin. On a later trip he remained in the United States having been cast in a two-reel comedy, Nuts in May (1917) (1917, released the following year). There followed a number of shorts for Metro, Hal Roach Studios, then Universal, then back to Roach in 1926. His first two-reeler with Oliver Hardy was 45 Minutes from Hollywood (1926) . Their first release through MGM was Sugar Daddies (1927) and the first with star billing was From Soup to Nuts (1928). Their first feature-length starring roles were in Pardon Us (1931). Their work became more production-line and less popular during the war years, mostly producing for Twentieth Century-Fox. Their last movie together was The Bullfighters (1945) except for a French failure ("Atoll K", 1951). In 1960 he was given a special Oscar "for his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy". Five years later he died.

MORE INFO ON CHARLEY CHASE: While Charley Chase is far from being as famous as "The Big Three" (Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd) today, he's highly respected as one of the "greats" by fans of silent comedy.

Chase (real name Charles Parrott) was born in Maryland, USA, in 1893. After a brief career in vaudeville, he entered Al Christie's movie studio as a comedian in 1913 before settling down at Keystone Films the following year. Chase's career in films did not start off with remarkable success. He played bit parts in a large number of short comedies, appearing with Charlie Chaplin and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, among others, before he finally got his chance at Hal Roach Studios as a director, before Roach realized what a gifted performer he had hired. "I can play anything!" Chase told Roach, and eventually his claim was confirmed. Although Mack Sennett's Keystone studio has earned legendary status as the ultimate factory of comic invention, it can hardly be denied that Roach developed a more refined style of comedy which obviously fitted Chase better (indeed, Sennett's unsophisticated product increasingly lost favor with the movie-going public by the early 1920s, while Roach's studio flourished). During five years, 1924-29, he starred in nearly a hundred two-reelers, most of which were directed by Leo McCarey.

Chase usually portrayed an apparently gentle and charming man who in reality, it eventually turned out, was quite a loser after all. His character was largely inspired by Lloyd Hamilton, another neglected comedian whom Chase had directed in several two-reelers. Among Charley's most memorable shorts are Innocent Husbands, Mighty Like a Moose, and Movie Night.

From the beginning, Charley Chase was a "critics' darling," but none of his movies were remarkably successful at the box office. There is no official "explanation" to this, but one reason may be that Chase, in contrast to the more popular clowns, never starred in any feature during the silent period. On a personal level, Chase was severely hobbled by alcoholism, which is unapparent in his films.

Chase made several promising appearances after the talkies arrived, in 1929-30, especially in Laurel and Hardy's highly acclaimed feature Sons of the Desert (1933). Despite this, he was never offered any further appearances in features. But he continued to perform in shorts and did also direct some of the Three Stooges' early movies. He died in 1940, not yet 47 years of age, of a heart attack. It is reasonable to believe that his early death was to a large extent caused by his addiction to alcohol, a problem which had troubled his family for several years. His brother James, also an actor, had died the year before. The two brothers had been close throughout their lives, although their personal problems frequently affected each other (or perhaps that was the reason for their being so close.) Chase was married to Bebe Eltinge from 1914, a marriage that lasted until his death and produced two daughters, Polly and June.

Chase's silent work was celebrated on DVD in two volumes from Kino Video. At long last his comic genius is being recognized.

