Restored at the Metrograph: Sons of the Desert

Rare enough these days, a Laurel and Hardy film on the big screen; Metrograph on New York’s Lower East Side rectifies that situation with showings later this month of a newly-restored 35mm print of the 1933 Sons of the Desert, perhaps the best of the duo’s features. Preceded by the 1929 short Berth Marks, the film is presented as part of their annual UCLA Festival of Preservation series. (Metrograph and novelist Paul Auster paid their respects to the two earlier as well.) Says Metrograph:

Laurel and Hardy’s fourth feature and arguably the best one they ever made, Sons of the Desert finds Stan and Ollie conspiring to escape their wives and trek to Chicago for the 87th annual convention of their titular fraternal lodge, whose number includes the great silent comic Charley Chase as an atrocious boor.

Screenings will be on Sunday, September 17, at 7.15pm and Tuesday, September 19, at the same time. It’s a very rare opportunity to revisit two of the greatest American screen comedians of the 20th century. Take it. More information here. Back in June of this year, Tony Alpsen wrote this appreciation of the film for Splitsider, and if you’re so inclined, you can drop a few pennies into the alms box for the Laurel & Hardy Preservation Fund at UCLA. Below, Scott McCloud, the UCLA Film & Television Archive of Preservation, examines a work print of the film.