The Greatest Pie Fight in Cinematic History, re-discovered.
July 8, 2015 5:34 PM   Subscribe

 
I freaking love hearing about things like this. <3
posted by entropicamericana at 5:41 PM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have to introduce my kids to Laurel and Hardy. I realize now that I've failed as a parent, but I'll be making amends!
posted by Ickster at 6:11 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Unlike most silent movie shows, at the Mostly Lost screenings the audience is encouraged to talk over the film, and make use of their mobile phones. The films on show are all unidentified, and the object of the event is to put names to faces, places and indeed whole films – piecing together gaps in films history and rescuing “lost” films from obscurity. It’s hard to imagine a more appreciative crowd.

Holy fucking gods I would have loved to hear the swell of excitement as the experts there realized what they were watching and started screaming in delight
posted by Greg Nog at 6:14 PM on July 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


Can I be a teensy bit disappoint that it wasn't the original ending of Strangelove?
posted by Devonian at 6:19 PM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sadly, it sounds like they only announced the find at Mostly Lost rather than Greg Nog's infinitely better idea.
posted by Etrigan at 6:19 PM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah, boo; you're right, Etrigan. Still! only a year or so before a cleaned-up version will likely be released to the general public! Exciting times!
posted by Greg Nog at 6:23 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


If that means they're looking for people to help clean up the thousands of pies pie fight, I volunteer.
posted by oulipian at 7:25 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


*SPLAT*
Wheee! :D
posted by sexyrobot at 8:53 PM on July 8, 2015


Just watching the short clip made me laugh. I can't wait to see the whole thing!
posted by rednikki at 9:59 PM on July 8, 2015


It would be cool if they could get it restored in time to show this October at the Oliver Hardy Festival in his hometown of Harlem, Georgia!
posted by TedW at 10:04 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


From John McCabe's biography of Laurel and Hardy:

"One day at the studio while the gag men were sitting about discussing plot lines, someone came up with an idea for a film for Laurel and Hardy. The plot was a thin one but the idea man suggested an embellishment. 'We could even slip a few pies into it and--' He was hooted down. Pies, after all, were pies. That was early Sennett, mid-Chaplin, and late everybody. This was 1927, an enlightened age. Despite this general reaction, Stan pondered the idea and brought forth what he hoped would be a variation good enough for consideration. 'Look,' he said, 'if we make a pie picture-- let's make a pie picture to end all pie pictures. Let's give them so many pies that there will never be room for any more pie pictures in the whole history of the movies.'"

(There was room for one more pie picture, 1965's The Great Race. In homage, Blake Edwards dedicated the film to Laurel and Hardy.)
posted by thetortoise at 11:20 PM on July 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


The Great Race Pie Fight. It's pretty good.

I have to introduce my kids to Laurel and Hardy. I realize now that I've failed as a parent, but I'll be making amends!
You could start with this gem: Big Business. It escalates slowly but massively.
posted by ojemine at 2:35 AM on July 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Although even in the 70s pies were still good for some laughs.
posted by ojemine at 2:51 AM on July 9, 2015


You could start with this gem: Big Business . It escalates slowly but massively.

That was a more genteel age, when, if someone wronged you, they would stand and patiently watch while you destroyed some bit of their property in revenge. And then naturally you would wait while they did the same to you. And so on, back and forth, the stakes raising with each exchange, until the whole countryside was engulfed in flames.

The history books say it was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, but everyone knows this is how the Great War started.
posted by JHarris at 4:14 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the first article, it seems like the footage of the actual pie fight was never lost, just the framing of it. So I'm not sure this will be the revelation some people think it is.
posted by smackfu at 5:51 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


ojemine: "The Great Race Pie Fight . It's pretty good."

Brandy? More brandy! Throw more brandy! Dear lord I love Jack Lemmon.
posted by Splunge at 6:38 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the first article, it seems like the footage of the actual pie fight was never lost, just the framing of it.

The bones of the second reel were there-- the current prints reconstruct the scenes with stills-- but several minutes of footage had been missing for decades. Robert Youngson's edit gives a broad sense of the fight but lacks Stan Laurel's precise attention to timing (Bruckman may be credited as director, but Laurel's editing work always speaks louder than any other voice, to me). This article gives a strong sense of what had been lost. I don't think this will be a revelation in the way the latest version of Metropolis is, but it's a crucial missing piece for classic comedy obsessives.
posted by thetortoise at 7:00 AM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


this is a shameful display of pietriarchal privilege. many people cannot even afford their own 1,000 pies much less wastefully throw them at one another. this movie is bad for us and bad for america
posted by poffin boffin at 7:20 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cinema pies-in-the-face, their origins, development, and prospects previously on Metafilter.

Also, WP on pieing.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:38 AM on July 9, 2015


Jon Mirsalis, who rediscovered the reel, posted a link to the New York Times' article about the rediscovery on his Facebook page, along with this wry comment:
I've taken about 50 drugs to clinical trials, developed a couple assays that are now used worldwide for evaluating toxicity of chemicals, I have about 200 scientific publications, I am doing the development of most of the Ebola drugs in the world today, and what does the New York Times interview me about?...
The New York Times article's description of him: "prominent toxicologist by day, respected film collector and scholar by night."
posted by orthicon halo at 1:57 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Having just watched the Lyric Theatre's production of Bugsy Malone, this article is relevant to my interests.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:21 AM on July 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


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