Second reel of Laurel and Hardy’s The Battle of the Century recovered: that’s better than a pie in the face

I take a brief break from writing about my trip to Hollywood to share this fabulous news–better than a pie in the face, indeed!!

Silent London

The Battle of the Century (1927) Stan and Ollie in The Battle of the Century (1927)

A cream-filled pie landing – splash – in the face of an adversary is a popular trope of silent slapstick comedy, along with bumbling Keystone Kops and strategically placed banana peel. And now we hear that one of the classic piefights of all time has been rediscovered – the all-out epic splatterfest that crowns Laurel and Hardy’s silent film TheBattle of the Century (1927).

That street brawl, involving a van full of pies and a cast of dozens, is gleeful, gore-free carnage – a classic movie moment in its own right. But until now, the fight, and the film it belongs to, have been truncated. TheBattle of the Century was formed of two reels, and much of it has been missing since the silent era. The fight itself, or at least most of it, had been preserved, but…

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