MORE INFO ON BUSTER KEATON: Joseph Frank Keaton, was born in Piqua, Kansas, October 4, 1895 to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage they traveled with a medicine show that included family friend, illusionist Harry Houdini. Keaton himself verified the origin of his nickname "Buster", given to him by Houdini, when at the age of three, fell down a flight of stairs and was picked up and dusted off by Houdini, who said to Keaton's father Joe, also nearby, that the fall was 'a buster'. Savvy showman Joe Keaton liked the nickname, which has stuck for more than 100 years. At the age of four, Keaton had already begun acting with his parents on the stage. Their act soon gained the reputation as one of the roughest in the country, for their wild, physical antics on stage. It was normal for Joe to throw Buster around the stage, participate in elaborate, dangerous stunts to the reverie of audiences. After several years on the Vaudeville circuit, "The Three Keatons", toured until Keaton had to break up the act due to his father's increasing alcohol dependence, making him a show business veteran by the age of 21. While in New York looking for work, a chance run-in with the wildly successful film star and director Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, resulted in Arbuckle inviting him to be in his upcoming short The Butcher Boy (1917), an appearance that launched Keaton's film career, and spawned a friendship that lasted until Arbuckle's sudden death in 1933. By 1920, after making several successful shorts together, Arbuckle moved on to features, and Keaton inherited his studio, allowing him the opportunity to begin producing his own films. By September of 1921, tragedy touched Arbuckle's life by way of a scandal, where he was tried three times for the murder of Virginia Rapp. Although he was not guilty of the charges, and never convicted, he was unable to regain his status, and the viewing public would no longer tolerate his presence in film. Keaton stood by his friend and mentor through out the incident, supporting him financially, finding him directorial work, even risking his own budding reputation offering to testify on Arbuckle's behalf. In 1921, Keaton also married his first wife, Natalie Talmadge under unusual circumstance that have never been fully clarified. Popular conjecture states that he was encouraged by Joseph M. Schenck to marry into the powerful Talmadge dynasty, that he himself was already a part of. The union bore Keaton two sons. Keaton's independent shorts soon became too limiting for the growing star, and after a string of popular films like One Week (1920), The Boat (1921), and Cops (1922), Keaton made the transition into feature films. His first feature, Three Ages (1923), was produced similarly to his short films, and was the dawning of a new era in comedic cinema, where it became apparent to Keaton that he had to put more focus on the story lines and characterization. At the height of his popularity, he was making two features a year, and followed Ages with Our Hospitality (1923), The Navigator (1924) and _The General (1926)_, the latter two he regarded as his best films. The most renown of Keaton's comedies is Sherlock Jr. (1924), which used cutting edge special effects that received mixed reviews as critics and audiences alike had never seen anything like it, and didn't know what to make of it. Modern day film scholars liken the story and effects to Christopher Nolan Inception (2010), for it's high level concept and ground-breaking execution. Keaton's 1926 Civil War epic The General (1926)kept up his momentum when he gave audiences the biggest and most expensive sequence ever seen in film at the time. At it's climax, a bridge collapses while a train is passing over it, sending the train into a river. This wowed audiences, but did little for it's long-term financial success. Audiences did not respond well to the film, disliking the higher level of drama over comedy, and the main character being a Confederate soldier. After a few more silent features, including College (1927) and Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928), Keaton was informed that his contract had been sold to MGM, by brother-in-law and producer Joseph M. Schenck. Keaton regarded the incident as the worst professional mistake he ever made, as it sent his career, legacy, and personal life into a vicious downward spiral for many years. His first film with MGM was The Cameraman (1928), which is regarded as one of his best silent comedies, but the release signified the loss of control Keaton would incur, never again regaining his filmmaking independence. He made one more silent film at MGM entitled Spite Marriage (1929) before the sound era arrived. His first appearance in a film with sound was with the ensemble piece The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929), though despite the popularity of it and his previous MGM silents, MGM never allowed Keaton his own production unit, and increasingly reduced his creative control over his films. By 1932, his marriage to Natalie Talmadge had dissolved when she sued him for divorce, and in an effort to placate her, put up little resistance. This resulted in the loss of the home he'd built for his family nicknamed The Italian Villa, the bulk of his assets, and contact with his children. Natalie changed their last names from Keaton to Talmadge, and they were dis-aloud from speaking about their father or seeing him. About 10 years later, when they became of age, they rekindled the relationship with Keaton. His hardships in his professional and private life that had been slowly taking their tole, begun to culminate by the early 1930's resulting in his own dependence on alcohol, and sometimes violent and erratic behavior. Depressed, penny-less, and out of control, he was fired by MGM by 1933, and a full-fledged alcoholic. After spending time in hospitals to try and treat his alcoholism, he met second wife Mae Scrivens, a nurse, and married her hastily in Mexico, only to end in divorce by 1935. After his firing, he made several low-budget shorts for Educational Pictures, and spent the next several years of his life fading out of public favor, and finding work where he could. In 1936, his career was slightly reinvigorated when he produced the short Grand Slam Opera (1936), which many of his fans admire for giving such a good performance during the most difficult and unmanageable years of his life. In 1940, he met and married his third wife Eleanor Norris, who was deeply devoted to him, and remained his constant companion and partner until Keaton's death. After several more years of hardship working as an uncredited, underpaid gag man for comedians such as The Marx Brothers, in 1949, he was consulted on how to do a realistic and comedic fall for the film In the Good Old Summertime (1949) in which an expensive violin is destroyed. Finding no one who could do it better than him, he was given a minor role in the film. His presence reignited interest in his silent films, which lead to interviews, television appearances, film roles, and world tours that kept him busy for the rest of his life. After several more film, television, and stage appearances through out the 1960s, he wrote the autobiography My Wonderful World of Slapstick, having completed nearly 150 films in the span of his ground-breaking career. His last film appearance was in the 1966 comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) which premiered seven months after Keaton's death from the rapid onset of lung cancer. Since his death, Keaton's legacy is being discovered by new generations of viewers every day, many of his films are available on YouTube, DVD, and Blu-Ray, where he, like all gold-gilded and beloved entertainers can live forever.

This item is part of Backlot Movie Memorabilia and collectibles in-store inventory from our shop which is located in the heart of Hollywood, where we have been in business for OVER 40 years!!!

4 Clowns LAUREL AND HARDY Pressbook CHARLEY CHASE & Buster Keaton
Item #BMM0002748