Who are Laurel and Hardy? Only the most recognisable comedy team that cinema has ever produced. British-born Stan Laurel and American Oliver Hardy were teamed up at the struggling Hal Roach studios in the 1920s and embarked on a series of hilarious short silent films. They soon established a classic screen partnership and became instantly recognisable comic icons in their crumpled suits and bowler hats. Laurel and Hardy were the most successful of all the film comics who made the difficult transition from silent shorts to sound and then to feature films, enjoying unparalleled success from the 1920s through to the 1950s, when they undertook a series of triumphant tours of Britain. Regular and repeated screenings of their work through the 1970s and 1980s on television brought shorts like the Oscar-winning classic The Music Boxto new generations, while in recent years the entire rarely-seen back catalogue of silent Laurel and Hardy films has become available to film buffs, comedy fans and collectors on a series of DVD releases. Everyone knows and loves Laurel and Hardy, and their everlasting appeal to new generations of fans shows no sign of ending, over 80 years on from their first work together. As well as an introductory essay and biographies of both Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the book covers each Laurel and Hardy short film, the move from silent movies to the sound classics of the 1930s and the feature films of the 1930s and 1940s, complete with information on the inspiration for each film and the reaction of critics and audiences. Not only that, but there's a handy reference section listing other books about Laurel and Hardy, interesting web sites and availability of their 106 films. In fact, the Laurel and Hardy Pocket Essential is the one-stop celebration of the films and lives of Stan and Ollie.