Friday, 8 April 2011

Laurel and Hardy - Way out West.

Laurel and Hardy Way out West.Lobby card.
To most Laurel and Hardy fanatics including myself, Way out West was considered to be one of the duo's best works. What you are about to read has had to be drastically condensed for this post. This script gives a fascinating insight in to how the film was originally written and I think the final story has neither gained nor lost in its editing. The eventual film ending supersedes the script ending as you will read.
Laurel and Hardy thumb a fire


Fade in to 'Brushwood Gulch' sign -camera pulls back and we see the main street with cowboys whooping it up and firing their guns. Dissolve to 'Honky Tonk Saloon'


Line up of chorus girls on stage dancing behind 'Lola' who is singing.


Mary washes dishes and is pushed around by waiter (Fin). An old woman cook disgustedly looks on. Fin exits.


Fin enters, views Lola's next stage costume, Steps on its train as she exits, resulting in it ripping off. Fin sends her off with an Ostrich fan to cover things.


Laurel and Hardy in Way out West Lonsome Pine

Laurel and Hardy enter scene. Ollie is asleep on a horse drawn sled (Travois). The stream sequence stays the same but Stan does not do the hanky drying Ollie gag. When they get to the other side of the stream they argue about the correct direction they should be taking as the 'Brushwood Gulch' sign seems to be pointing in the wrong direction, an Indian rides up to them, they asked his advise, (wind alters the sign's direction) he points and off they go. Next they meet with the sheriff who says go in another direction. Laurel and Hardy argue as to who was right, Stan pretends to pull off Ollie's nose (thumb between fingers trick), Ollie threatens Stan with a rock to return his nose. Stan (angry) draws his gun and fires, Ollie winces and ducks, Stan misses, Ollie lays down thinking has been shot. Re-enter the Sheriff, with a hole in his Stetson, he kicks Stan in the fanny (backside). Prunella the donkey does the same to the Sherrif who reels headlong into a cactus bush. NOTE: In the movie the Donkey was called 'Dinah'.


Laurel and Hardy On the trail of the lonesome pine

The exterior saloon arrival sequence is the same but has no musical interlude. Inside, Fin's false reading cash register is not mentioned. Laurel and Hardy have a conversation with Fin about their looking for Mary Roberts, Ollie searches his pockets for the 'deeds' while Stan unwraps a sandwich from his pocket (wrapped with the deeds). Fin exits. Enter Mary the kitchen girl, the boys now meet her for the first time, she is carrying a tray of sandwiches which Stan proceeds to devour.


Fin enters and tells Lola of the deeds and his plan, she agrees to go along with it. The boys now arrive at the apartment and meet Lola for the first time. Lola on hearing of her supposed fathers death starts playing a sad lament on the piano which slowly leads the boys to a full flood of tears. Mary enters the apartment, and asks if the boys have dropped any papers (the deeds) Mary exits. The deeds are passed over to Lola. Fin suggests the boys stay at another hotel because his one has Ptomaine poisoning.

Cut to: EXTERIOR. SALOON-DAY Prunella slips her reins and wanders off.

Laurel and hardy exit from the saloon entrance and notice Prunella is not around and go to look for her. Around the back of the saloon they see Mary peeling carrots and feeding Prunella. Mary enquires on the name of the donkey and says her daddy had one with the same name and it could do tricks like sit down on the command 'Squat' and kick out on the command 'Let em have it'. Laurel and Hardy now discover that Fin had lied so the boys plan a retrieval of the deeds.


Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in Way out West

The boys enter the apartment and have a fracas with Fin and Lola. Lola locks the deeds in the safe and they have a gunfight in the apartment. A bullet ricochets around the room and starts up a 'Victriola' causing it to play the same groove over and over: "Massas in the cold, in the cold, in the cold, etc. Stan has found refuge under a dining table. Another stray bullet shatters a ketchup bottle which drips over Stan who lays down thinking he is about to die. Ollie fires at Fin and misses, hits a deer head trophie that falls down antlers first onto Fin's backside. Fin swings around to fire another shot and his qun gets caught up in the chair springs. The boys see this and grab Fin and put his head through the half open door then put the door safety chain on. To stop Fin hollering Stan empties the entire contents of a soda bottle into Fin's mouth. Fin then exhudes the soda water in a constant stream all over Ollie. The sheriff now enters the apartment, chases the boys down the stairs and out into the street, he shouts after them to never return, Fin says "thats it-let 'em have it", enter Prunella etc.


