Any Old Port

Behind the Scenes

laurel and hardy at sea in Any Old Port

Deleted Scene: Sandford, Finlayson and Laurel and Hardy with the African Canary.

With 'Any Old Port' out on DVD from Universal we thought that we would take a look at the 'Press Book' that was released to promote the film when it was originally released. Pleas note that the grammar and spelling is left as per the original copy so as to remain as authentic as possible.

THE PRICE OF POPULARITY

Laurel and Hardy besieged by thousands for autographs

Famous personages the world over are beset by autograph seekers, but it is doubtful if any professional Class as a whole are more harassed than movie stars.

Not only are screen stars asked for autographs when they appear in public but they are even approached while making pictures and often receive hundreds of letters with the same requests. A fair example of what movie stars are forced to undergo may be gained from the experiences of Laurel and Hardy while filming "Any Old Port", their latest M-G-M comedy.

Their locations to get certain scenes consisted of a trip to San Pedro harbour, Culver City Stadium and exterior scenes near the studio. While at the famous sea port the two comedians autographed several thousand books and other trinkets. Many of the autograph seekers were sailors of the United States navy stationed there.

Practically everything known on which it is possible to write was presented to Laurel and Hardy for autographs. While at the fight stadium they attached their signatures to ticket stubs, programs, regular Autograph books, handkerchiefs. Cigarette packages, envelopes, scraps of paper, hats and even a shirt front.

ED. NOTE. This could explain how the two autographed sailor's shirts appeared in auctions recently. Although the publicity material said they were shirts from 'Men O War', you could see that they did not match those worn by 'The Boys' in the film. However, they could have been shirts autographed for sailors while filming in San Pedro.

Stan Laurel gets a "knock-out" request from enthusiastic fan.

Strange requests come in the fan mail of movie stars.

One of the strangest requests was received by Stan Laurel during the filming of " Any Old Port, Laurel and Hardy's latest Hal Roach M-G-M comedy.

The prize fight sequence in the film attracted innumerable spectators, all of whom flocked to the Culver City Stadium where the scenes were made. One young man, who had all the earmarks of a prizefighter, was particularly interested in the antics of the comedian in the ring.

At the completion of the picture Laurel was approached by the young man who introduced himself as a professional boxer. The following day the actor received a letter from the fighter in which he asked for the abbreviated "shorts" that he wore in the picture.

It was an odd request but Laurel sent the ring costume and three weeks later received another letter from the fighter stating that he had worn the "shorts" in his last three fights and had won them, on knock-outs.

HOW TO KEEP THIN

Stan Laurel of the popular comedy team shows you how in latest Hal Roach Comedy

laurel & hardy Any Old PortThe busy housewife who claims she walks miles while doing her work, has a competitor in the screen actor who does some rather high stepping in the course of a picture.

For the express purpose of discovering just how far he walked in the picture, Stan Laurel, slender member of the Laurel and Hardy team, carried a pocket meter that registered every step he took while working in " ANY OLD PORT", the Hal Roach M-G-M comedy. The comedian was surprised at the total, which amounted to a fraction over 43 miles.

Photo Left: A break in the filming of 'Any Old Port' Note the boom microphone.Click on photo!

In an effort to be assured of the exact mileage Laurel had the meter fastened in a separate pocket and it was removed only at the completion of a days work. For the "prize-fight" sequence, in which the comedian does considerable walking and running, he had a duplicate meter secreted in the scanty shorts that made up his costume.

Figuring the retakes and actual scenes used of this particular part of the film, Laurel covered approximately 19 miles. The chase in which a key was tossed back and forth between Laurel and Hardy consumed 4 miles, while 2 miles were taken climbing steps. This is a record for housewives to shoot at.

We hope that you enjoyed those little bits of trivia from the press sheet. Did you know that 'Any Old Port' could have been a three reeler if additional footage had been retained? There was a ten-minute sequence filmed but was later deleted at the previews. The sequence involves 'The Boys' bringing ashore an ostrich, which they think, is an African canary. Tiny Sanford and James Finlayson appeared in this deleted footage. For a full report on the missing footage read the superb 'Magic Behind the Movies' by Randy Skretvedt. Could this footage have survived? This German lobby card contains a still from this missing sequence.

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