Laurel and Hardy are sprawled out under a tree talking about the deed retrieval, an Indian creeps up on them, Starn describes an idea to Ollie, the Indian says' "How", Stan explains again to Ollie, Ollie answers, The Indian says "How" again and a great deal of confusion ensues. On noticing the Indians presence Stan talks to the Indian in English ,but the Indian answers in sign language, Stan thinks he wants to do 'handies' so he shows him some 'finger wiggles' the Indian does not understand it so he beckons-come with me.



Indians war dance around a fire, suddenlly the drum beat stops. An Indian Chief approaches the boys who have been watching the proceedings. The Chief grunts and offers them three fighting knives, he grunts again and, quivering, they choose their weapons. Stan grabs the largest knife and Ollie grabs the smallest. The Chief grunts again and then says, 'that one is One Dollar and that one is Two Dollars.


The boys, dressed as Indians creep along in the shadows, along comes the Sheriff, the boys assume the pose of Cigar store Indians. Stan has an arm raised holding a Tomahawk, Ollie is kneeling next to him, the Sheriff stops near by to light a cigar, he strikes a match under Stan's raised arm causing him to bring the Tomahawk down on Ollie's head. The match doesn't ignite so the Sheriff strikes again under Stan's arm, this time it ignites. The Sheriff lights his cigar, tosses the match and exits. The match lands on Ollie's feather headdress which bursts in to flames causing vast confusion and leaving Stan to put it out with his blanket.


The boys approach the front entrance of the saloon, it has an expanding security gate which they peer through. Stan notices that it is not locked, so opens it trapping Ollie's nose in the slats. The doors are locked so they stack three barrels on to of each other which Ollie climbs. Using the handles of a rake, he attempts to pull himself up the last 2 or 3 feet to the balcony but the rake handle breaks and the babe falls through the three barrels finishing inside the bottom one which proceeds to roll down the incline.


Fin wakes up, leaps out of bed and grabs an old musket, he then returns to bed after a quick inspection out of the window.

Laurel laural lorel hardy


Ollie has cleared himself of the barrel remains and searches around the saloon for another possible entry point. Ollie sees a girder above an open window, he finds a rope which he throws over the girder and then ties around his waist, unable to lift Ollie Stan ties the rope to Prunella and gives Ollie an extra piece of rope which Ollie puts the end of into his back pocket, what he doesn't realise is, it's really a garden hose. Prunella is lead forward and as Ollie rises the hose catches on the tap and turns it on which proceeds to fill Ollie's trousers with water while he swings in the air. Stan sees the predicament and leaves Prunella while he turns off the tap. Ollie's weight now causes Prunella to be dragged backwards and Ollie descends rapidly down into and through the slanting cellar door. The donkey is now left hanging in mid air. Stan goes over to Ollie and undoes the rope which catches around his arm, resulting in the donkey dropping down and Stan going up in the air. Ollie quickly undoes the rope from Prunella and lowers Stan to the ground. Furious, Stan gr abs a piece of 2x4 and tries to hit Ollie. Ollie ducks and the 2x4 smashes the downstairs window of Mary Roberts bedroom.


The boys climb through the broken window and explain to Mary why they have returned, suddenly Fin is heard approaching, the boys hide. Fin enters Mary's Bedroom and steps on a mouse trap, hopping mad he tells Mary to go to bed and stop making so much noise.


Below is a superb Back-lot still.

Laurel and Hardy ride the stage coach


Laurel and Hardy creep through the kitchen. Stan sees a tomato and stop to salt and pepper it. Ollie watches, then slaps at Stan who inadvertently shakes pepper in Ollie's face and they have a big sneezing session. The sneezing continues as they move into the main saloon where a number of musical instruments get banged. Tooted and Yanked causing lots of noise. When all of the noise has settled down they go upstairs to Fin's bedroom door to check if all is clear but off screen Stan is banging something. It causes Ollie to return quickly. Stan is attacking the safe with a hammer and chisel. They decide to take the safe downstairs on Ollie's back but he trips headlong down the stairs with an enormous crash.


Fin awakes in his bed, Lola (in her bed) tells Fin to get back to sleep.


Ollie is seen with his body stuck halfway inside and through the back of the safe. Stan opens the safe door to reveal Ollie's despondent face. 'What are you doing in there?' he asks. Ollie gives his woe begone look. Stan closes the door in Ollie's face!


Fin appears on the landing with a lantern. Stan hides under a piano. Lola yells at Fin to return to bed.


Stan returns from under the piano and helps Ollie out of the safe and they try to find the deed in the dark by a lighted match which soon goes out so they ignite a piece of paper which Ollie quickly sees are the deeds.

stan and babe aka Laurel and Hardy


Fin appears again on the landing, he now has a lantern and gun, he trips headlong downstairs. Suddenly he hears a sneeze from inside the piano then the sound of the strings being touched. Fin goes up to the piano and puts his gun muzzle under the lid of the piano right at Ollie's head. Fin now sits at the piano and plays the notes until he finds a dud one then proceeds to bang the keys very hard. We see the boys getting a serious pounding to the face. Fin is then joined by Lola, Fin grabs the gun again and orders the boys out of the piano. The boys don't respond so he lets them have both barrels and the piano collapses along with the boys into a big tangle of strings. Lola rushes in ans grabs the deeds.


Indian Warriors approach the saloon, one Indian at a window fires an arrow which hits Fin in the backside. Fin drops the lantern and kin the darkness the boys rush out to the kitchen where they meet Mary. They continue through to the back door where they encounter more Indians. Returning, they rush back through swing doors into the saloon meeting Fin and Lola en-route. Fin and Lola crash on to the floor. Stan, Ollie and Mary continue through the bar, Stan grabs a couple of bottles which he throws at Fin out of shot, he misses and they hit a harp by a broken window and rebound into Ollie nearly knocking him out. Ollie has an idea and they position the harp so when the Indians appear at the window Stan hands Ollie a bottle which he places in the strings and shoots it bow and arrow style to good effect. Fin and Lola mean while escape through the kitchen chased by an Indian. Lola climbs in to a big refrigerator. Fin gets cornered by an Indian who is approaching menacingly with a Tomahawk, afraid of being scalped Fin takes off his toupe which he gives to the Indian. The Indian is so dumbfounded that he rushes through the window to the outside. Fin climbs out of another window on to the back of Prunella and tries to ride her away. Meanwhile, Stan and Mary are handing bottles as fast as they can to Ollie and many Indians fall unconscious. Eventually, the Indians rush to the saloon and search for thje boys. They see a piano start to move, its legs are doing funny contortions. Mary, Stan and Ollie are in different corners of the piano acting as legs and as it dashes out of the saloon the Indians scatter in all directions.


The piano careers out of the saloon and down the main street followed by a large group of indians firing arrows and hitting the piano.


The Piano hurtles towards a cliff, unable to see where they are going the Piano runs off the cliff, tumbles through the air and lands upside down on the water. We see three pairs of legs stuck in the air as it drifts downstream.



Remembering Alfred Burke - Public Eye


Alfred Burke, starred as the downbeat private detective Frank Marker in the popular television series Public Eye (1965-75). The character was intended as a British rival to Raymond Chandler's American gumshoe Philip Marlowe. Tough, unattached and self-sufficient, Marker could take a beating in the service of his often wealthy clients without quitting. "Marker wasn't exciting, he wasn't rich," Burke said. "He could be defined in negatives."

An ABC TV press release introduced the character as a "thin, shabby, middle-aged man with a slightly grim sense of humour and an aura of cynical incorruptibility. His office is a dingy south London attic within sound of Clapham Junction. He can't afford a secretary, much less an assistant, and when he needs a car, he hires a runabout from the local garage."

Tall, sharp-featured, saturnine and with an incisive voice, Burke was perfectly cast as Marker. He thought up the character's name himself – originally the detective was to be called Frank Marvin. In 1972 the role brought him a Bafta nomination for best actor. The following year, Marker was voted the most compulsive male character in a TV Times poll.
Burke – who was always known as Alfie – was born in Peckham, south-east London, to Irish parents. His father, William, worked in a fur warehouse. He left school in 1933 to take a job as an office boy with a firm that specialised in repairing railway wagons. Soon afterwards he became a steward in a City club for businessmen, but left after an uncharacteristic dispute with a barmaid which ended with her squirting a soda siphon in his face.

He dared not tell his parents that he was out of work, so he ran away to Brighton, returning to London to take a job in a silk warehouse in Cheapside. He began to perform with a local amateur dramatic group run by a headteacher who persuaded him to apply for a London county council scholarship to Rada. Before the principal, Sir Kenneth Barnes, and his colleagues, Burke declaimed, "Is this a dagger I see before me?", read a Tennyson poem and played two parts from The Last of Mrs Cheyney. He took up his place at Rada in 1937.

Two years later he appeared on stage professionally for the first time, in The Universal Legacy at the Barn theatre in Shere, Surrey. The second world war then intervened. Burke registered as a conscientious objector, and was directed to work on the land. After the war, he went back to theatre work at Farnham, Surrey, where he met Barbara Bonelle, a stage manager, who became his wife.

Burke then did a series of tours with the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (which became the Arts Council). The tours were aimed at bringing culture to "the people" – in his case, in the Welsh valleys and the Lake District. In the late 1940s, he joined the Young Vic company and went on to spend time in Manchester at the Library theatre, at the Nottingham Playhouse and in London, appearing in Pablo Picasso's play Desire Caught By the Tail at the Watergate theatre. He was at Birmingham Rep for the three parts of Henry VI, which transferred to the Old Vic in London in 1953.

By the late 1950s, Burke had established himself as a serious stage actor and a useful character actor in films including the war movies Bitter Victory (1957) and No Time to Die (1958). He played the industrial agitator Travers in The Angry Silence (1960), in which a worker (Richard Attenborough) is shunned by his colleagues for refusing to take part in a strike. In 1964 he appeared in the science-fiction movie Children of the Damned, a sequel to Village of the Damned.

On TV, he took roles in episodes of The Saint, The Avengers and Z Cars, as well as several editions of ITV's Play of the Week. In 1964 his own script, Where Are They Now?, written under the pen name of Frank Hanna, was produced as a Play of the Week. The following year, he slid into the arms of a welcoming public as Marker. In between starring in seven series of Public Eye, he had leading roles at the Leeds Playhouse in Luigi Pirandello's Henry IV, in 1970, and in Pictures in a Bath of Acid, as the writer August Strindberg, in 1971.

Burke enhanced his TV popularity with parts including the father in The Bront√ęs of Haworth (1973), Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1977) and Major Richter, a German commandant in occupied Guernsey, in the series Enemy at the Door (1978). He portrayed Richter as essentially decent, despite the dire obligations of war. After a recurring role in the series Sophia and Constance (1988), based on Arnold Bennett's novel The Old Wives' Tale, he continued to take small TV parts throughout his 70s and 80s. He had his highest-profile role for years when he appeared – albeit briefly – as Armando Dippet, the former Hogwarts headteacher, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).

He and Barbara had two sets of twins – Jacob and Harriet, and Kelly and Louisa – and they remained on good terms. He spent the last 25 years with Hedi Argent. They all survive him, along with 11 grandchildren.

Alfred Burke, was born 28 February 1918 and died 16 February 2011, aged 92.

TV Annuals - The Avengers 1967

Above is the cover of the 1967 Souvenir Press Ltd 'The Avengers Annual'. The publication was 93 pages and featured a mixture of illustrated text stories and comic strips.

Below is the picture strip entitled, 'Flying Eagles.'